Lilongwe, Malawi… Last year, half a world away, and in a time before the Coronavirus, quarantines, high unemployment, social distancing, and restrictions on public gatherings, the supporters of the Malawi Project were able to financially assist its sister organization, Action for Progress, with the construction of a large distribution center in the capital city of Lilongwe. This center is now functioning as our main distribution site for agricultural, medical, mobility, and educational supplies nationwide. In the first seven months of this year, Malawi Project supporters financed shipping expenses for NINE forty-foot shipping containers of supplies for the nation. The Project typically sends four containers per year, but the need has been so great this year.
The distribution hub measures 60 feet wide, 120 feet long, and 16 feet high. It is a cement block construction with a metal roof and concrete floor. The floor is raised to the same height as the bed of an incoming trailer of supplies. This gives the staff the opportunity to unload directly into the building without having to lower the shipments to ground level. It was completed in September 2019, to much fanfare and public recognition.
As one of the poorest nations on earth, Malawi gains little international recognition and is often overlooked in the drumbeat of human needs around the world. Each shipment, valued in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, has great meaning to the poor, especially those in rural villages. Many of the shipments receive nationwide newspaper, radio, or television recognition upon arrival, as they typically carry life-enhancing, and often lifesaving, supplies.
The worldwide pandemic has brought a deepening need for more medical supplies, food shipments, and other critically needed commodities. At the same time, the pandemic has caused a severe shortfall in local government funding, just as it is needed most.
While the main building was completed, (and fully paid for), before the pandemic struck, the completion of the entrance driveway and protective wall around the property were not. With the onset of the rainy season from November – March, there is an immediate need for $8,000.00 to complete the driveway so the large trucks can reach the dock without getting stuck. The protective wall, at an approximate cost of $45,000.00, is more important than we anticipated. Typically, pre-COVID, a shipment would arrive, and distributions would begin almost immediately. Although distributions are ongoing, they are slower than normal due to COVID travel protocols. Because of the additional time the supplies are awaiting distribution, the concern over the security of this facility has also increased. We know many of you, our loyal followers, contributors, and prayer warriors, have also been affected by the global pandemic. We are not asking that you give to this project in place of caring for your own family. However, if you are able to give even a little, we encourage you to give as little as $3.00 to help pave the road and build the security wall. Three dollars seems so little, but each $3.00 will purchase and install another block in the protective wall – and it will take 18,650 of them! Please go to www.malawiproject.org/donate