My name is Victor Musowa and I was born in James village, Mulanje District, Malawi, Africa on the 19th February 1979. As a young boy my father moved to South Africa to work in the gold mines, as it was difficult for him to take care of the family staying home unemployed, as there was few jobs in Malawi. I was raised by my Mom after my Dad died of complications related to his mine work.
Life was not easy. It was beyond challenging for my Mom to send me and my siblings to school as she worked in the garden growing food for our family.
Despite my Mom being uneducated and poor she was so brave and every night she would gather us to encourage us about education as she said this will be the only way we can survive in the future. I remember the times she would pray to God at night and ended up in tears as it was difficult for her to understand why my Dad had to go and leave her with such responsibilities.
I attended primary school in the village at Ntata Primary School. After completing primary school I wrote the high school entrance exam and then waited, as it is announced on the radio when the marks have been released. After riding my bike 50 km to discover if my marks were high enough to move on to secondary school I was selected to attend Phalombe Secondary School which is a government boarding school.
I remember the excitement of being the only student selected into a boarding school but this ended up in mixed feelings for my poor Mom as she cried to God to say “you have blessed my son, how will I get school fees for him to go to school”? I always say thank you to this brave woman who despite the poverty she encouraged me to work hard at school and always aim at passing the final exams. I know this is not my Mom’s biography but understanding her bravery will help to understand who I am.
My Mom did not know how to read but I remember at times she would ask me to show her my school work, and her comment was ‘this looks good’. Recently when we had dinner I reminded her of this experience and she laughed very hard and told me that’s how my father treated my older siblings when he saw their school work.
After finishing Secondary School, I started to develop a heart of wanting to help people that could not pay me back, I was inspired by reading few biblical stories of people who did good deeds for others for no pay. I joined the Rehabilitation School in the City of Blantyre and completed two years of college education, graduating at the top of my class.
Later, I was employed by a charitable organization which took care of orphaned children. I worked for two years at the orphanage and during that time I met a visiting speech pathologist. I studied how she worked and delivered therapy to the children with speech and hearing difficulties. Some of the orphanage sponsors saw my interest in helping children with speech and language difficulties, and had a big idea.
I was granted a post-graduate scholarship by several families in Norway to study Communicative Disorders in Canada. It was this experience that changed my life a lot.
It was my first time to fly, my first time in a foreign country, my first time being away from home that long. It was the longest time without eating Nsima which is the staple food in Malawi. The studies were very difficult I am sure I learned 3 years’ worth of information in 1 year. I graduated at the top of my class.
I met friends in Canada who turned into part of my family and helped to change a lot in my life. My story wouldn’t be complete if didn’t mention Gail Hudson who become my new Mom in Canada and loved me as a kid again.
Coming back to Malawi was difficult because I knew the amount of poverty awaiting me, but I am driven to be part of the building of my country. I went back and worked at the orphanage we had developed a great little clinic helping community children with many types of disabilities, we also developed an outreach program to help children and families in remote areas.However, there was a decision made to stop supporting the community children and focus solely on the orphans within the organization.
The children and parents we had given hope to were left without therapy and hope.
In April of 2013 I founded a small school/clinic called The Able Kids Foundation/Rehab. We are a not-for-profit organization that is helping children with special needs from all over Malawi. Living in a third-world country is difficult enough, but being a child with a disability is more difficult that most people could comprehend.
We are attempting to balance the scales of opportunity so these children have a chance at life. For the first few months we worked without having any source of income.
We all volunteered for the children.
Now things are starting to change. We are many times overwhelmed by the success of the clinic, and thank God and our generous sponsors for helping these children with such big challenges.
In November of 2015, I returned to my friends and family in Canada as I was nominated for an award. Georgian College selected me as their nominee for the Ontario Premier Awards in the category of Community Service because of the work myself and the staff at The Able Kids Foundation is doing. Although I did not win the award I was honoured to be included in this event as it a night to celebrate the successes of people from many different fields.
Now I’m back in Malawi many times working 7 days a week along with my co-workers to give the children of Able Kids a chance at life. I have never ever been happier, I feel that we all are making a difference.