Faith-Based Organization KOCARECO Fights Child Hunger in Lilongwe Slums
KOCARECO, founded in 2003 by faith and community leaders, has positively impacted over 10,000 lives and rescued thousands from hunger.
Lilongwe, Malawi - In a compassionate endeavour to combat malnutrition and hunger among vulnerable children residing in the urban slums of Lilongwe, the Kawale Orphan Care Religious Committee (KOCARECO) has taken up the mantle of providing essential food rations, writes Mustafa Makumba.
Operating within Lilongwe's Kawale township, KOCARECO's overarching goal is to address malnutrition and bridge the nutritional divide that separates the rich from the underprivileged.
The initiative primarily focuses on supplying meals, particularly lunch, to school-going children hailing from financially constrained families.
Established in 2003 by faith and community leaders from Kawale, Mchesi, and neighbouring areas, KOCARECO has made a significant impact, positively affecting over 10,000 lives since its inception and rescuing thousands from the clutches of hunger.
Children attending school are welcomed at the feeding centre in Kawale on Mondays through Fridays, where they receive a nourishing lunch during their midday break.
Pastor Sebastian Chimuna, the team leader of the faith-based organisation, emphasises the importance of these meals in the lives of the children, stating, "Most orphans and children from impoverished families usually perform poorly in class because of inadequate food, so our aim is to make sure we close the gap by providing lunch to them."
Parents of the 80 school-going children currently registered with the organisation have expressed their enthusiasm for the initiative, as it ensures their children receive at least one meal a day.
Joyce Chimsewu, a 37-year-old widow with five children benefiting from the program, commended KOCARECO, saying, "When I lost my husband, things went haywire for me. I could hardly make ends meet for myself and my children. I thought my children's education journey had ended. But thanks to KOCARECO, my children are now at an advanced stage with their education."
Chrissy Gunde, another beneficiary from Kawale's Chadza area with three children benefiting from KOCARECO's mission, echoed Chimsewu's sentiments.
"The organization has been helping me since 2010 when my husband died. They are my beacon of hope," she said, highlighting how the organization's soft loans have provided economic empowerment to widowed mothers in the area.
In addition to providing free meals and financial aid, KOCARECO also offers piecework opportunities to needy women, further contributing to poverty alleviation.
KOCARECO, founded by faith and block leaders from communities around Kawale, primarily relies on member contributions to support its projects.
It also seeks financial assistance from individuals with goodwill to fund its upcoming initiatives.
The organisation aspires to enrol thousands of beneficiaries each academic year to reach as many underprivileged children as possible, recognising the pressing need in urban areas, similar to rural regions.