LifeNets Orphan Care Center in Balaka, Malawi

Please read the reports below that will bring you up to date on this important LifeNets program

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On October 7, 2003, we opened the LifeNets Orphan Care Center in Balaka, Malawi as an adjunct to the Chizeni Clinic that LifeNets helped build. Here's how we got it started. 

In August of 2002 we sent a 20 ton container that held  six tons of food. While much of the food was allocated for people in Lilongwe and Blantyre, nearly a ton was marked “Feeding Children” from Minneapolis, Minnesota. Dr. Sam Chilopora and his wife Esther, a nurse, who run Chizeni Clinic in Balaka decided to help orphans, mostly as a result of parents who died of AIDS in two neighborhoods on the outskirts of town.  Not only did they feed them; they also gave them a regular medical assessment and gave lectures to their guardians about basic child care. The guardians were mostly grandparents and other relatives.  The children loved the food. LifeNets now provides more food and 195 orphans are now regularly cared for at Chizeni.  In July 2004 (the coldest month of the year) we provided blankets and extra clothing as well.  Here is a letter sent to us from the orphan’s guardians:

We are very thankful for the food that you have sent to us for orphans. Both we and our children are happy for your kindness. The food is very tasty and the children love it. We are very happy to see the  health status of our grandchildren change. They are much fatter now than before. Please do not stop sending the food or our grandchildren will die. We sincerely greet you and thank you. We are your children of Mpulula Village. Thank you!

After operating for more that a year this program has been a tremendous success. Each week 195 children under the age of five come to the Chizeni Clinic with the guardians from two nearby settlements.  After age five they go to school and care is given there. They walk and the the distance of the furthest orphan is two miles.    

In the village the people eat communally. The older children eat faster often causing the young ones who are small and eat slowly to not get any food at all and they starve. Dr. Chilopora has taken these children for special care as they are the most vulnerable. He has been asked to take on more orphans, but 195 per week is all he is able to handle.  The children are fed a meal and during the rainy season they are given three to four days of food to take back to the settlements.  

One two year-old by the name of Matilda Fiaei weighed less than eight pounds when they first came to Chizeni.  After almost two years she has increased her weight to 32 pounds.  Her picture is on the right.  She is now (June 2008) eight years old and going to school and her health is fine.

Earlier in 2004 two children died because of a misunderstanding that they would be treated at the clinic for free. They went to a government hospital and died. The guardians now understand that the LifeNets Chizeni clinic will treat them for free. Our annual budget for care and feeding of the orphans is $5000.  For those who would like to contribute towards their welfare, please send your tax-deductible contribution to

        LifeNets Orphan Care Centre
        3707 Turfway Ct
        Indianapolis, IN 46228

Thanks for all who care!  

Victor Kubik
Dr. Sam Chilopora

We received this update from Dr. Sam Chilopora dated March 1, 2004 along with photos below that we received June 1st.  Here is what he writes about the orphans:

The year 2004 started on a positive note. On the first of January LifeNets orphans gathered to celebrate the new year. It all started with a lecture to the guardians on how on how to prevent cholera (we have cases in the district this rainy season)  After the lecture some the preparation of meals. They cooked nsima, rice, vegetables, and meat. Esther and Gladys did the food distribution.  Everybody ate to full satisfaction. The drank fruit juice that was prepared for them. 


Video taken by UCG Johannesburg, South Africa pastor Bill Jahns on his visit to the Chizeni Clinic in Balaka, Malawi in February 2003.

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There was singing and dancing as they marched to the front of the clinic. In the afternoon Ester gave the orphans new clothes, assisted by Gladys. I was involved in the distribution of trees for transplantation in their homes. 35 young avocado tress and more than 100 paw paw young trees were handed out. It was indeed a day of rejoicing for LifeNets orphans and their guardians. They were very thankful. The recognized it as a work of God.

Thank you very much for your interest a unflinching support.

With love,  from Sam and Esther.

We also spoke by telephone to Sam Chilopora on Friday, June 11, 2004.  He commented how they have a severe blanket shortage. As they enter the coldest month of the year that is July, the orphans sleep with no more covering than the only set of clothes they have. He commented how they have been distributing paw paws and ground nuts (peanuts) to the children and how happy they are when then receive them.

Gladys Kwizombe, a worker at the clinic
feeding the children



The orphans and guardians

Esther Chilopora helping
with the meal

Dr. Sam Chilopora distributing
paw paw trees to the children

Photos taken on September 28, 2004 on
Vic and Bev Kubik's visit to Chizeni Clinic

Beverly and I had a moving visit to Chizeni clinic that LifeNets opened last year. We are so happy with the work that Dr. Sam Chilopora and his wife Esther do in Balaka, Malawi. This past year we have provided not only food for the orphans, but we give free medicine.  Because of severe need this past year we provided blankets and clothing which was extra for our budget....our supporters always come to our aid and we were able to supply the need. Photos below show the orphans and tell some of our story.

Gladys Kwizombe, clinic worker and Esther Chilopora singing welcoming and thanksgiving songs with the orphans

Victor Kubik holding one of the orphaned girls

Only a small part of the 195 orphans along with their guardians that LifeNets supports as part of the work of the Chizeni Clilnic in Balaka, Malawi

This four year old orphan girl weighed  less than eight pounds at age two.  She is now healthy and weighs 32 pounds.

Time to go back to the neighborhood.

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