Interviewee: Madalo Tsitsi Age: 9
Date: May 2015 Village: Vizimba
I am sitting outside the house of Mr and Mrs Tsitsi in Vizimba Village, Traditional Authority Mkanda in Mchinji district in the central region of Malawi. We are experiencing winter season where days are short and nights long. This is the period when we normally enjoy basking in the sun to warm our bodies.
Sitting with me here is Madalo Tsitsi (picture below in pink dress), an interviewee in this case study. Madalo, 9 years old, was born in a family of Mr and Mrs Tsitsi. She has an elder brother Patson, aged 11 and a young brother Hastings who is 4 years old. Mr and Mrs Tsitsi depend on small scale farming for food and income through the sale of crops. This is a bad year for farming. Planting rains came late hence the Tsitsi and many other families will not have enough food to take them to the next harvest. In times like these families cope with hunger by doing piece works in exchange for money or food itself.
In preparation for a good future Madalo and her brothers are enrolled at Ngulukira Primary School about a kilometre away from their home. Madalo is in class 3 of primary education. Her elder brother Patson is in class 4 while Hastings has not started school yet as there are no nursery schools in his village. When Madalo and Patson go to school, Hastings stays home to play with other children of his age while their parents busy themselves doing household chores or farming. At school Madalo plays and shares food with her best friends Rose Lonikisi and Piyera Robert.
Madalo enjoys English subject at school and inspires to be a medical doctor when she grows up. Brenda Tsistsi, her mother said, “I am glad my only daughter is doing fine at school. She works hard. She is my hope.”
Madalo is now consistently attending classes since the introduction of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in her village by Pump Aid. The project, helped funded by our corporate partner, Aspect Capital has brought an elephant water pump to her village. Through implementation of its activities the project has managed to contribute to reduction of diarrhoea cases in her village. “My daughter used to suffer from diarrhoea before this WASH project. Her performance in class was poorer than now as she frequently fell ill. Her health was poor as well” said her mother.
“I wish there were nursery schools in my village where my young brother Hastings and the rest of children of his age would go” says Madalo. “WASH project has helped me stay well and it means I can now go to school and be with my friends. I hope I will achieve my dream to become a medical doctor through hard working in class” concluded Madalo.