The concept of ACC is based on a “Big Family” or “Children’s Village” idea. A group of 16-20 children are put together like a family with one nanny, one ‘mommy’, and one child-care teacher who all live under one roof. These adults are responsible for managing the home and taking care of the children. Twelve families will form a “Village” that provides a domestic atmosphere so that the orphans may experience the warmth of family.
All meals are eaten in there little dining-rooms but food is cooked predominantly at a communal main kitchen.
The children eat traditional Malawian food.
Breakfast: usually protein enriched porridge: soya, rice with ground nuts or bread and soya milk.
Lunch and supper: nsima (thick maize meal porridge) or rice and beans and vegetables. Eggs are served twice a week. The children receive fruit twice a week. All food is cooked centrally and then taken to the individual houses where the children eat in their own dining rooms.
The Care Centre needs 1920 kgs of maize flour a month, 900 kgs of rice, 200 kgs of beans 160 kgs of sugar, 120 kgs of cow peas 100 kgs of soya pieces as well as fruit, vegetables, salt, cooking oil and firewood.
Food is cooked on wood fires in vast pots.
Education and schooling
At present we have a preparatory school running on the premises, being facilitated by our hostel buildings until we can build a school for about 500 kids. A high school will be next on the agenda and a centre for Vocational Training. The main focus and push of ACC is in education and training not only within the walls of the orphanage but to the other organisations under ACC’s wing.
The? clinic is run by 2 care mothers and qualified nurses, volunteers from abroad, that live on the property who administer first aid for minor injuries, care for children with minor illnesses and administer antiretroviral medication to the 15 or so HIV positive children. The clinic care mothers also take children with more severe problems to hospital in the make-shift 4x4 Ambulance. The HIV positive children cooperate well in taking their medicine and eating three meals a day. Each one has a doctor who supervises his or her treatment and helps if the child’s health becomes unstable.
The clinic can accommodate four or five ill children who need to stay in bed or be isolated from everyone else. Medical support from professional doctors is hard to come by along with reliable medicine to the other centres in Malawi so this is a matter that needs to be addressed.
All centres will try to use “clean” energy. Wherever possible, environmentally friendly building methods and materials will be used in the construction of the centres. Resources and energy will be used frugally, waste will be recycled. The children will be taught the importance of caring for the environment.
The Care Centres will work toward being as self-sufficient as possible.