The Matumula Village Project – Malawi Africa
The Matumula Village Project is a mission project being undertaken by First Presbyterian Church. Matumula is a village of about 3000 people in the African country of Malawi; one of the poorest countries in the world (98% poverty). Malawi is among the world’s least developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. Malawi is one of the smallest countries in Africa, however densely populated with almost 17 million people.
Two hundred members of Norman Chinkono’s family live in Matumula. Norman and Josie Chinkono and their children are members of First Presbyterian Church. Norman and Josie came from Malawi in 1999 to escape poverty, make a better life for themselves and have the ability to help support their very large families back in Africa. Norman and Josie are the only members of their family who have left Malawi. In the fall of 2016, a three-part blog was written detailing their move from Malawi to Indiana, their educational pursuits, the adoption of their niece, their faith and the financial support they provide for many family members in Malawi. Read the complete blog post here.
Their story created an opportunity for mission. There are many needs in this poor, rural village. Many are immediate – food, clothing, school supplies. The village has no electricity or running water. There is a school with 8 classes (grades 1-8) with no electricity, blackboard, chairs or desks except for a few in the 8th grade class. There is a water borehole at the school (1.5 miles from the village) that is shared with another village. When the borehole runs dry, the villagers go to the river to wash and fetch water for cooking.
The collection of goods and shipping them to Malawi is meeting an immediate need but the goal of helping the villagers doesn’t stop there. The mission committee will be working with Norman and Josie to find out sustainable ways to help the village in the future.