From the Heart of Dixie to the Warm Heart of Africa

Our visits to Mtendere Village every summer spark excitement and joy in our children as they anticipate hearing from their sponsors and receiving gifts. It is like Christmas in June. We would like to thank all our children’s sponsors for investing in these young souls. We do not doubt that the children know they are loved and cared for. Although we are not able to carry all the goods in suitcases, with the help from donors, we have been blessed to send a shipping container full of supplies each year.

Sponors Thank you 1

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At the end of this month, a 40-foot shipping container filled with school and medical supplies, books, toys, tools, sports equipment, Soccer balls and jerseys, clothes, hygiene items, bed sheets blankets and mattresses will be sent to Malawi, Africa. We are still short some supplies and hope to have a few more items donated. Please join us to help in this mission.

This is how you can help:

  1. Commit to providing selected supplies on the list below
  2. Help by making a monetary donation which will allow for some goods to be purchased by 100X

If shipping to us, send to the below address:

100X Development Foundation

7020 Fain Park Drive

Montgomery, AL 36117

If dropping items off in person, packages can be delivered to:

Landmark Church of Christ

(Missions Barn)

1800 Halcyon Blvd

Montgomery, AL 36117

For further information Please contact Christina: ckadzamira@100XDevelopment.com

Things Needed at Mtendere Children’s Village

Hygiene supplies:

  • Girl’s Sanitary pads
  • Shavers
  • Deodorant
  • Tooth brushes
  • combs
  • Bathing soap bar
  • Under wear (all ages: boys & girls)
  • Socks (all sizes)
  • Bathing towels & face cloths
  • Sports bras / bras & slips

Health supplies (for house moms and children)

  • Cold medicines
  • Tylenol
  • Arthritis creams
  • Arthritis wrist and knee support bandages
  • First aid kits

House supplies (can be second hand/ used extra house hold items which are in good shape) 

  • blankets and bed sheets,
  • (hospital mattresses)
  • kitchen supplies: pots, plastic plates & cups, utensils
  • second hand furniture
  • floor mats & carpets
  • big cooking pots for the main kitchen

School supplies & items for children 

  • umbrellas/Raincoats for day scholars
  • Traveling bags, for boarding students
  • Solar power scientific calculators, composition books, rulers, pens/ pencils/ colors, any school type items for children grades 1-12J
  • Desk calendars for Mtendere teachers
  • Paint, paint brushes, canvas, wool & knitting items, beads for skills room
  • Play toys and educational toys

Tools

  • tools: Hammer, Pry bar, screw drivers
  • garden water hoes
  • Torches for security guards and houses.
  • wheel barrow
  • buckets

Clothes & shoes

  • clothes (all ages)
  • shoes (all sizes)
  • flip flops
  • any sports uniform
  • neck ties
  • belts

Big items: (we will also be taking up monetary donation if any donor would like to help purchase the following items)

  • 30 X60 Tent : used for youth rallies, community gatherings, and is an income generator for Mtendere (rented out for big functions)
  • Industrial Shelving.
  • Cafeteria chairs

Things Needed at Blessings Hospital

  • Metal receivers (kidney dishes) for minor procedures and maternity
  • Gloves both sterile and clean (in large quantity
  • Large and medium artery forceps
  • Spongy holding forceps
  • Cord clamps plastic
  • Drapes for obstetric procedures (maternity delivery) and surgery procedures
  • Sanitary Diapers  large and medium size
  • Digital measuring scale for new born babies
  • Pediatric nebulizer masks and oxygen nasal cannular
  • LAP sponges
  • Digital fetal scope
  • Scalpel blade holders
  • Pulse oximeter
  • Blood chemistry machine
  • Cbc machine
  • Desk top computers for (reception, cashier, laboratory, pharmacy, maternity, surgery center, doctor’s office.
  • Water bath with attached thermometer
  • Thermometer, room temp
  • Colored bed sheets
  • Blankets
  • Screening covers sheets for mobile clinics and wards
  • Window curtains
  • Filter papers Laboratory
  • Glass microscope slides
  • Microscope
  • Digital film processor (x-ray)
  • Lockable office cabinet drawers
  •  Formula milk i.e. F75, F100 and lactogen  1 and 2

 

 

 

 

 

An American Nursing Student in Malawi

Katie Sanderson, recently shared about her perspective on the recent Auburn University trip to Malawi, now, we’re excited to share a student’s thoughts! 

Clinical mornings in Malawi were made up of something different each day—we never knew what to expect when we tumbled out of our bus.  The one thing we could always count on was to be greeted with smiling faces, our Kamuzu College of Nursing (KCN) partner and friends, and things we have never seen or experienced before.

Over the span of four days in clinical, there were never less than a few hundred patients waiting when we arrived on site—all eagerly waiting to receive vaccinations, treatment for sickness, and family planning assistance.  During those four days going all around Lilongwe to different villages and communities, I was exposed to more than I have ever seen.

In our clinics, we offered vaccinations for healthy babies, a clinic for children under the age of five who were sick, and family planning for women.  My favorite station to be assigned to was the under five clinic.  Mothers would come and sit with their child in their lap, and my KCN partner and I would work as a team to evaluate our patient.  She would translate for me and we would work together to arrive at a diagnosis and plan of care.

As an American nursing student, having this much autonomy was exciting and terrifying, but it was very clear at the end of each day that we had made a difference in the lives of hundreds of God’s children in Malawi.  It was very humbling to be the Lord’s hands and feet in this situation—being able to give infants and expectant mothers important vaccines to protect against tetanus and other diseases.

Our trip did not only consist of outer clinical sites, however. We were blessed to be welcomed into the homes of Mtendere Village and get to know the children and the house moms.  Momma Ruth and Momma Naomi took me in as their own child and each night we all met together with the children in their houses to have devotionals and sing together.

Being able to travel across the world and find such strong faith in a country that seems to have close to nothing was something that changed my heart and encouraged my faith in a way that I will never forget. This trip was a huge life-changing opportunity that I feel so blessed to have been a part of.

Ruthie Schaefer is a nursing student at Auburn University.

LEVERAGE: Beauty of Life

As I sit here back at home, all I can think about are my adventures back in Malawi. How truly blessed I am to not only have gone once, but twice. Traveling to Malawi has allowed me to discover the beauty of life. It reminds me that I am not complete without these beautiful people who live half way across the globe. There is nothing like sitting on the porch of the guesthouse, overlooking Mtendere Village, and just spending time with all the wonderful kids. Even the amazing photos I have of the kids do not do them justice. Their beauty is something I have experienced first hand and it is these moments that will stay with me through the rest of my life.

While at Mtendere I had the opportunity to do some tutoring, help out in the preschool, and help out anywhere else it was needed. There were always opportunities to help out. Working in the preschool room was such a joy! I am amazed by how much the preschoolers know! It brought me great joy to watch Lovemore, the preschool teacher, share in his students’ successes. As a first grade teacher, having the opportunity to work with these children one on one is amazing. I had the chance to tutor a lot of the students in standard one, which is comparable to first grade. I have never seen such passion and excitement to learn. When we provided manipulatives and hands on learning materials the students’ eyes lit up. I love seeing such excitement to learn. The students are so resourceful and I know they will continue to work hard on their studies.


Traveling to Malawi has changed me forever. It has shown me to truly care for issues that are bigger than myself. In life, I think everyone has a special issue close to their heart, and I have found mine; those kids who have been left alone in this world. Mtendere Village is a place for some of these children and if you spend even a day there you can see how much love can do for a child. As my professor, Dr. Tony Kline said, “It’s amazing what a year of love can do.” This quote has stuck with me since this trip and I realize how truly profound love can be.  During my trip I witnessed this first hand.  A beautiful, 10 day old girl, named Winnie was given a chance at life in Mtendere Village. She was brought home, and immediately surrounded by family. It was a miracle, a chance for a child to grow up in a world where she is cared for. While there, I also got the chance to meet and spend time with the girl I sponsor, Eneles. At the beginning she was very shy and timid, but as time went on she opened up to us. I cannot even begin to describe her true beauty and joy. She has this smile and laugh that are just contagious. I am so proud of her and can’t wait to watch her grow as a person.

The world is a beautiful place, full of works of art. Throughout my entire trip, I experienced these first hand. Mtendere Village is a piece of this. There is nothing like walking the kids to school on the dusty African paths. Watching kids study and work so hard. Teaching the kids new things. Staring off at the mountains in horizon. Swinging at night and gazing at the stars. Laughing and being a kid. Hugging kids every single day.  Singing and praising God, who has given us this wonderful life. Seeing the smiling faces of kids who have gotten a second chance at life. This is my life, my chance at getting to know the world and some of the magnificent people that fill it. I can’t wait to go back again.

Maura Sawicki graduated from Ball State University in 2011 and is in her second year teaching 1st grade.

LEVERAGE: The Warm Heart of Africa

The Warm Heart of Africa

by Blair Brendle 

The “Warm Heart of Africa” is this country’s nickname

The beauty in the faces has given it its fame

A place of peace, jokes, and constant smiles

A place of strength, endurance, and perseverance for the miles

But most importantly to me, this country holds a special place

A village full of children that could have easily been erased

Because though this country is beautiful, it is struggling all the same

Not enough food, too much disease, poor education, a cyclic game

But this one special village is trying to make a break

To the cycle of helplessness, loss, hunger, disease, and mistake

This village has a dream to empower and equip

The next generation to get out from under injustice’s grip

This dream is big and lofty, of course this much is true

But one day at a time, they’re doing all that they can do

Within this village resides almost 200 of its nation’s best

Whose pasts are full of darkness, but whose futures can be blessed

This village’s name means peace; in Chichewa it’s called Mtendere

But it’s more than just tranquility or resting for the weary

It’s a place where within the peace, true restoration occurs

Where what was, is replaced with what can be; where true redemption stirs

Where acceptance, adoption, and forgiveness are part of each day

Where The Truth and The Life are ever exposing The Way

It’s a tiny little village in stark contrast to a great big earth

But to all who step foot on it, it grants a chance for new birth

It’s a slice of kingdom on this side of glory

And I’m so thankful that for three weeks I got to be a part of its story

Blair spent three weeks at our orphan care program in Malawi this summer.  She drafted this poem shortly after her return.  We are always very excited to see people leveraging their talents for good!  

A Spark of Hope

There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.  Nelson Mandela

One of my most vivid memories is standing on a pier in Elmina, Ghana and looking into the eyes of a child slave.  I imagine the experience is similar to meeting a child that is entrenched in any abusive situation and does not believe there is any hope for the future.  Everything within me was urging me to take him and flee, but as I looked around it was evident that there were dozens more just like him.  At that moment, I felt as hopeless as he appeared.

I have also had the privilege of meeting survivors of both sex and labor trafficking, and while that does not remove the ache in my heart for the young boy in Ghana, it does renew my hope.  Each person that I have met has been in various stages of recovery—some so recently freed that they still bore physical marks of their abuse—but each has had, at minimum, a spark of hope in their eyes.  Proof that restoration is attainable.

At 100X, we are working hard to make sure that vulnerable children never experience the abuse of human trafficking.  We focus primarily on prevention because we’re aware of the harsh reality that 99% of victims are never rescued.

In the United States, it is estimated that a runaway (or homeless) youth is approached by a trafficker within 48 hours of living on the street.  One in three will be exploited for commercial sex.  The average age of entry into commercial sex?  13.

We also know that children that have been in the foster care system are especially vulnerable—both circumstantially and emotionally.  This is one of the reasons that we are so pleased to have Adullam House as one of our partner organizations.  Adullam House is a 100X partner whose mission is to care for children whose mothers are in prison.  Children at Adullam House are loved and protected—and they are taught that their life has purpose.  Very quickly, the vulnerability created by their past begins to lose ground, and they become less susceptible to recruitment by traffickers.

The vulnerability of youth is compounded in developing countries—especially for young orphans.  The children that we work with in Malawi, Peru, Mexico, India and Uganda face the same challenges as children in the US, but there are even less safeguards and fewer laws to protect them.  In many cases, law enforcement is corrupt and often contributes to the problem.  Exploitation begins at a younger age, and children are often forced across borders—away from all that is familiar.  The same is true in Moldova.

Our work in these countries aims to protect those that traffickers will target most.  In some cases, children have already been exploited before they enter our care.  This is where restoration takes place.  We believe that every child, regardless of past circumstances, has been created for a purpose and we are committed to providing the resources and education they need for a hopeful future.  Last year alone, we were able to protect more than 400 children.

Every child has the right to grow up without fear of exploitation and abuse.  Will you help us reach one more?

How YOU can help LEVERAGE…

Speak UpPost a message on Facebook or Twitter (mention @100XDevelopment or #100X and we’ll respond), send an email, or talk to your friends and co-workers. The more people who know about and support what we are doing directly impacts how much we are able to accomplish!

Givewe want to reach as many young girls as possible, and we cannot do it alone. You can make a donation, give up your birthday, run a marathon—be creative!  We’ve designed a Razoo page to help you get started.

Praypray for the children, for those working to help them, and for exposure of those who are exploiting them.

If you have questions, or want to run an idea by us, email our team at Leverage@100XDevelopment.com.

Kimberly CaseySpecial Assistant and Program Manager

IMPACT: Stephen

As mentioned in previous posts, when Mtendere Village opened in 2005 we had 16 orphans and one housemother.  It has been my privilege to be a “proud mama” and watch these children grow up.  I have witnessed them grow physically, change emotionally, be challenged spiritually, and excel academically.  I love each and every one of them, and as the mother of Mtendere, I have been known to brag.  I simply cannot help myself!  That leads me to Stephen Makasu.

One of the first to arrive at Mtendere, Stephen was more than a little uncertain about what his new life would look like.  He had nothing to compare it to, no one to ask for advice; he was so small, and very shy.  What a difference seven years makes!  Today, Stephen has matured into one of the strongest leaders on campus.

Stephen has led by example in the classroom, as well as on the Mtendere campus, and he instills in our younger kids the drive to be better and work harder.  Always the top student in his class at Bambino (an international school right outside of Lilongwe), he is an intelligent young man who has cultivated his strengths in language and business.

All of us at 100X were exceedingly proud when, in 2010, he finished as the number one student in his German class and was given the opportunity to travel to Germany as part of an exchange program.  Because of his leadership, we flew Stephen to the US where he represented Mtendere Village at our winter benefit.    It is our hope that Stephen will be our first (but not the last) international collegiate student from Mtendere!

On their recent trip to Malawi, Dr. Rick Cook and other Auburn University faculty had the pleasure of meeting Stephen.  Afterward, they shared with me that they were beyond impressed with his confident, yet respectful demeanor.  Of course, my heart swelled with pride!

Through his hard work and commitment, Stephen has been able to participate in experiences that, prior to Mtendere Village, he could not even hope or imagine.  His life exemplifies what we want all of our kids to experience.

Stephen and I both know that much of this would not have been possible without the support of his sponsors, the Knight family.  In addition to financial sponsorship, they have encouraged Stephen through letters and have even traveled to Malawi to meet him.  Because of their dedication to our sponsorship program, the Knights have changed the life of Stephen Makasu.  I am so thankful for them, and for all of our sponsors who help our children achieve their dreams.  Without them, 100X would not be able to care for the 140 children who call Mtendere “home.”  So, we thank you!

If you’d like to join our family of sponsors, visit our Child Sponsorship page, or email Sponsor@100XDevelopment.com for more information.  We’d love to have you!

Dana Blanchard, Director of Operations for Malawi       

Mama Dana

Some of you may be familiar with my title as “Mama Dana” from previous blogs or conversations, but for those who do not, I want to explain a little more about what that means to me.  It is not just a title, but more a term of endearment.

When my family, the Blanchards, started the 100X Development Foundation (then 100X Missions) so many years ago, I was simply a supportive family member of this new dream and goal to start an orphanage in Malawi, Africa.  I knew there was a need and I was excited that my family was able to develop a “program” that was undoubtedly going to save the lives of orphans. However, it was not until after my husband passed away that I really developed more than just a “supportive” role, but more of a desire to travel to Mtendere Village and see what my family was doing on the grounds in Malawi.

In February 2005, on my first trip to Mtendere Village, I fell in love.  Not so much with the country (although it is beautiful), but with the people that I met and the 16 wide-eyed orphans who were now under the care of 100X.  These 16 children were there, because they too, had suffered unimaginable loss and had no one to care for them.  I quickly realized that the number of orphans in the country was far greater than just 16 and that it was essential for us, for me, to do something.

The solution was simple: I wanted to work alongside my family—fulltime—at 100X and I had to move to Malawi! After many family conversations, and much prayer, me and my 8-year-old daughter Alley packed up and moved to Mtendere Village.

We lived there for over a year and spent our time managing, developing, constructing, and expanding Mtendere Village.  I trained the Mtendere Staff the best way I knew how and prayed that it was the right way.  I worked tirelessly to try to prepare the administration to be independent so that they could manage effectively when the time came for me to move back to the US.  We went from having a village of 16 orphans, a staff of 5, and 1 housemother to a village, rather a home of 140 orphans, a staff of 32, and 16 housemothers.

And although this was now my job and the management and administrative perspective was hard work, it was the moments with the orphans, my kids, that meant the most to me.  It was during these moments and times that I no longer was just a woman on “the job” but a mother to those who no longer had parents.  So, although I am mom to only one, I am “Mama Dana” to almost 200 people in a country that most are not even familiar with.

Alley and I no longer live in Malawi, but I do spend every summer there and whenever I have the chance, I go home—to my other children, to the place that stole my heart and instilled a passion in me nearly 8 years ago.  I have many more stories and moments to be shared, but for now, hopefully this will give you a glimpse of why the name “Mama Dana” is a such a sweet sound to my ears.

You can help 100X continue to expand and save the lives of orphans in Malawi by donating here.

Dana Blanchard, Director of Operations for Malawi

Partnering to Save Lives

Last week I had the opportunity to lead a team of medical professionals to Malawi to plan for future medical trips—trips that will include nursing students from partnering universities or surgical teams from US hospitals.  I was joined by Dr. Constance Hendricks, a nursing professor at Auburn University School of Nursing (AUSON), Dr. Judi Jehle, a specialist in women’s health, and Ms. Mary Singletary, an RN and President of the National Council of Women of the United States.

While in country, our team was able to build relationships with some men and women who, just like the 100X Team, have high hopes for the future of healthcare in Malawi.  We were able to discuss some of the many challenges facing this developing nation.  Two of the challenges that were mentioned consistently were the shortage of trained nurses and midwives and the need for safer and more accessible healthcare facilities.

It was with great excitement that the 100X team was able to offer some options and opportunities to assist with these needs.  With the recent partnership between 100X Development, Auburn University and the Kamuzu College of Nursing, we were able to lay plans for a trip of AUSON professors and students to travel to Malawi in October 2012.  This trip will allow for hands-on experience, professional seminars, and simulation labs that will guarantee both the Auburn and Kamuzu students a better learning experience and in turn allow for a more rounded nursing graduate.  Students will train in the local hospitals, clinics, schools, and participate in health screenings in the local villages.

It is our hope that this collaboration will encourage nursing students and professors alike to step across cultural boundaries and realize that at the heart of nursing lies the commonality of caring for the patient in the most efficient and holistic way.

Our team was also excited about the possibility of Blessings Hospital serving as a future clinical site.  One of the evaluators for Blessings said, “This hospital is so spacious and has the potential to serve many women and children in the country.  We are excited about the future of this hospital.”

Blessings is currently running an outpatient clinic, a free “Under 5” clinic, a weekly pediatric physical therapy session, and is preparing to launch a free ART (a clinic specific for HIV patients) clinic.  With a maternal death rate of 1 in 36, and the 10th highest infant mortality rate in the world, it is essential that the hospitals and clinics in Malawi be staffed with fully trained medical personnel and midwives.  Blessings is equipped, staffed, and ready to take on the challenge of delivering better healthcare to all people in Malawi and 100X is behind them in this effort!

We believe that these opportunities will provide medical care to an overwhelming amount of Malawian people no matter what age or need.  Together, 100X, AUSON, and KCN are excited about the future of healthcare for the Malawian nation!  It is our goal to fully educate, motivate and facilitate the healthcare needs of Malawi.  Please join us in this effort to save lives!

Katie Sanderson, Program Director for Nursing Education