Most of the children at the feeding centers are AIDS orphans being cared for by family or neighbors. Many probably are HIV-positive, Madinga says. But good nutrition gives them all a chance to thrive, she points out, and to ward off malaria and diarrhea, which claim the lives of vulnerable children.
One guardian says her young charge has "more life in her" since she began coming for the feedings in September. Another says the 3-year-old she cares for now "dances all the time."
As the little ones scoop spoons of porridge, the guardians chat among themselves and also join in this song: "Let's raise these children because they're the future. They'll become president, or whatever they want to be. So let's look after them."
Madinga hopes to add a project to benefit the guardians, perhaps offering them a field at the feeding sites where they could plant vegetable gardens or even construct a shallow well.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers