FOCHTA and friends deserve a heroes’ recognition, by Aaron Mwafulirwa

It takes selfless minds to think of making better the life of someone unknown to them, and to give them a chance to reach their potential for a higher life. I call such great minds superheroes. One cannot convince otherwise a man who has grown up and experienced life at its lowest point in villages of Malawi. It takes great people in this life to sacrifice their awesome lives solely to see a poor and hopeless boy who lost both parents by the age of 7 to make it big in life. The following is a story a young boy who stood on the shoulders of these giants to overcome the challenges of poverty and rejection to reach his academic and professional potential: 

I am a young man born in 1990 and I spent much of my childhood in Traditional Authority Chimaliro in Thyolo. My father died when I was four years old and life became a nightmare when I lost my mother at the age of seven. No one was willing to take us into their homes because they had big families to take care of, so my two brothers and I were forced to live with our grandmother who had little strength and means to support even herself because of old age. She tried her best to provide for us shelter, food and clothing even though it was not enough. We would go to school in empty stomachs, and we accepted it as normal. She trained us good behavioral principles and encouraged us to work hard in class and she used to say “your future depends on how far you go with school.” However, though life was tough on one side, God made me excellent in primary school at all levels and I used to pass with flying colours. This gave me great hope that perhaps life would change some day. I completed my primary school successfully and got selected to Zomba Catholic Secondary School. 

I started Form One in secondary school when I had no idea of the source of my school fees because my guardians could not afford school fees for me in a national secondary school. By the time I completed the first term of Form One, I had little hope of completing to higher levels because of lack of funds. When I got back home for my short holiday, I was so thrilled to learn that my elder brother, Richard, had reported my situation to FOCHTA office in Luchenza. He was a beneficiary of the organization at that time. When my holiday ended, FOCHTA office confirmed that they would be my sponsors from term 1 at the same national secondary school. I was so happy and challenged myself to work extra hard to repay the faith that Claude Ho and the entire organization had in me. They gave me a reason to fight for my excellent future. I completed my form four studies in 2008 and got selected to University of Malawi to study at the College of Medicine to pursue a bachelor of science degree in Physiotherapy. I spent five years in the college under FOCHTA sponsorship. That time, they were providing me with tuition fees, upkeep allowances and they made sure I have a good laptop to facilitate my studies. Indeed, life became easy and Claude, my sponsor and mentor, used to visit me in college to motivate me every time he came to Malawi. I enjoyed his visits. I finally completed my university studies in May 2014 and graduated in November the same year with Second Class Upper Degree in Physiotherapy. In college, I made a lot of friends, among whom was Douglas Namane, another Fochta beneficiary, who was a class behind me in the same program of Physiotherapy. He was a very passionate man, with great goals in life. Sadly we lost him from illness when he was about to finish his studies. May his soul rest in peace. I also learnt a lot of things extracurricular. I learnt how to play chess and musical instruments especially the piano. 

I did my internship at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital for one year before joining the University of Malawi as an Assistant Lecturer at College of Medicine in the Physiotherapy Department. That was in December 2015. I look forward to a very bright future both academically and socially. I have no limit now to what I can achieve. I am my own limitation. I have seen great rise in my life from the day FOCHTA started sponsoring me to pursue my studies at secondary school and university levels. Great thanks to Mr. Claude Ho and co-founders of the organization for the vision they had for the children of Malawi. I can safely say “Job well done to you my mentors and I regard you highly”. Such are the people who pursue their dreams and never give up until they see results. My success has been catalyzed by these great people who sacrificed their immediate pleasure that their money could bring, but instead chose to educate young Malawian children. The Lord God has been good all the way, giving me good health and peace of mind as I pursued my dreams and goals and he keeps on doing great things. May He bless my heroes!


Posted on: Thursday, 30 August 2018 at: 12:19 pm
Filed under: Malawi news