On a sunny day, you find yourself in a van full of passengers. The van makes its way down the crowded streets of Blantyre. The streets are packed full of locals working their trade- shining shoes, selling clothes, making paintings. You ride with the window down, taking in the wonderful, beautiful chaos of the city. Everywhere you look there are people in all of the glory. All of a sudden, as your van is stopped, you hear a gentle knock on your window. As you look to see who it could be, you notice a small boy, probably about eight years old, has come to your van. Because your window is open and now has your attention, he reaches his small arm into your van. It all becomes very clear, this child is begging. Begging for your food, your money, your attention, your love. You reach into your bag and give the small boy a banana, knowing you’ve done all you can do for him. He moves on from your van and begins asking other locals for help. They all shoo him away, person after person. It becomes clear that this child is viewed as a nuisance to society. A person simply ignored.
This is the story of many children in Malawi. Here are a few reasons why:
- Children have dropped out of public school because they cannot afford school fees or a uniform. Without the ability to go to school, they go to the streets in an attempt to escape poverty.
- Parents sometimes send their children onto the street to gain additional income.
- Children are hired by the disabled to do their begging for them.
- Some children are orphaned and homeless to due the death of their parents to HIV/AIDS, Malaria, typhoid an other diseases.
- Some children run to the streets because their home environments are unsafe or abusive.
These are the children Agape House seeks to reach. The children that are forgotten, overlooked, and in need.