Malawi Children’s Village Origin:
Malawi Children’s Village (MCV) was started by Malawian Dr. Chakunja Sibale and former Peace Corps volunteer Dr. Kevin Denny in 1996. In Malawi, over 500,000 children have lost their parents to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Some 3,000 of these children, known as “AIDS orphans”, from 36 villages have received secondary education, health care, AIDS education, and general support from MCV.
Anchorage based physician and MCV board members, Dr. Tom Nighswander and his wife Ruth, spend one to two months each year in Malawi administering the MCV clinic. Numerous other Anchorage-based partnerships currently provide funding and volunteer opportunities at MCV. Additional information is available on MCV’s website.
MCV began as a residential orphanage and community health and orphan care program. In recent years, the program has greatly expanded and now the bulk of MCV resources are used to fund and run the secondary and vocational school. The school charges fees for private students while orphans under MCV care attend for free. Orphans over the age of 3 years reside with foster families in the 36 “catchment villages”, while orphans under the age of 3 live in a nursery on the MCV campus. The nursery building burned down in 2007 and a new nursery is currently operated by Open Arms Infant Home, a Blantyre-based group.
Partnership with EWB:
Representatives from MCV and Dr. Nighswander contacted the EWB Southcentral Alaska (EWB-SCA) Professional Chapter (now called EWB Alaska Professional Chapter, EWB-APC) in April 2008 requesting assistance with engineering and construction of a water treatment system for the campus. This request was the origin of the EWB-APC and MCV Partnership as well as the EWB-APC Malawi Mangochi area Program.