Since late December 2020, Malawi has experienced a dramatic increase in COVID-19 cases. The efforts of the Ministry of Health to ensure the possibility to receive vaccines are exemplary, however choose which buy is difficult: many vaccines have shown very low coverage for the African version of the virus.
Our work with the distribution of water pumps is going on. It is a very important, especially now: water is essential to agriculture and to ensure a basic sanitation level.
After a long time, schools finally re-opend on 22 febraury 2021; To make it possible, the Education Ministery has invested five bilion of Malawi Kwacha (5 Million Euro). Money that must be enough to drill 600 wells; to give all schools access to drinking water that allows them to wash their hands. Six hundred schools that have never had in their poverty even a well for water. With the same money the individual schools will have to buy soap and buckets with a faucet and masks that will be required to enter the classroom.
The proposal is to distribute tents to be used as classes. Plastic tents that in the African summer sun will become real ovens and bring students back to the shade of the trees. With great urgency schools, in addition to water and classrooms or tents, need a minimum of 3200 auxiliary teachers. A further urgency to be able to reopen schools seriously is the distribution of school textbooks
Aleimar is working to build a wells in local schools. This is an expensive operation: a 50-meter deep well with a hand pump costs 3,500 euros.
Thanks to your donations to Malawi, you have allowed us to give an extra hand to the many families and children that we support.
We are making progress and we have some good news to share. Indeed, we received three wells of drinkable water for three different extremely poor villages as a donation from some families and volunteers who sustain us. Each of these wells has been dug at 50 meters below the ground. When the pumps will be established, the new wells will be inaugurated.
This is a very important result as it implies that many children and families will not have to walk long distances to get water which is most likely not even clean. Rather, they will now have available clean and safe water close to home. This means, in turn, that they will have more time to invest in socio-economic activities that are useful for the community and a reduction in the spread of water-related diseases.
However, the Covid situation inthe country is still critical: as of today, there are over 3,000 registered cases. Even though this number may not seem high, the public and healthcare facilities of the country may not be able to cope with the emergency as much as needed. Many families are still experiencing hardship and they may end up without food one more time.
This picture makes it clear that we cannot stop contributing now! You have done a lot and we are happy of the results that we achieved thanks to you, but so many kids out there still need you!
The arrival of covid19 in Malawi has fuelled concern about the already dramatic situation (food insecurity, malaria, HIV/AIDS, typhoid, cholera). But it is precisely the lack of water and the precariousness of sanitation and hygiene facilities that make the risk of contagion alarming. If the virus is not contained, the country will face another tragic pandemic and the poorest villages and vulnerable people will still suffer the worst consequences.
To avoid the worst, the government has issued severe restrictions, closing schools, activities and banning travel and gatherings, including markets. This lockdown is only worsening the poverty and hunger emergency for many families.
For our children attending kindergartens and schools run by our local partner (the St. John's Development Centre), going to school is the only way to have a nutritious meal guaranteed; many parents cannot provide enough food for their children and, with the school closed, many children risk falling into the malnutrition/nutrition trap.
We've come up with a temporary solution which is the installation of hand-washing devices.
Thank you for your help, more important than ever !
April is aproaching as well as this year sowing season.
Last year harvest was not really good because of the hard rains and the floods that striked the Mangochi region but, thanks to the pumps we donated, our families managed to harvest enough to get through the year.
This was a great achievement alredy but for this year we hope the weather will be kinder so that our families will be able to harvest not just enough but enough to feed themselves and their whole village with some products to spare so that they can sell them and make a small profit from their work.
Seeing what was achievable with this pumps, we hope to donate more of them to other families and villages of the region so that they can improve their harvest and get free from the ghost of malnutrition
April will be a great month also for us because father Kimu will come back to Italy! He'll come visit us and our donors to thank them directly for all the good we they doing for his community and tell us about his work.
We can't wait to see him.
We'll let you now any news he brings with him.
In the meanwhile thank you for all you've done and will do for our families in Mangochi and we hope you will continue helping us making the difference in their lives.
This year the monitoring trip was carried out by four young volunteers: Marco and Miriam, who decided to go to visit Aleimar's Projects in Malawi for their honeymoon, Davide, a recent medical graduate who is putting his skills at the Mangochi hospital, and Andrea, who is conducting a thesis research on the impact that this project has on the entire community.
During their stay in the country, they met the families who benefited from the pedal pumps and, in collaboration with Kimu and the agronomist, contributed to the preparation of a training program with practical and theoretical lessons on innovative and environmentally agricultural techniques and on the correct use of the pedal pump.
The first meetings were for 10 people: 2 men and 8 women. A first difficulty encountered is due to the low level of literacy of the participants, but, thanks to the help of the young volunteers, some moments of teaching were cut out, from learning the alphabet to the simplest operations.
It was really exciting to see women write their names for the first time!
A special thank you goes to Marco, Miriam, Davide and Andrea who put themselves in the game for families and children in difficulty. But an even greater thank you goes to all those who contribute to the project and who give a hope of redemption.
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