Elderly Beneficiary – Edith Machinjili

Edith Machinjili , popularly known as “Che Idesi” ( “Che” being a respectful honorific in the Yao dialect of the area commonly reserved for the elderly), is one of the beneficiaries of our NGO.

Early Years

Che Idesi was born in 1932 and, like many of the elderly in Napangwa Village, is illiterate. Due to an undiagnosed mental illness, Che Idesi had to leave school at the age of eight. Instead of receiving a formal school education, Che Idesi was forced to stay at home and help her mother with household tasks such as fetching water, cooking and farming the garden.

Che Idesi married her first husband, Mr. Mkanda, when she was very young. They had two children together before they eventually divorced. She later had seven children with her second husband, Mr. Jackson Machinjili. Mr. Machinjili passed away in 2004. Five of Che Idesi’s children have died, leaving behind several grandchildren that she takes care of.

Difficulties Faced

At this time, Che Idesi has no income as she previously relied on her late husband for financial support. As she has no formal education, she was unable to gain employment during her younger years. Additionally, Malawi does not have any financial assistance for seniors so it is very difficult for Che Idesi to even afford basic essentials. Che Idesi helps support eleven of her grandchildren, who have been orphaned, as well as three great-grandchildren. All of these children are between the ages of 10-29 and, at one time, Che Idesi may have to house five of them. Due to her arthritis, acute leg pains and advancing age, Che Idesi is no longer able to farm her garden without difficulty and discomfort.

How Ayileche Helps

Che Idesi receives a monthly hamper which contains basic necessities, such as sugar, salt, maize flour, soap, tea leaves and cooking oil.

What Ayileche Plans to do

We believe that education is an important step out of poverty in Africa. As such, we plan, through donor’s assistance, to help send Che Idesi’s grandchildren to school. Also, we believe that African elders should not be living out their golden years in unsafe, leaking homes and would like to improve the structure of Che Idesi’s home by plastering the inside, painting the outside and improving the quality of the floor. In these ways, we would be honoring the spirit of Mr. C.I. Mkondiwa


Ayileche CBO is fully committed to improving the lives of the acutely poor senior citizens in Malawi. Many seniors have undue burdens put on them when their children die since they are left in charge of their grandchildren. We believe the elderly are a valuable source of knowledge, history and wisdom and we are working to improve the quality of their lives.

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