Jackie Griffiths first worked in Malawi for 2.5 years from 2007-2010, working with the Elim Pentecostal Church there. Part of her work during that time involved working with Elim churches in one of ten regions in an area called Chikwawa which is situated in the Lower Shire, one hour's drive south-west of the city of Blantyre.
Following Jackie's return to the UK, she spent 18 months in Haiti, one year after the devastating earthquake, which involved bringing support to orphans. In January 2013, Jackie joined the leadership team at Tamworth as Assistant Pastor and Administrator. She did not envisage that her term at Tamworth would be so short but the door opened up for her to return to Malawi some 18 months later. On this occasion, Jackie joined the team ministry at Hope Village, in order to assist with the pastoral development. Jackie had previosuly built strong relationships with the leaders of Hope Village during her earlier mission work in Malawi.
Hope Village wants to see vulnerable children and families released from poverty so they are self reliant, spiritually mature and impacting their local communities. The ministry of Hope Village encompasses the following:
Vulnerable families and children, especially orphans, are at the heart of Hope Village and so many of the activities revolve around them. Assessments are carried out in the surrounding villages to identify families and children who need help. The children are then included in the day care programme with many children attending in the afternoon for activities including sports, crafting and teaching. The day care programme continues until they start secondary school.
Hope Village attempts to support local communities in caring for their own orphans by finding local people who will provide homes and families. Occasionally when the child has no living relatives, or in cases where the child is in an abusive situation, they are brought to live in Hope Village. There are currently two functioning homes on site.
There is a pre-school on site to assist local people who need a place for their child while they work in the fields. This offers a great start for the children who begin school with a good grounding in basic Maths and English. After school, tuition is offered to those students struggling to pass their exams. English lessons are offered to people in the community. Assistance is also given to some local families with school fees, books and uniforms to enable their child to go to school.
Hope Village wants to be outward looking and so much of the work takes place in local villages.
Feeding Programmes. There are three feeding centres in villages where help is given with food supplies. A local committee organises the cooking with volunteers from the village.
Water Supply and Roofing. Water is provided to a local village and there is an ongoing programme of helping people to fix up their grass roofs ready for the rainy season or replacing them with tin roofs.
Encouragement. Hope Village's pastor regularly visits all local villages to offer encouragement, support and teaching to those who would like it.
There are an alarming number of mothers who die during child birth leaving the families with great difficulty in feeding the baby. As many mothers are also HIV+, they are encouraged to stop breast feeding after 6 months to reduce the risk of transferring the disease. Families are assisted by finding sponsors for the babies and supplying formula milk. The father, or a guardian, comes to work two days at Hope Village as a way of contributing to the support of the baby. There is a home on site where guardians stay while they are trained how to sterilise the bottles and make up the right quantity of milk. They are also taken in for a while if they are sick and need medical aid and a good clean place to recover. This home is used for malnourished children and others who are sick if they need additional attention.
There is a small clinic on site that is used to provide assistance to staff, the children living on site or those attending the day care programme, their guardians and those in the family support and feeding programmes. Teaching and assistance is also given to those affected by HIV/AIDS and work with the local people to increase their knowledge of basic health care practices. Assistance is also given with family planning and malaria testing, along with first aid mobile clinics in local surrounding villages.
You can visit Hope Village's website here
You can also become a friend of Hope Village on Facebook to follow the latest news here
If you would like to contact Jackie, her email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org