An Interview with Memory and Chifundo in August 2013
Memory (18) and Chifundo (16) are, in addition to Joyce, our eldest girls in the project and both are attending a secondary boarding school which can only be financed on the basis of donations. During their school vacations they join our project every day to support the employees but also because Kunyumba has become their “substitute family”.
Ute: Hello, you two, nice to be talking to you a little – but before I start interviewing you I would like to ask you to quickly introduce yourselves.
Memory: My name’s Memory Mbwambala. I was born on 17 July 1995 and I’m the youngest kid in my family. I’ve got three elder brothers and sisters, two brothers and one sister. I live with my mom who has a job. My father died when I was three years old. I’m proud of being the eldest kid in the Kunyumba Trust. During my school vacations I’m here every day from Monday thru’ Friday.
Chifundo: I’m Chifundo Sosola and sixteen years old. My birthday is on December 14. I’m the sixth of eight kids in total, four boys and four girls. I’ve been living with my uncle for seven years. After my father’s death in 2006 my mom left our family with two of my brothers and sisters. I haven’t had any news from them since then.
Ute: How long have you been on this project?
Memory: For four years, together with Missi, Ruthie, Mtima and Sem.
Chifundo: I’ve been here for three years.
Ute: Can you remember your first day and tell us what it was like?
Memory: Maaike and Sarah had told my mother that they were going to start a project for handicapped kids and orphans in Senga Bay. Maaike knew my mother from where she used to work and noticed how often I had to get by on my own. I attended the opening ceremony and met Kingless (the oldest employee) and the kids Mtima, Sem and Missi there
Chifundo: Oh, yeah, I won’t forget a single thing. It was on 1 August 2010. Uti and Maaike were here and welcomed me. At first I was there for a three-day observation period and after that my uncle Peter (the project manager) told me I could stay.
Ute: What do you like best about this place?
Memory: Playing with the kids and spending time, going to the lake, swimming, the food and doing the dishes.
Chifundo: Yeah, I also like being with the other kids, I enjoy doing the dishes and help with the cooking. But I also like being able to retreat to have a nap when I’m tired.
Ute: Chifundo, you’re physically handicapped –is there any advice you can give to other handicapped people?
Chifundo: Don’t care about what other people say. Be strong!
Ute: I know that you’ve been students at the secondary „Mvera private boarding school“, you, Memory, since 2009 and you, Chifundo, since 2011. What are your favorite classes?
Memory: Biology, Geography, Art of living, English und Agriculture.
Chifundo: Biology, Physics, English und Chichewa (the native language).
Ute: What do you do when you spend your time in the project during your vacations?
Memory und Chifundo: Doing the dishes, cooking, serving, going to the corn mill, playing with the kids and accompanying them when they go swimming.
Ute: What are your plans for the future?
Memory: I’m going to finish my schooling. I would like to have a job in food science or as a nurse. Apart from that I could imagine working in tourism later in my life. Well, and then I would like to get married and to have two children. Sometimes I dream of living outside Malawi in the future, America or Belgium would be best.
Chifundo: After finishing my schooling I would like to work as a nurse in a hospital. And, of course, I want to get married and to have a small family with two kids. I could also imagine adopting two or three kids. If I had the chance to live outside Malawi I would love to live in Germany or Great Britain.
Ute: And what do you think could be Kunyumba’s future plans – do you have any ideas?
Memory und Chifundo: It would be quite nice if we had our own plot and no one could tell us what to do there and where we would be staying for a long time. We could also imagine Kunyumba taking on even more kids and employees. Handicapped kids should never be segregated.
Ute: Is there anything you’re already looking forward to?
Memory: The day I will find a good job, I will be happy.
Chifundo: …when I’m twenty years old; then I’ll be a grown-up.
Ute: And is there anything you’re concerned about?
Memory: I’m concerned about not making school and my sponsor having paid for it in vain…(Memory pauses)….I can only pray…..
Chifundo: For me it would be devastating not to find a job after finishing school.
Ute: Are there any questions you would like to ask?
Memory und Chifundo: What’s the maximum age for a kid here in Kunyumba? How long can they stay? What does Kunyumba do about people wanting to have money for their kids’ schooling? May we still come to Kunyumba when we go to college? Can we ask for more when one of the kids wants more food? Is it possible for one of us to come and see you every once in a while?
Ute: Thanks a lot for your interview. I will note it down and it will be released on our homepage so that all the committed people in the world will be able to read it. It would be awesome if I could take a picture for the newsletter. Is that fine by you?
Memory und Chifundo: Yeah, sure. (both of them are laughing) We love being here in Kunyumba and are enjoying the time with you and are looking forward to you each time you come to see us. Heartfelt love to everyone and thanks a lot!