Oasis of Love – The happy Children of Kondanani
Founded by Annie and Lewis Chikhwaza in 1998, Kondanani is an oasis of love in a struggling, developing nation. There is no place quite like it. From the brightly coloured signs on the gates of the various facilities to the myriad of smiling faces that greet you, there is nothing dull and depressing to be seen. Yes, it’s the home of over one hundred and eighty orphans, but these children lack for nothing.
This is a place of immense hope, where God is glorified, the Bible is honoured, and miracles of provision keep flowing. This is a haven where a future generation of Malawians is being raised that does not know poverty, fear, superstition, witchcraft, or hatred. These are young people who love God and each other, who are receiving a first-class education, and who will no doubt shape the Malawi of tomorrow.
What Annie and her team have accomplished since 1998 is to turn many sets of dire circumstances around, saving the lives of many, many children who would never have survived if they had been left to fend for themselves in the villages.
“It is all about placing a value on children whom others would discard because they are seen as worthless,” Annie says. “But we get our children as babies and nobody sees them as worthless, nor do they grow up with that label. Instead, they are taught who they are in Christ.
“They are loved, cuddled, cared for, and kissed. Though some of them have come to us malnourished, this hasn’t been a huge setback because they have been nurtured and fed well here, so they are now bright, intelligent kids. They are normal, happy children. They have never been looked down on, and there is no reason whatsoever to feel sorry for them.”
As part of the Kondanani vision Annie and her extensive team have built up a far-reaching community with every facility to provide for the needs of the children and to be as self-sufficient as possible. Situated on a total of fifty acres, all the different elements of Kondanani work together to provide a paradise for children that is filled with love. But this does not mean that there have been no problems. Feeding so many is always a challenge, and there are times when Annie has not known where the next meal was coming from, yet the children have never gone hungry…
It is Annie’s hope for each child in her care is that they will grow from babyhood to childhood to adulthood at Kondanani. “We have our own nursery school, we have our own primary school, we will have our own high school, and we will ultimately provide university-level ACE education and a trade school, so the children will have all their education at Kondanani!
“As the children get older, so I keep on building,” she says. “I’m building all the time. I’m never free from building something. Fortunately we have plenty of land to expand onto, and I have a whole team of contractors to assist me! I’m sure some of the children will want to stay and learn a trade and work for Kondanani as farmers, carpenters, plumbers, electricians, welders, or whatever they want to be. The children will stay with us until they get married and set up their own homes, or find employment elsewhere.”