Going to bed hungry a distant memory

World Vision believes in life in all its fullness for every child, and has been serving with this mission for 60 years. When someone comes forward who has benefitted from World Vision’s support in the past, it is a joy to share their story.

Read about Lloyd Phiri, now 28, a former sponsored child who is working as a journalist in Blantyre, Malawi.

Lloyd was born on October 14, 1982, in Senzani village, Ntcheu district, Central Malawi. “I was born into a rather poor family and was raised by my mother. We often didn’t have enough money for basic needs like clothes, food… My mother used to do some small scale farming. The house I was brought up in was very small, thatched with grass and would leak during the rainy season.

“It was a problem for my family to have … meat and fish. Most of the time we [ate] vegetables and beans.” It was hard to concentrate at school with an empty stomach, but Lloyd was determined to work extra hard to guarantee a good life for himself and his family.

Lloyd was registered with World Vision while he was a pupil at one of the primary schools that World Vision had built in the Senzani Area Development Programme. He soon found himself with a sponsor from the United States.

World Vision supports education

World Vision provided Lloyd’s school with education materials, uniforms and desks. “My favourite subjects included English, Agriculture and Geography. I always remember the time I passed my primary school final exams and this is one of my joyful memories.”

Lloyd benefitted in other ways from sponsorship support: “World Vision assisted me with school fees when I was in my final year at Kaphuka Secondary School. Besides this, World Vision also helped me with school fees when I was doing my first year at the Polytechnic, where I studied for a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. While young, my wishes were that I become [a] journalist.”

Throughout the community where Lloyd lived, World Vision was hard at work, building schools, bridges and drilling boreholes.

Lloyd remembers visits from World Vision staff, who would check on his progress, and ensure his family was doing well. “These people were just so friendly and encouraged me to work hard in class to be somebody like them in future.”

Lloyd goes on to say that he is “a very committed Christian. I believe it is God’s grace that has enabled me to pass through all the challenges.”

After Lloyd graduated from Journalism school, he worked for the government Ministry of Information, as Information Officer. After a time, he moved to join Capital FM Radio, as a Head of News and Current Affairs Department and a Sub-Editor.

These days, Lloyd works at the Malawi Institute of Journalism (MIJ) radio, as Controller of News and Current Affairs. He is engaged to be married to Grace Phiri, who works as a producer and announcer at Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Radio. They met two years ago while Lloyd briefly worked for SDA radio.

When asked if he thinks being sponsored by World Vision changed the direction of his life, Lloyd emphatically answers yes. “Without sponsorship I could not have gone to a secondary school that provided me with lessons that enabled me to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.”

Thanks to his degree in Journalism he is working in a job he loves, providing for himself and his future family.