Mchinji District, Malawi … When one loses their home, business, possessions, and livelihood to a natural catastrophe such as Cyclone Freddy, people often do not notice, or in the pain of loss overlook, what has happened to those with mobility issues. For many, this is what happened in March of this year when the longest-running and strongest cyclone to ever strike Malawi took a devastating toll on the residents of the South-Eastern portion of the nation. Unlike Western nations, where emergency resources are ready to roll into the affected area the minute the storm lessens, Malawi was already suffering painful devastation from a shortage of available aid assistance, intense poverty, and widespread disease before the storm arrived. With little or no resources in reserve, the nation has struggled for six months with the after-effects of the storm. Even to this day nearly two million people continue to be displaced with no homes, no employment, and little outside aid to help them survive. There is little or no parallel to this in the West.
Despite so few organizations continuing to deliver aid to the affected area the Malawi Project, and its companion group Action for Progress, have remained on focus to continue assistance for as long as it takes. The Daily Times, a major news organization in Malawi highlighted the efforts of AfP to help in the affected area in a story that appeared on 22 August 2023. (See story attached). Just 9 days later Zodiac Broadcasting Service, another of the leading news leaders in Malawi, carried a report that confirmed AfP had not forgotten those in need in Western Malawi. The story, on 31 August 2023, reported on assistance given in the area around Zomba, through the distribution of 50 mobility units, and several canes and crutches, valued at 11 million Kwacha, the local financial exchange. At the same time, AfP is not ignoring other parts of the nation where suffering continues for those who have mobility issues.
During the Mchinji distribution, in Western Malawi, Wilson Tembo, Director for Action for Progress, noted, “These mobility units will help address the difficult challenges people with disabilities in this area are facing.” At the same time the Parliamentarian (Member of the Malawi Parliament) for the area, Deus Gumba noted, “this donation will transform many lives.”