Scott Gordon, President of the Malawi Project, was at the site in July for the groundbreaking ceremony for the new hospital. Nearby was the growing stockpile of bricks. He observes, “Can you imagine a pile of 200,000 bricks made one brick at a time, by hand? This is the commitment of the impoverished village people in the area. They are determined to do all they can to get this hospital constructed, and the school underway. In a western culture where the heavy lifting is done with machines, it is hard to imagine making bricks by hand, one mold of mud at a time. Their commitment leaves ours something to be desired. We have ample heath-care, even though we complain at times over its cost. The fact is that we have new hospitals all over America. We have pharmacies, manufacturers, and abundant supplies of drugs and resources. We have doctors and healthcare workers available at a moments notice, and we have emergency response teams in nearly every fire station across the country. Malawi has none of these. No wonder they are so eager to have this hospital.”
The current value of a brick in Malawi is 2 Kwacha. That means the brick contribution is worth at least 400,000 Kwacha, or approximately $2,500.00. In a part of the country where the average person makes less than $1.00 a day, and unemployment runs 50%, this work is compounded in value.
More Than Simply Bricks
This is the villagers’ contribution to building the new hospital. But this is not their only contribution. With a Shoes for Trees program in place much of 2010 and 2011 the village people planted thousands of trees all over the property to enhance the beauty and value of the land donated for the school, hospital, and training center for helping develop self reliance in the local population, primary the widows and orphans. The program stopped, and the shoes ran out, but the village people did not. They have continued making bricks, planting trees, and cutting a road across the mountain to give access to the upcoming facilities. This work is all being done by hand.
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