The State University of New York in Potsdam, New York recently completed its fifth; biannual “Toothbrushes for Malawi” drive, working in conjunction with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill’s Dental School. Under the direction of Pat Whelehan, Campus AIDS Education Coordinator and Professor of Anthropology, the toothbrushes were gathered among the student body, and sent to the Malawi Project in Indianapolis, Indiana for shipment to Malawi. The toothbrushes will be funneled into the national distribution program and given to poor village people who cannot afford to have toothbrushes for their families.
According to the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report for 2009, about 74% of the population of Malawi lives below the income poverty line of $1.25 a day, and 90% of the total population is below the $2.00 a day threshold. It’s hard to believe but, a toothbrush is a life changer for the health of a family.
“Little Dresses for Africa” is a non-profit 501c3, Christian organization, which provides relief to the children of Africa. Simple dresses are made out of pillow cases, and distributed through the orphanages, churches and schools in Africa to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy.” Rachel O’Neil founded and oversees “Little Dresses for Africa”.
A team of 12 from the Detroit area group distributed dresses at one of the Community Development Agencies supported by the Malawi Project, and Namikango Mission. Over 400 girls received new dresses during the morning distribution.
During the afternoon the team spent time at the Namikango preparing over 200 school slates for a school near the mission. The slates were made from ½ to ¾ inch plywood, cut to slate size of approximately 9 x 12. Chalkboard paint was applied over a white sealer coat and the slates, when dry, were ready for the children in the school. Most children and schools do not have proper supplies (pencils, paper, pens, chalk boards, etc.) for use in class. It is not unusual to see children sitting in the dirt outside, under a tree, at a makeshift classroom, with a teacher making notes in the dirt for the students to memorize.
The Dedza District Hospital was designed for a far smaller population than it now serves. We can help them if you help us. Please HELP
The average Malawian travels no further than about 20 miles from home during their entire lifetime, and the villagers near Lintipi, in the mountains just south of Dedza, are pretty much average. They travel almost exclusively on foot. In a medical emergency their only hope is to reach the district hospital in Dedza – 20 miles away.
Dedza District Hospital is a small one-story brick structure serving a district population of over 671 thousand people. The government cannot keep hospitals adequately supplied and Dedza District Hospital is no exception. It is overwhelmed, understaffed, and short of supplies – and getting worse. An influx of refugees from Mozambique has recently increased the patient load by an estimated 40%.
Imagine a young expectant mother in labor walking, riding on the back of a bicycle, or traveling in an oxcart the distance to the hospital only to arrive and be turned away because there are no supplies for her and her baby. They may find no delivery area available, no bed, and little or inadequate care. Unacceptable.
Here is where you come in. A birthing clinic near Lintipi, planned by the Dzidalire Group and the Malawi Project is under construction. The Birthing Center is phase 1 of a proposed hospital complex. Government support has been obtained – the area has been surveyed – we need to fund it. Approximately $140,000 to finish this building.
Save the lives of mothers and new born babies by Contributing Online by Clicking Here ….. or…..please send a check ( mark them “Birthing Center“) to:
The Malawi Project
3314 Van Tassel Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46240.
Sukasuka Village, Malawi … Over the course of the years Vaughn and Peggy had a hobby of collecting beanie babies. The collection grew, and by the time of Vaughn’s death the number had reached into the hundreds. Peggy decided to donate the collection to the children of Malawi. In August her neighbors, Dick and Suzi Stephens, carried dozens of the dolls to Malawi in their luggage. When a team from Austin, Texas arrived to travel with them around the country they decided the time was right to delivery some of Peggy and Vaughn’s precious collection to children near the Mozambique border.
On Sunday, only the second day since their arrival in the country the Austin team traveled from the Mapiri Lodge in Dedza, to a small community on the Mozambique border, Sukasuka Village. At worship that morning the children seemed to outnumbered the adults, and they were sitting attentively on the concrete floor near the front of the building. After services, and before the group could depart the building, the American team announced they had gifts. Out came the Beanie Babies from Peggy and Vaughn.
Judy Bomar, wife of church elder and preacher at the Western Hills Church was a major blessing of the morning as she went from child to child handing each one a precious beanie baby. Many, if not most, of these children had never received a fresh, new doll in all of their lives.
Drifting south along M-5 in Eastern Malawi the view from the galimoto (car) begins a subtle change as the elevation lowers. Leaving Lilongwe the elevation, at 3,440 feet (1,050 meters) above sea level, started dropping after reaching the crest of the Dowa Mountains. West of here, in the mountains near Dedza, the elevation towers skyward to 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) above sea level. Now, after reaching the crest approximately 50 kilometers back, we turn south at Salima. The drop in elevation has been apparent begin to see the result of this drop to 1,771 feet (540 meters) above sea level. As the temperature rises, and the change brings a visible change in the sub-Saharan landscape. After traveling only a short distance one begins passing the giants. It is the valley of giants. Like a military guard they stand sentinel tall as they have been commissioned to guard the valley from unseen intruders. They are the giant stately balboa trees, and some have been standing here since before Christ walked the Judaea hills. They have warded off disease, old age, and long droughts, but in recent years an unexpected enemy threatens their very existence. It is not a new source of danger. It comes from a familiar direction, from within the perimeter of their realm. The threat comes from a long time friend. Man.
For centuries man and tree have been at peace. This coexistence has allowed the trees to grow freely. They are indigenous to only this region of Africa, and no where else, and they stand as a treasure of time. A growing population, and a reduction of other trees through cutting for firewood, has put them in line for destruction in the quest for materials for the cooking fires critical to the populace. One by one we pass trees maimed or destroyed. One by one we pass the end of or thousands of years of history, felled for firewood.
Traveling through the valley of the giants one must wonder how long this will last. It is not as simple as just saying it must be stopped. It is not as easy as to simply pass a law that says the trees cannot be cut, because it is against the law. For the village people who must have cooking fires in-order-to feed their families there is little choice. They cut the trees to survive. Before someone can tell them to stop cutting the trees, an alternative must be given. Solar is one. Other programs like, Shoes for Trees program being conducted by the Malawi Project provide other options for one day providing firewood for the people.