Wash & Pray
~This is what we do during the crisis according to Patrick and Violet Nabwera as quoted by Scott and Lorilee MacLean from Malawi~
THE EMERGING PICTURE
Some apolitical NGOs have so far been allowed to continue limited activities as essential services. FVM, through Newton Sindo, is working towards validation of this through the District Commissioner’s Office. Malawi is not positioned to withstand a pandemic due to a weak healthcare system with extremely limited resources. Some nurses and staff have already stopped work to protest a lack of protective equipment and demand higher pay.
The economy is already fragile with 80% of the population surviving on less than $2/day. Those who depend on remittances from family members working abroad have seen that money reduced by almost 90% in the last three weeks. If a single mother of 6 supports the family through tailoring and is forced to close down while her husband who works in a restaurant in North America has lost his job … what is she to do? Under a lockdown she cannot even go to the local market to barter for food.
Social distancing is impossible in village life in Malawi as large families live in small quarters. Hot water and soap are not readily available … you can’t just turn on the tap! 80% of Malawians do not have piped water in their homes. That’s more than 15 million people! Thus quarantine is also impossible. The majority of Malawians do not understand the nature of the invisible virus which can infect and kill you. As Newton reports, “ Everyone is full of fear which derails personal and community development in all areas of life.”
Our two preschools have been forced to stop daily feeding of hundreds of children which will eventually result in “malnutrition affecting the children,“ according to Newton Sindo. FVM’s regular community visiting and monitoring has been severely curtailed.
WHAT IS FVM DOING?
- We keep doing the things we always have! (See photos below)
- Education and demonstration of handwashing and hygiene at our two centres along with distribution of buckets and soap to households
- Awareness campaigns have been held with village chiefs and leaders.
- Emergency food relief through maize flour and other essentials to 8,000 people through our two centres at Taulo and Nandolo to supplement their meagre resources over the next few weeks.
- Radio broadcasting continues weekly in Chichewa and Tumbuka with a message of hope and practical encouragement throughout the crisis.
I am Rabson Chapomoka. I am 69 years and married. I have and live with a family of 8 people. I am a security guard working here with Future Vision Ministries Canada. I, my wife and children are so grateful for the timely gift of a bucket and soap that we use for washing hands frequently in preventing Coronavirus.
We are so grateful to be in FVM-C family. We are convinced this is what we were called to do. It provides the whole opportunity of ministering to humanity in body, soul and spirit. We appreciate the support FVM-C and all partners render to us as a family since 2009 when we were laying foundations of the ministry in the Southern Malawi. We have witnessed so much development in the lives of the people we have served together. Being a medium that links the Malawian communities and FVM-C family in USA and Canada, is the privilege we never take for granted.
Thank you for the assistance rendered to us in cash and kind. The time we were joining FVM-C, none of us had an education degree. Now both of us (Idah and Newton) hold degrees and Idah is doing Masters Degree while Praise is pursuing his first degree. This is because of your help.
Future Vision Ministries is probably the only organisation that has really maintained its vision and mandate: reaching humanity in body, soul and spirit. We are happy to be part of this. Stay blessed.
Newton Sindo and Dan & Chris Hayhoe