Chishawasha’s Social Care Programme is the identification and assessment of children requiring care, their introduction into Chishawasha Children’s Home, and their re-integration back to their families where possible. Chishawasha is one of very few fully boarding care homes with education for orphans in Zambia, and provides a vital service to the community.
The Boarding Houses
Chishawasha Home comprises seven houses, which accommodate 70 children. The largest houses consist of two dormitories, each for eight children , a kitchen, a recreational space and a bathroom. Each house is looked after by a ‘Mother’ - a full-time child care professional.
Care for the children
The Mothers live in the boarding houses with the children and provide care both day and night. The children’s breakfast is prepared in the morning, before the children go to school; either the primary school on site, or one of the local secondary schools. When they return from school, dinner will be ready for them. The Mothers are on hand to deal with sick children and can facilitate access to a local clinic.
Children start the day with breakfast in their houses. They will be encouraged to make their beds and tidy away before the start of school. At weekends, they will tend to the gardens, assist the Mothers with domestic chores, do their homework and play some sport and recreation on the sports field. Lots of generously donated board games are available for the quieter moments.
Meet the Head Mother, Annie Phiri
Annie has worked as a full time Mother at Chishawasha for the last 11 years. Her prior experience included working as a child health provider, a growth monitor and deliverer of home-based care. She brings with her experience of counselling HIV issues, so that she can help children that test positive to understand their condition.
At the boarding houses, Annie teaches the children housework skills for example making their beds, cleaning, and bathing for the young ones. At the weekend Annie helps the children with their homework.
As Head Mother, Annie helps the other Mothers in their roles and organises training such as child protection, first aid and councelling.