Validus Circle has launched a self-help project for guardians at the paediatric oncology centre at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe.
The one-year project seeks to train the guardians in tailoring and pottery-making skills to enable them generate income for their upkeep.
In an interview, the organisation’s founder Immaculate Chawanda said most of the guardians come from poor backgrounds and cannot afford to provide the children with the food they crave.
She said: “These guardians are in the hospital for long periods which affects their businesses or farming.
“We hope the skills will enable them to generate money for their hospital expenses.”
On her part, the centre’s nutritionist Jessie Sikonde said the project will help the parents to be resourceful and provide them with funds that will support their families.
She said: “The children’s appetite is affected by their treatment and they crave for food which their parents cannot afford.
“So, the project will help guardians to provide supplements for their wards.”
One of the guardians, Mustafa Yusuf from Salima, said he has been at the centre since last November due to the severity of his son’s cancer.
He said guardians at the hospital face financial problems and fail to provide for their patients.
Yusuf said: “For six months, I have toiled to support my son and my family back home.
“With the tailoring skills, it will be easy to generate income for my hospital upkeep and family.”