By Philes Davis:
Years ago, little Sheila Malaikah Hemingway used to be accompanying her mother to various charitable works in Harare (Zimbabwe) and surrounding areas. As a member of the Diplomatic call there, her mother and colleagues would engage various stakeholders and visit less-privileged societies where they could do various charitable activities.
When such moments arose, Sheila could accompany the women in visiting children’s homes as well as the marginalized in their various locales and bail them out with whatever they had.
Such an environment motivated the-then young Sheila to develop a serious passion in assisting the under-privileged in the society. In her, she saw a Sheila who was going to grow up to be the voice of the marginalized. In her youthful wisdom, she vowed to make a difference to such communities later on in her life.
With a background of a family that was involved in charitable works, Sheila felt she needed to continue the legacy. So, when her family trekked to the United Kingdom in 1996, she saw an opportunity of organizing funds to live her dream.
From that time, Sheila went on analyzing workable areas where she could assist with the little she was organizing. Growing up in Malawi, she had first-hand experience of what it meant to be living in abject poverty. Her patriotism took centre stage. She wanted to assist her country-folk.
It was so. As she was developing her other side of life, Sheila Malaikah Hemingway continued her charitable works across the United Kingdom. She kept on garnering new knowledge on how best she could do the same back home.
Cometh 2015, Sheila registered her charity organization with the UK government, Angels Across Africa Foundation. She was to register it in Malawi years later.
As the name suggests, Angels Across Africa Foundation aims at bringing comfort and hope to the lesser privileged, more especially children and the youth across the continent. Sheila says her organization is there to assist in narrowing the inequalities marginalized Malawians face in their day-to-day survival.
“We’re a small charity with a big vision of challenging the current existing inequalities the poor are experiencing in their daily livelihood. We’re optimistic that if various stakeholders can join forces, Malawi, and Africa in general, can be a better place for all,” she envisions.
Over the years, Angels Across Africa Foundation has been reaching out to various corners of Africa, bailing out the needy, especially children, in their various spheres of life. But recently, the organization has been focusing much on Malawian soils.
During the first wave of Covid 19, Angels Across Africa donated food hampers to over 60 families from various villages under Traditional Authority Chitukula in Lilongwe and Chesalino village in Dowa.
Minus looking after over twenty marginalized children from Ntchentche Village in Lilongwe, for a long time, the Foundation has also been bailing out less-privileged children from Chisusu village in the same district.
Those have been the strides Angels Across Africa Foundation has been making in its quest to uplifting the status of the marginalized across the country.
As Covid 19 pandemic has been hitting all corners of the globe, Angels Across Africa was no exception. The pandemic disabled the organization’s reach to other parts of Africa.
“We were geared to assisting our brothers and sisters from neighboring countries but we couldn’t do it due to Covid 19 restrictions. That’s why we decided to turn all our focus on Malawi. However, we shall revert to our original course of focusing on the (African) continent in due course,” she enlightened.
It is Sheila’s wish that in the coming years, Angels Across Africa Foundation should live to its name by reaching out to many marginalized Africans from all corners of the continent. She views such a step can make Africa a better place to live for all.
“We keep moving and doing the little we can knowing that we rise by lifting others. It’s our wish to extend to many parts of Africa in the near future. Such goodwill gestures can make Africa a better place for all,” she elucidated.
Just recently, Angels Across Africa had a fun day at Chinsapo in Lilongwe where among others, youngsters competed in Under 14 and Under 17 soccer tournaments. Later on, it was revealed that the charity organization was to launch a national tournament. The aim, according to Sheila was to provide a platform where youngsters could showcase their talents to the outside world.
“In Malawi, soccer is a religion of some sorts. At Angels Across Africa Foundation, we believe in nurturing talents. So, such platforms can assist the youngsters to expose their talents to potential professional teams,” she explained.
A mother of four, Sheila Malaikah Hemingway has a background of Law. However, due to other personal reasons, she never went to the bar. Currently, she is not only an anthropologist, but also an entrepreneur.
Most of the funds that Angels Across Africa Foundation sources, are from her own pocket, the other part is courtesy of some goodwill citizens who make donations now and again.