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Malawian expatriate re-writes the development story of Thanganyika Village

Written by  McDonald Chiwayula

Ambuya Development Centre (ADC), a Christian charity organisation based in Chileka, Blantyre, is championing various development projects in Thanganyika Village, Senior Chief Kuntaja’s area, thanks to its home boy and founder Dr Victor Madziakapita, who is mobilizing financial resources and ideas to develop his home area.

The man behind ADC ( Dr. Victor Madziakapita)  seated right, with his team The man behind ADC ( Dr. Victor Madziakapita) seated right, with his team

Dr. Madziakapita is a professional development specialist who has worked in many parts of the world with international organisations, including World Vision International.


He is currently Regional Vice President of Living Water International, based in Lusaka, Zambia.


Having been in the forefront of engineering development projects in many parts of Africa, Dr. Madziakapita thought he could do something back home.


In 2013, he launched ADC as a charity non-governmental organisation, feeding 150 orphans and  vulnerable children. The organisation also started providing loans to 100 women, apart from youth activities which included tree planting and sports.


“In my career I have been developing many villages in the world but not much in my village and each time I visited home I felt bad that I was not doing anything hence the decision to start this center,” he told MBC Online.


The organisation focuses on orphans and vulnerable children, women empowerment, providing clean and safe water, relief and housing to poor families.


“We empower women with skills and loans so that they can improve their livelihoods. As of now we have 142 women benefiting and we will increase the beneficiaries to 200 this year,” Dr. Madziakapita said.


ADC is giving breakfast and lunch to 50 pre-school children and 250 orphans and vulnerable, “to encourage them to go to school and attendance has improved to 99 percent.”



'No child can learn on an empty stomach'-ADC


“We also support the children with blankets, school uniforms, school building fund, sometimes when we have money, shoes, for it is too hot in summer.


Water is a problem in Chileka. One of the elderly women in the village, Emily Ching’anda, said there were several challenges that they were encountering prior to the intervention by the organisation. She applauded the organisation for taking to heart the welfare of the villagers in this area.



Better life in the village, a woman draws potable water, thanks to ADC. 


“We rely on boreholes and a good number of them are broken down, thus to access potable water one has to cover long distances to get the nearest working one. The coming in of this water facility will reduce the burden and now we have time to concentrate on other economic activities,” said  Ching’anda.


ADC has installed a solar powered submersible pump which pumps 20,000 litres of water per day using solar energy.


“We want to do 10 of these systems in the area,” said Dr. Madziakapita.


Traditional Authority Kuntaja said the K21 million water facility is a plus to the many development initiatives ADC is championing in Thanganyika Village.



Senior Chief Kuntaja & Sarah Jeske during official opening

of the water facility


He said, “It is repeatedly said water is life and I say so too. This facility is a timely gift to people of this village. They can now access potable water within their locality which will reduce incidences of waterborne diseases.’’


In the last few months Malawi experienced torrential rains, which were induced by Cyclone Idai and left many households homeless across the country.


“We had three days of rain and 335 houses collapsed. People went to schools and other buildings in the area including the children shade. So we managed to get money to settle these stranded families so that the children can learn comfortably. We gave them materials to build temporary shelters which they did and a bag of maize flour for them to use as they resettle.”


Dr. Madziakapita said one of the key projects ADC and partners are undertaking is the construction of houses for families that look after orphans, especially child-headed households, grandparents, widows and the poor. Up to 17 housing projects were approved and four houses will soon be ready for occupation.



Hilda Mauwa (R) standing where used to be her house.


“About 335 houses fell because of the torrential rains and we know many organisations and people of good will focused on Chikwawa and Nsanje and other districts. However this part of the country was also badly hit. This is the reason we contacted our partners Cross International and CCO to support us. So, these are the houses under construction,” said Dr. Madziakapita.


Representative of Cross International, Sarah Jeske said there’s need to inject more resources to improve the livelihoods of people in Thanganyika village.


“After visiting the village I have seen that people are still in need of good shelter. My coming was to see for myself the progress on the ground and with all these houses under construction, am impressed but more partners need to come in,” said Jeske.


JTN Supplies has been contracted to make the cement blocks and build some of the houses together with other contractors  and it is also the same company that constructed the water facility. In line with environmental standards, the company is producing eco friendly bricks (Cement blocks) for all the construction. Karen Nasungwi from JTN Supplies, told MBC Online that the water facility was constructed to the best engineering standards and each house is being completed with not less than 1300 blocks.



Karen Nasungwi (R) and team in thick of things (cement-block) production


When the children fall sick, a professional medical practitioner at the centre, Esther Madziakapita, provides primary medical care since the only government health facility, Chileka Health Centre is over 15 km away.


“We extend the love of God to community members. God loves each one of us whether poor or rich. God wants us to take care of the orphans, the widows the old people apart from the needy where ever we are. If all the rich people in towns started taking care of the needs of people in their respective home villages, we would have a Malawi that is well developed,” Dr. Madziakapita concludes.


In these focused spheres and if the gains already made are consolidated, Thanganyika Village is surely on a path to become one of the model villages as ADC and partners continue trailblazing development in Thanganyika Village, Chileka.


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