Since our last report, and after the monitoring trip of our Country Manager Angela in the early days of July, we would like to update all of you about the present situation of Malawi after the terrible cyclone of March. Since July, we have always kept in touch with our local representatives Father Joseph Kimu and the local organization Tyiende Pamodzi (which means “Walk Together”) that work in Mangochi District. With them we have analyzed the current effects of this extreme climate event and they have witnessed the increasing needs of the local population.
In order to monitor the living conditions of all the children that Aleimar supports through two main projects in the District, our Aleimar’s manager of the child distance sponsorship Tania and our volunteer Federico have decided to come back to Malawi and to meet in person once again our partners. They arrived on the 28th of October in Blantyre and after one whole day on the road they have arrived in Mangochi at St. John Center. Fortunately, the center is in good conditions and all the children that attend the nursery and the girls that live in the boarding school have continued all the lessons. Our local representative Father Kimu has witnessed an increasing number of families that ask to welcome their really young children in the nursery because this means receiving at least one daily meal. This fact shows us that food insecurity and malnutrition is becoming increasingly widespread and always higher in the villages around the center.During this visit, Aleimar has also inaugurated a new house built thanks to your generous donations: it has been delivered to a single mum with three children that was living in the street because the cyclone had destroyed their home and this has been really appreciated by the local community!
After this inauguration, our manager Tania and our volunteer Federico visited the village of Namwera, four hours away from St. John Center. Here the local organization Tyiende Pamodzi everyday visits children with disabilities in rural villages in order to deliver essential physiotherapy treatments. A really high number of disable children are also affected by malnutrition and this vulnerability can even prevent from receiving these physiotherapeutic cares because they are too fragile and they would suffer too much. Particularly after Cyclone Freddy, food insecurity is becoming an always worrying problem. During our trip we have distributed food aid, but the necessities are really high.
Thanks to your donations we will be able to provide shelters to the local population, build houses and deliver fundamental food aid and health cares to a lot of children. We hope that all of you will support our cause and will join us to achieve our goals. Every donation counts and can lead to a really positive impact in their life!
with this periodic report we would like to update all of you on the really dramatic disaster that Malawi has to face: on March 13th Cyclone Freddy has hit the Country, the longest-lasting storm on record since its arrival in southern Africa in late February.
In Malawi more than 11,000 people have been affected and Mangochi District (the area where Aleimar operates since 2014) is the second District of the Country for the number of victims and devastation. During the past years some areas of Malawi had been hit by the heavy rain, while this year the whole Country has been involved and the damage is immense: people have lost everything, their huts have been destroyed, bridges have collapsed, crops fields have been completely flooded and mud has covered houses and every means of production. Schools have been closed and it is still difficult to move around the Country.
Large amounts of water, that in many cases is stagnant and sewerage, have caused spread of infectious diseases such as cholera epidemics. The country was already fighting against one of the most severe cholera epidemics of the past decades and unfortunately in Mangochi District there are more than half of the cases registered in the whole Malawi.
The devastation of fields will lead to the huge reduction of crops, increasing food insecurity and the risk of malnutrition mainly among children. At the moment an estimated 4.8 million children, one in two children in the country, are in humanitarian need. Because a severely malnourished child is 11 times more likely to die of cholera than a well-nourished child, a cholera outbreak such as the current one may lead to death sentence for thousands of children in Malawi. Unfortunately, medications are difficult to find or are totally absent and a lot of people be cared.
This emergency situation has pushed our Country Manager Angela to anticipate the periodic monitoring trip to Malawi and last month she has seen with her eyes the condition on the field, which has not been broadcasted by European media. It is hard to witness this catastrophic event and the feeling of fear and experienced by whole families. The efforts of the local population to recover are relevant, but we can report the lack of economic resources and an active resolution strategy.
The main issue in the Mangochi District is lack of food, shelters and clean water (which in turn is one of the main factors contributing to the spread of cholera). In collaboration with our local Partner, we are providing food aids and pedal pumps to 104 families victims of the cyclone in order to increase food security. We are also supporting the local population building houses and shelters, in order to ensure a safe place where they can live and where children can grow. Now more than ever your precious help is essential!
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