The Biblical mandate to care for the orphans and widows among us is unmistakable.
To purposefully meet the needs of orphans and widows, we open our hearts to those whom God would put before us: children who, through the loss of one or both parents, are extremely vulnerable, and widows who have been left to raise their children on their own.
Orphans and Widows
In the Mansa area, where the average life expectancy is in the mid-40's, almost every family is affected by the orphan crisis. The primary concern of the widows, and also of extended family members who have become caretakers, is the immediate care of the children left behind, particularly with regard to food, clothes and education.
Our support is not one-size-fits-all, but rather based on relationship and communication with families so that we can meet their most pressing needs. Most often, our support involves clothing, food supplements, school fees, bedding and other basics according to the situation. Some children receive support from us only for a time (often until the mother remarries) or long term as needed.
Orphan care means orphan prevention, and family preservation starts before conception.
Following a recent government initiative designed to reduce maternal deaths, a mother’s shelter was constructed in Fimpulu to serve as a safe waiting place for mothers who are nearing the end of their pregnancies. Choshen has had the priviledge of stepping into that space to begin educating, encouraging, and even entertaining the mothers who have an important job of caring for both themselves and their little ones.
Through our regular teaching circuits, we teach on topics including fetal development, maternal nutrition, milk supply, and labor progression. After delivery, we offer at-home support for any mother struggling with breastfeeding or her child’s weight gain.
To show our love and encouragement to these mamas and their babies, we also distribute beautiful handmade baby hats, made lovingly by our friends back home.
If you are interested in knitting or crocheting a baby had for a precious little one, get in touch with Bethany for more information!