As one of the poorest countries, not only in Africa but in the world, Malawi faces an incredibly challenging economic situation, with two primary consequences for Malawians in general and Zomba residents more specifically:
- Severely limited employment opportunities for graduates/caregivers and
- Anemic prospects of self-sustainment for all citizens.
When Malawian children advance into adulthood they find limited vocational training and very limited employment opportunities. There is also serious concern regarding under-employment among the caregivers, who are generally women. Orphaned children are often the last to be considered in families that barely have enough resources to support core family members, let alone the many widowed individuals in the region. Malawi Talent Fund (MTF) was born to help address and mitigate these concerns.
In 2004, the Passion Center for Children (PCC) was founded to redeem, rescue, and restore orphaned children and widows, as well as their surrounding communities, many of whom are vulnerable as a result of the HIV/AIDS epidemic and a decimated economy. At its inception, the PCC supported ten children; today that number is approaching 300. More than forty children live on the premises while the others remain in their local village communities. The PCC has also provided shelter and care for over 20 child-headed households. All PCC children receive two hot meals daily, in addition to clothing, education and, most importantly, love.
Recognized by the local government as the go-to resource for rescue and support of orphaned children, the PCC has launched several community-focused ministries such as the Community Health Network, the Community Sports Network, the Child-Headed Household Outreach, and the Local Pastors Support Outreach. Additional outreach ministries are being considered. Moreover, local authorities routinely reach out to the PCC when severe cases of neglect or child abuse are discovered.
PCC is a 501.c.3 corporation supported entirely by individuals and organizations located throughout the United States. It is governed by a board of directors in the United States, but led locally by native Malawians living in Zomba. Such absolute financial dependency on the West is an unhealthy long-term strategy. Consequently, in the past the PCC has attempted several indigenous self-sustainment endeavors or Income Generating Activities (IGAs), but with no appreciable success, largely because PCC was designed and staffed for the primary mission of rescue and redemption, not economic sustainability. The world’s most successful organizations have all learned the importance of focusing on core competencies, and partnering or leveraging other organizations to obtain adjacent needs like infrastructure and supply chain. The PCC must do the same.
MTF was founded by tenured PCC board member, Chris Weaver, to directly support the mission of the Passion Center with a strategic focus on self-sustainment through targeted economic development in the Zomba region of Malawi. Specifically, our focus is on the job creation, career development and mentorship that leads to self-sustainment well above the local poverty level.