• Maleen Elias

A Boy Named George – His Life, His Story & Untimely Loss

Many of the challenges we face are both complex and long-term. Breaking the cycle of poverty for the street children of Malawi is battle, and sadly we do not always win!

Below is a picture of George (far left) with his family. As a young boy, he had a smile that would warm your heart. He was very caring and loving. But although he wears a smile in this picture, there is also a dark story of a life of hardship, adversity and lack of access to many of the basic things needed to have a fair chance to succeed in life.

In September 2018, we met with George's family and were able to we work to set up sponsorship to enable him to leave behind the lifestyle of many of the street children of Malawi, and enter the education system, attending school in addition to receiving help via our feeding and resettlement program.

George had been living a difficult lifestyle of begging on the streets, and he also held partial responsibility for his grandmother who was also begging as an only means of income.

Thanks to the support we receive from donors, and many of the volunteers we work with, George was provided with equipment, uniform and all the tools necessary to ensure he was ready to enter the education system – and he was able to start school with the support of his family (seen in the video below).

Whilst we work to empower children like George through educative sponsorship, housing and counseling many of the challenges we face are long-term.

George struggled to integrate into mainstream school, and his lack of education meant that he was often ostracized by the other children in the school. In many instances his response would be defensive; his school reports often documented his involvement in fights with the other children.


The reality is that for many of the children, a life of begging and poverty is all they have ever known. Many are the breadwinners of their families; their childhoods often non-existent.

As the school summer holiday approached earlier this year, a time when many children leave the schools for the holiday period and return home to their families – it was suggested that George should spend 2 weeks with his grandmother.

At this point he had been away from the streets for 9 months, and sadly returning to his grandmother rekindled the desire and responsibility to support his grandmother as a breadwinner.

This series of events led to him rejoining her back on the streets begging, which unfortunately ended in tragedy. It was later reported that he was chasing after a car, and was run over – subsequently dying from his injuries.

When we started The Ebenezer Family Centre our goal was to work to end the cycle of poverty for as many of the street children of Malawi as we possibly could. Working to provide assistance in the form of educative and housing services to help improve the future prospects of these children.

As we remember George (pictured below sat on his first bed), now more than ever in the face of such tragedy, and such a stark reminder of why it is that we do what we do – our vision remains the same.

Most sincerely

Ebenezer Family Centre Logo

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