"Street kid" Billiat Recalls His Past Struggles
This was the life of Dyson Billiat, who is now a graduate of the University of Malawi and founder of Help Street Children Foundation (HSCF), writes Innocent Yassin.
MALAWI: “When I was 12 years old, I was moving around in the streets of Blantyre without food, and was sleeping under bridges without beddings. I had no food, and was being teased by people.”
This was the life of Dyson Billiat, who is now a graduate of the University of Malawi and founder of Help Street Children Foundation (HSCF).
AfricaBrief engaged Billiat in Blantyre when HSCF, in partnership with UNIMA Child Rights Clinic, donated various items to Chombo Orphanage on Christmas Eve, as a symbol of love for the children.
At the function, Billiat said the items were obtained from well-wishers and included clothes, shoes, and food.
When asked why he established the foundation, Billiat said he was possessed with the desire to rebuild hope in the lives of street children.
He said, “Through the foundation, I hope to provide street and street-connected children with financial, moral, educational, and spiritual support just as I was helped when I was a street kid.”
Billiat found himself as a street kid at the age of 9 when his mother died and his single grandmother could not provide for his basic needs.
He began playing banjo (local guitar) and well-wishers were paying him K5 for every song.
Billiat was then picked by Amoo Jussab who helped him to record an album with a hit song called “Nchikumbe walira”.
The song exposed Billiat to other well-wishers who helped him to go back to school until he graduated from the University of Malawi.
Director of the Orphanage, Frank Gawanani, thanked the organizations for remembering the needy during the festive season.
He said the orphanage has 22 children and such donations limit their struggles and makes them feel loved.