A 23-year-old Malawi woman has taken on the arduous task of raising 37 kids, most of whom she did not give birth to. They all occupy a small house currently, but she has found an ingenious way to accommodate them all.
Raising one kid is not easy for most people as it usually comes with a learning curve. Raising two is doubly challenging, especially if they are born at the same time.
Now imagine bringing up 37 children ranging from five months to age 16. That's the kind of life Tiktok user Tusayiwe Mkhondya lives, and, more importantly, she does it of her own free will.
WHERE THE KIDS LIVE
Housing so many kids can't be easy, but where there is a will, there is a way, and Mkhondya has found it. Recently, the 23-year-old woman shared footage that went viral on the Tiktok app and had people praising her for the selfless life she lives.
In the video clip, which has amassed over a million views on the video-sharing app, she took her viewers on a small tour of the place all 37 kids and herself call home. The first part she showed was the living room which was set up with simple upholstery and a small TV.
It gave off cozy vibes, but it was clear only a few of the kids would have been able to fit into the space at once. She went on to show users one of the rooms where the kids lay their heads at night.
The room was only slightly bigger than the living room. It contained four solid-looking bunks with well-made beds covered in blankets. There was also a baby cot and a chair where those who didn't want to sleep could sit.
The room looked airy with several windows but no doors, which meant there would be just enough cross ventilation to filter air. The next place she showed looked like one decorated for females as it had pink curtains made of a light material that gave the room a warm pink glow when light filtered through.
The room was equipped with a small bed placed by a king-sized one, and there were also two small chairs and a table tucked into the corner. Like the first room, the room looked clean but had a small pink monitor on the table.
Flushed against one wall were a number of medium-sized cloth baskets and traveling boxes seemingly stacked with clothes. A couple of educational charts for kids to boost learning were on another wall.
As the video moved on, a caption that revealed one of Mkhondya's dreams flitted across the screen. It said that she had hopes that they would be able to expand and also add more street kids, orphans, and abandoned babies to the growing list they already had.
The third room Mkhondya showed users was the smallest she had displayed so far in the short clip. It could only house two small beds placed side by side with barely enough legroom between them. There was also a table, two chairs, and a larger monitor facing the children's bed.
Like the previous room, Mkhondya put up more educational wallpapers, including one that showed the anatomy of a male child and another that displayed the letters of the alphabet with picture illustrations. The last room the selfless woman showed in the video was by far the fanciest. It had the biggest TV and what looked like a gaming console.
A bunch of chairs was arranged in front of the monitor, and it was not hard to surmise that many of the kids enjoyed hanging out there. There were two medium-sized beds in the small room, and they were graced with several teddies indicating it may have been one reserved for girls as well.
In the caption she shared with the footage, Mkhondya expressed hope that they would start building hostels this year and confessed that things were not easy, but she was hopeful that things would turn around for good.
HER MORNING ROUTINE
It is not the first time Mkhondya's footage has gone viral on the Tiktok app. Last month, she shared her morning routine with the kids, and many were awed by how challenging it looked.
The day begins at 4 a.m. for her, after which she prepares all the food and drinks the kids will eat. These included sandwiches, hot dinners, and juice boxes.
In the footage, Mkhondya said she is the only one charged with cooking meals for the kids under five and that every child has chores they must do in the morning. Bedtime starts at 7 p.m. for the older kids, but that's when her night shift begins with the babies who wake up to feed. She said:
“I have to feed them and also change their diapers and I also have to prepare for work and the next day.”
Mkhondya started her journey as a caregiver after becoming a homeless single mom at 18. She opened her organization shortly after and named it "You Are Not Alone" (YANA), and ever since, she has been taking in children as they come.
In June, she had 33 kids, but the number has continued to increase over the past few weeks. Now she watches over 37 children. She said:
“All the kids are not abandoned. Some are orphans, some have only one parent, and some have both parents, but they have been abandoned by those parents.”
Her followers on Tiktok have always praised her for the great work she has been doing, and there is no doubt that the kids she has been caring for will never forget her sacrifices.
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