Food For Lexina Stefano
Hunger is once again knocking on the doors of many Malawians. Earlier in the year, the Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee estimated, “Hunger is threatening over 2.6 million Malawians in 2020/2021 consumption year. Of this number 2 million are in rural areas and 600 thousand in urban areas. It is estimated 56,000 metric tons of food is required to help the affected families”
Action for Progress has begun food distribution to affected areas. In Dowa over 1,000 children gathered for food assistance. Among them was Lexina Stefano, a four-year-old girl from Kaphwiti. Her mother, Evelesi, expressed her fear, “Hunger is already in our homes and due to COVID19, many people have lost their jobs. Businesses are not making profits and Malawi staple food is now selling at MK200 per Kg, a very unaffordable price by many. This is why you see multitudes here.”
At times like this everyone feels the pain, but children suffer the most. If they go to school on empty stomachs, they hardly concentrate in class. This means their performance automatically declines.
Action for Progress, the sister organization to the Malawi Project, is on the ground and distributing food to areas most affected. On this day, in the Dowa District, the children gathered to receive food and clothes. Lexina received her assistance and ran to show her mother what she had received. This brought great excitement to Lexina. As toddlers do everywhere, she jumped up and down with excitement, holding up her dress and packets of food. Her mother shared her happiness. “We are happy for this support, and we don’t take this for granted. There are many families affected by this hunger. We are also grateful for the cloth. You have brought joy to my daughter.” Evelesi said.
Seeing thousands of children already affected by hunger when food reserves should be near their highest stock is alarming. The fear of extreme hunger coming has really shocked the AfP distribution team. One member reflected, “We are not sure what the situation will be in the near future, say three months from now. Signals indicate Malawians have some very tough times ahead. It will be a pity to see children like Lexina starve to death in a world where some people are capable of lending a hand. As we drove back home this day, Lexina’s happy moment brightened our faces.”