The ripple effect—grace that flows from the classroom to the home

The care the head teacher of Chiyembekezo School shows to her pupils even outside the classroom has a ripple effect on the larger community.

Like a stone thrown into a quiet pond creates ripples, OM Malawi has seen how the love shown to the children at the OM Malawi Chiyembekezo School overflows to bring bigger transformation to the community.

Chisomo Thedza is a bright six year old boy in Standard One with good behavior in the Chiyembekezo School in Ntaja, Malawi. Things have not always been so cheery at home, however; he is a single orphan whose father died in 2011 from HIV/AIDS. His mother makes fritters (fried donuts) for a meager living in an attempt to meet her family’s needs, while greatly desiring a man to come along to provide for her and her children.

Catherine, the head teacher of Chiyembekezo School, noticed at one point that Chisomo was dirty when he arrived at school. He was sickly and was also struggling with paying attention at school; many times he was so tired, he just laid his head on his hands in the classroom. Catherine was concerned and visited his home, and what she found shocked her. Because the mother was hospitalized with the birth of premature twins from a man who didn’t stick around, she had left Chisomo with a grandmother who couldn’t even walk and was taking care of five children.  Catherine found that they had no food in the house, and they were sleeping on the bare floor. Since it was rainy season, the roof was leaking, leaving the floor wet and a wall about to fall into this two-room house.

Part of the OM Malawi ministry is doing community work, and after Catherine’s visit to Chisomo’s home, the workers at the school decided that they needed to fix the roof. In two visits the roof was fixed and the family was also prayed for, given a reed mat, food, baby clothes and a blanket for the surviving twin, as the other twin had died during childbirth.

Catherine also took Chisomo to the clinic in order for him to get over his sickness. When a Muslim lady saw Catherine taking him to the doctor and seeing the care provided by the Chiyembekezo School, she said, “Your school is very different. You care for the children, even outside of school.” 

Catherine’s role is bigger than just teaching classes; her love that goes beyond the classroom to help meet the physical needs of her students and their guardians is a witness to the Muslims in the community.

Unfortunately, the other twin later died, but God’s love that was shown to this family remains undying. Chisomo’s name means “grace,” and the dream behind the Chiyembekezo School is to extend hope and grace to the kids, in expectation for it to ripple into this community and the rest of Malawi.

 

By OM International