A Story from a Widow in Malawi
ROSEMARY MWANDELILE’S STORY
One in ten African women fifteen and older is a widow. This is a huge demographic and fitting that it is the last group of mothers considered in our month of mothers. Rosemary Mwandelile, from our Widows Program in Malawi, wrote this to us:
Being a widow in any country is not easy! In Malawi, most women do not have jobs outside the home. I had a job when my husband died, but I needed to settle his estate. During this time his family was not very cooperative, and I needed to take time away from my job.
My employer felt that I was absent too often, so I lost my job.
Here I was: married for 29 years but now without a husband and a means
to provide for myself. Shortly after my husband died, two of my five sons also died.
I was left to care for their two children, as well.
I knew about Rafiki because it was at my church at St. Andrew’s CCAP.
The Rafiki Foundation had their first school in our old church building!
One day in church, they announced that the Rafiki Foundation wanted to create a Bible study for women. I was immediately excited and attended the meeting.
Rafiki introduced the Bible study lessons to us. They helped me become spiritually strong, even in the trying moments I was passing through. I could go back home with the knowledge of God’s Word I was gaining with my fellow widows, and it strengthened my spiritual life.
After Bible Study lessons, we were introduced to “Widows Products.” Our first task was to make baskets out of plastic papers. We then handcrafted necklaces made of bush beads called vizuzu, and sold them to the Rafiki Home Office.
The ability to produce something, sell it, and receive money
began to change my physical life.
From the proceeds of my products, I was able to build a septic tank for my house. Before that, my family and I were using an outside pit latrine. Going to a pit latrine at night or in the rainstorms we have in Malawi was always difficult.
Now I am sixty-six years old, and The Rafiki widows continue to meet at my house to study the Bible and create products to sell to the Rafiki Home Office.
Though I may not be physically strong, I am spiritually strong
because of the Rafiki Bible Study.
I continue to be blessed by the Bible lessons, and I am very grateful to have the widows around me as we share the Word of God together.
These are the women you are supporting when you shop with the Rafiki Exchange.
Thank you for your support as we strive to come alongside mothers in Africa.