Sister Beatrice Chipeta, founder of the Lusubilo Orphan Care project in the northern district of Karonga, Malawi, and Jesuit Fr. John Halligan, who is working in Ecuador, are the winners of the 2010 Opus Prize. They split a prize of $1.1 million to be used to further their work.

The Opus Prize, one of the world’s largest faith-based humanitarian awards for social innovation, is given to recognize unsung heroes of any faith tradition, anywhere in the world, solving today’s most persistent social problems.

Sister Beatrice Chipeta founded the Lusubilo Orphan Care project in the late 1990s. The project has brought hope (lusubilo) in the area. Lusubilo sponsors a service delivery program designed to empower individuals and communities to care for orphans and each other.

Among other things, the project is doing the following:

  • It invests more than $200,000 a year in formula for malnourished infants.
  • It trains young mothers in nutrition and infant care.
  • It underwrites community-based child-care centers and home-based care.
  • It oversees agriculture programs to increase the food production capacity of local families.
  • It sponsors vocational training for teenagers and adults.
  • It staffs a series of one-room village classrooms and a residential facility for 70 orphans.
  • It supports 380 orphan-headed households, where the older orphaned children learn life skills and parenting techniques in helping raise their younger orphaned siblings.

Congratulations to Sister Beatrice on this achievement. I hope that the publicity that it has generated will help to bring in more partners who will help to expand the project’s programs so that more people can be helped.