Sarah’s blog 7/4/22
This year’s World Health Day is highlighting people and planet. There is much to do, particularly by those of us in more developed countries to ensure the health of people in poorer countries.
The Foundation we are working with in rural northern Malawi is making great progress but there is a great deal more work to do. Here are some ways they are making a difference to the hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children;
- The Feeding Programme – all children and young people in the area where The Foundation is are suffering from malnutrition. Approximately 500 children are fed a substantial, nutritious meal once a week. This is their biggest meal of the week and some children can go for a couple of days without eating. As there are no big agencies feeding children in that area, some children walk up to 20km for this meal. We would like to be able to send more money to feed the children more often or to set up a porridge programme at their schools. Teachers have already noticed that this one meal per week is helping the children’s concentration and improving their grades.
- The Period Poverty Project – girls have been made to feel shame for a normal bodily function. They miss school for one week out of four and therefore fall behind the boys in their studies. We sent hand turn sewing machines, fabric and other sewing supplies and some of the older girls started making drawstring bags and sanitary towels. The bags contain; 3 pairs of pants (supplied by Smalls for All charity), 5 reusable sanitary towels, soap and a health information sheet. This is an ongoing project, that doesn’t cost too much money, that is making a difference to hundreds of girls. It would be wonderful if we had more money to be able to make and gift these bags to all girls who need them at local schools.
- Clean Drinking Water & Showers – This was a huge undertaking and one that is benefitting everyone. As we saw in photographs pregnant women were washing their clothes, themselves and drinking from dirty puddles prior to having clean water on tap. All the children who use The Foundation are able to have regular showers to keep clean and they have clean water to drink. They are taught about the importance of hygiene and handwashing.
- Facemasks – When the schools in Malawi were requiring children to wear facemasks because of the pandemic, the girls who have been sewing were able to make facemasks for everyone.
- Handwashing – some of the local schools do not have clean, running water so we sent money for Levison to buy buckets (with taps) and boxes of soap to gift to local schools so the children are able to wash their hands.
- Fruit Tree Saplings – We have been raising money for fruit tree saplings for future food for the children. Over 100 have been planted so far but we want to plant far more. This will provide the children with a more varied healthy diet and will provide jobs and future income too. Obviously, planting trees is good for the planet and will help with preventing soil erosion in the heavy rains.
- Eco Stoves – are being made for the villagers. These are an enclosed form of cooking, are safer than the usual open fires, retain more heat and use less wood which makes them better for people and planet.
- The Foundation is growing it’s own crops for the orphans and vulnerable children to eat. However these aren’t enough for the hundreds of children who need food and more maize has to be bought. They are also rearing chickens and goats.
- The Mother & Baby Project – we have had wonderful donations of knitted blankets and baby clothes. Levison took these to the local health centre. New mums are given some clothes for their new born babies and again, if they go back a few weeks later, they will be given some more clothes enabling the nurses to have an additional chance to chat to mums and see their babies and offer help and advice if needed.
- Hats, Gloves & Scarves – at certain times of the year it can get very cold at night and most of these children are sleeping on the ground inside their very basic homes. It can be cold walking to school in the mornings so the gifts of hats, gloves and scarves keeps them a bit warmer.
These are just some of the projects that are making a difference. I hope you can see how much work is being done and how committed we are to doing more. Children are generally happier as they know they are important and cared about. They are learning new skills, playing sports and reading books. We couldn’t help The Foundation without your help, so this is another chance to say ‘Thank You’ to our supporters. It’s always teamwork and we are grateful to you. I hope you enjoy these photos on World Health Day. Thanks for reading, Sarah x As always, you can email on firstname.lastname@example.org