This is the story of how the love of a father has become the lifeline to his ailing child, who has been suffering from malnutrition; through the eyes of Clint Still, JAM Donor Relations Officer.
On a recent trip to the various malnutrition clinics in Angola, I met a single father at one of the clinics for the first time. This stopped me in my tracks. It is extremely unusual to see a father doing the care giving of a malnourished child in Angola. It is even more peculiar when there is no help from any other family members. I say it is peculiar as before taking my current post, I ran JAM Angola for eight years and I had never seen this before.
I met Moses, a 21-year-old father and his 16-month-old son Malaquias at the Catumbela Malnutrition Centre. After spending some time with Moses I learnt that the mother of the baby had left them when Malaquias was only four months old, and Moses had been struggling to feed him ever since.
Milk formula is very expensive in Angola and Moses is unemployed. His mother passed away many years ago and his father lives in another province far away, so they are staying with his uncle and two cousins who provide Moses and his baby with a roof over their heads. They are, however, not able to provide Moses with any other levels of support.
At the malnutrition clinic the other mothers have adopted Moses and were sharing their daily food rations with him since the clinic does not provide food for the parents.
When I met Moses and his son they had already been at the malnutrition clinic in Catumbela for two weeks, and little Malaquias had shown vast improvement since being admitted. Moses is planning to go back to school and hopes to get a job so that he can better provide for his son and give him a good start in life.
As someone who has spent a long time working in Angola, it is heartening to see young men take responsibility of their children and be motivated to find employment so that he can better provide for his child.
By Clint Still, JAM Donor Relations Officer.
If you would like to make difference in the lives of Moses and Malaquias and many others like them, please take that important step to contact us and find out how you can help. You can email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org