What We Do
Orfund is a charity based in Poole, Dorset which is helping to meet the needs of children and young people in Dedza in southern Malawi, who have no parents - or only one parent or relative who is unable to care for them through poor health or age.
Orfund currently supports 25 children who live at, or receive support from the Molima Family Home. We also pay the fees and accommodation costs for former residents who start apprenticeships or undertake other training.
Two young people have completed mechanics courses in Lilongwe, another had driving lessons in order to get a job as a driver. He now works as a driver for a business that supplies cleaning services to businesses in Lilongwe. A young person has just achieved his Diploma in Journalism and is going to study to degree level as his job opportunities will be better.
We would like to give more support to the two local primary schools attended by children from Molima, because it's so important that children acquire the basic education and skills they need to be able to have a positive future and live independently as adults.
We are grateful to all those who partner with us through sponsoring a child, regular donations or one-off gifts. You enable us to meet our commitment to support the needs of Molima and all the children for whom this is home. Each month we make sure there are sufficient funds for the children who live at Molima to have food, clothing, bedding, toiletries, running water, education and training, medication, visits by a nurse and so on. Their expectations and lifestyle are so simple and humbling compared with the advantages we have in the UK.
Orfund provides sufficient funds to employ a minimal number of care staff who support Ruth, Wezi and George Banda.
Isaac and Ruth Banda devoted 17 years to looking after children. They extended their family home and, as Christians, gave up their lives to care for children and young people who have nowhere else to go. After Isaac passed away in April 2017, Ruth has continued to run Molima with the day to day care and management carried out by Wezi and George.
We are pleased that the family are able to carry on the work. They are well respected both in Dedza and by the chiefs in the villages. They have close links with the schools and with the Dedza Social Welfare Department who make regular visits to the home to ensure that the environment and care is of a good standard.
Social Welfare approve new admissions of children to the home to ensure that Molima cares for those in greatest need. We have direct links with Social Welfare and the Education Department when necessary to satisfy ourselves that what Orfund does is appropriate.
Who We Are
Orfund was founded about 35 years ago to fund two homes in India and more recently, one in Malawi. Circumstances of the homes in India changed and in 2013 a new team of trustees took over Orfund and decided to focus solely on Malawi which is currently the sixth poorest country in the world.
The trustees run Orfund from their own homes and are unpaid. We decided that we could do the work required without the support of a paid administrator or office base. This means that our administrative costs are very low (about 1.6%) and cover occasional printing, the annual newsletter, postage, auditing of accounts, bank charges and telephone calls to Malawi. The only other significant non-care expenditure is a contribution to vaccination costs when a trustee or sponsor makes a biennial visit to support the people running Molima, to gain first-hand information and to ensure the children are safe and well.
The trustees have a useful wealth of relevant experience to draw upon from their working careers.
Former Director of Social Services
Former Head of Children & Family Services
Molima Family Home
Orfund has been supporting the Molima Family Home since 2000 when the first five children were admitted. Since then we have helped Molima to expand its facilities.
There are currently 24 children aged between 7 and 18 being supported . Of these, 14 are girls and 10 are boys. They all attend local primary or secondary schools in Dedza. One other older girl is back in her respective village but being encouraged to return to secondary schooling.
We’re also supporting 1 former resident with his accommodation, course fees and expenses for a journalism course in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi.
Malawi is a relatively small land-locked country in south east Africa. It is generally a peaceful country with stable government. Despite recent improvements in its economy it is still the sixth poorest country in the world.
Malawi has few natural resources and depends largely on its subsistence economy. Most Malawians work on the land and their crops and livelihoods are constantly under threat from the weather. 83% of the population live in rural areas which are very susceptible to damage from drought in the north of the country and floods in the south. So, although living standards in urban areas have improved, rural poverty is still very widespread. 89.4% of the population live on less than £2.25 per day.
Inflation is running at around 9% per annum. This has a big impact on the price of food and inevitably leads to food shortages. This is why it’s important for Molima to try and grow as much of its own food as it can. Inflation also affects the price of firewood which Molima depends on for cooking. Floods and drought not only affect crops but also trees which are in short supply.
The country also suffers from an HIV/AIDS epidemic which has affected southern and central African countries so severely. Over 90,000 people in Malawi live with HIV/AIDS – more than one in ten adults are infected. This and other diseases such as malaria, cholera and dysentery have either caused the death many of the parents of the children in Molima or stopped them from being able to look after them. Social Welfare report that in Dedza region there are at least 1000 children and young people with only one or no parent.
Only 55% of women in Malawi are literate compared to 69% of men. Only 1 in 10 children in Malawi attend school so we’re delighted to be able to provide an education for all the children who live at Molima and also give them access to medicines and health care that help them to grow up to be fit and well.
Orfund may be a small charity but we believe we can have a great impact particularly by working in partnership with other organisations which have similar values and objectives as us.
We have recently established links with another UK charity, the Norwich-Dedza Partnership who work to improve educational, IT and health opportunities for children and young people in Dedza. They have freely shared their experiences of working with different organisations in Dedza and Malawi.
Visit their website at www.norwich-dedza.org