Namikango Mission

Our News Articles

"That is where the Guardian Shelter comes in."

Nov 16, 2015

by Symon John Katete

The Maternity Clinic is a great blessing to expectant mothers in our area. But if a lady lives in a village 10 or 15 miles away it may be difficult to travel that far, especially at quick notice. That is too far to walk at 9 months pregnant and Public Transportation (bus) is irregular or may not be available in remote areas. Maybe all she can afford is transport by bicycle, known as Kabaza, but the terrain and distance may be too difficult for a bicycle ride, especially if she suddenly falls ill or is in pain.

So, what can be done??

Women are advised to stay near the Maternity Clinic when they are close to delivering since there may be complications or premature labor.

That is where the Guardian Shelter comes in.

The Guardian Shelter is a place at the Maternity Clinic which serves as a temporary home for expectant mothers where they can wait the last few days before their expected time to deliver. The Clinic is just a few feet away and is open day and night. They come here to wait until their labor begins, then they can move quickly to be checked by the midwife at the Labor Ward.

But more than just a shelter for expectant mothers, as its name infers, it is a shelter for the guardians – the sisters, aunts, and caregivers of the expectant mothers. These guardians cook, clean, and care for the mothers as they deliver. What an extraordinary benefit to the family and the expectant mothers to have a secure place to stay during this time.

While it has blessed thousands of people over these 40+ years since it was built (1974), it has grown older and run down. It got to where it did not look so good and it became our first project for renovation. We want to rebuild and update many of the aging Mission structures, and because of the importance of this shelter, it was first. Keeping this building in good condition is important to the Mission, the Clinic, and to the community.

It has now been modernized and looks good inside and out. If a sister or cousin or grandmother has to stay here a week or so they will not miss home quite as much because of the welcoming atmosphere that this house is offering. We now look forward to other positive infrastructure improvement for other aging buildings here at the Mission.

In this photograph, you can see an A-frame building near the Guardian Shelter. This interesting structure serves as an Outdoor Kitchen for the Guardians to cook the meals for the mothers and for themselves as they wait. This structure was rebuilt a few years ago by The Malawi Project when the poles on the original building became riddled by termites. Our thanks to Malawi Project for the many ways they help us at Namikango.