At Open Arms Malawi we talk a lot about the children in our care – we share their life story with you to show the impact that your support has on each and every child. A life story which, sometimes doesn’t start off on the greatest foot. But with your support and continuous efforts to provide these children with opportunities, we’re pleased to see them grow and develop into the wonderful people that they truly are.
One of these children, who is growing up fast, is Kandichere Friday.
Tall for her age, with carefully braided hair and known to her friends and family as Kandie - she always greets everyone she meets with her beaming big smile.
With such a beautiful name (Kandichere Friday is proud and confident to tell anyone who visits), Kandie was born in May 2005 and arrived at Open Arms eight days later as a tiny baby. She was well fed and cared for during her early years and as she grew, she moved into Harrogate House with other toddlers. Although she was taken care of and had access to activities and resources, unlike many Open Arms residents, Kandie didn’t receive a single visitor from her home.
Unfortunately this meant that Kandie would not be reintegrated into her own community like most of our toddlers. A different permanent home would need to be provided for her.
When Rosemarie’s House opened in 2010 Kandie, then five years old, moved out of Harrogate House and away from Open Arms’ main site and into the brand new foster house with two caregivers and six new foster siblings.
As you can imagine for any small child, adjusting to this move was not easy for Kandie and she had some difficulties settling in - getting used to her new routine and family network – it was difficult for Kandie at first to work things out.
However, Open Arms receive a lot of support and generosity in the form of donations and sponsorship and we were able to source some therapy for Kandie. This helped her find a way to manage her early learning difficulties. By working with shapes and patterns she was shown tools to help her learning and interactions with people. We’re pleased to say that after only a few months she seemed a much happier member of the Rosemarie’s household.
Kandie grows in confidence every day and is more settled and happier than ever in her home. She is now seen to be an extremely smiley, caring and chatty girl.
We're told that Kandie is a deeply caring girl. She loves little children and babies and is always the first one to make sure her foster sibling Edina, who is disabled, is not overlooked in any introductions. She is often found to be physically taking care of Edina too. This consideration and compassion seems to be extending to animals.
It was an exciting time at Rosemarie’s house recently when the family decided to adopt a little cat. Much to Kandie’s glee! Her Mum now watches her smile from ear to ear, as she goes to great lengths to care for their new addition. She’s also quick to give the other girls advice about how they should treat him too!
How your support has helped
With your sponsorship and kind donations, Kandie attends Ntonya Private Primary School with the other foster house children, (the public school system in Malawi is desperately under resourced and class sizes can be between 60-100). Whilst academia doesn’t come easily to Kandie, we’re proud to say, now in standard 5 Kandie is more confident than ever. Her Mum Thoko, also proudly tells us that she came third in her class recently, which is a great achievement (exams and class positions are still very much the way of the education system in Malawi).
Kandie loves sports and singing too and now that her school have introduced weekly swimming lessons Kandie is one of the first girls from Open Arms to be able to swim!
Kandie will turn 13 next year and no doubt teenage life will bring its ups and downs. But her Mum is doing a great job raising these girls, and friends and supporters of Open Arms are making this possible.
Kandie wants to work in a bank one day, and its wonderful to think that actually, this might be entirely possible…..
How you can get involved
Without your support girls like Kandie would most certainly not go on to live the life she has and get the future that is hers for the taking. Her dream of working in a bank shows her determination to work hard to support her future.
We’re extremely proud of all of our children at Open Arms and we’re extremely grateful to our Mum’s who keep them safe and well looked after. But we’re also proud and humbled by you and your generosity. It is clear in the pictures below what an impact your support has on the lives of children, and for that we want to say thank you.
For further information on how you can get involved and give a child the love of a family to make sure that they grow up healthy and strong, visit our donation pages today, your support really does make a big difference.