Lebanon, Indiana … The catastrophic destruction from Cyclone Freddie has left in its wake a disastrous loss of life, destruction of business, devastation of villages and grain storage, and collapse of crop production for this entire year. (Grain was only weeks away from harvest). 

The loss of life has passed 500, with some people buried in the mud or washing away in the torrents of water never to be found. Food stores from last year disappeared in the muddy brown torrent of water, fields of grain were inundated in mud and rock filled silt. For many people there will be no harvest this year. Because the storm struck the highest concentration of population, and because the destruction is so widespread, being able to provide food, clothing, and being able to house everyone that needs help is impossible.  Recovery will take years, and unlike the west there are no stores of supplies, rescue gear, and equipment strategically placed nearby, and no trained manpower waiting to step in after the storm and start the rescue and cleanup. Road and bridges are gone, and many villages are still completely isolated and alone with their fate. Freddie has been recorded as the strongest and longest running cyclone in history.

While every effort is being made to give immediate assistance, it is important to also look down the road and determine how best to help the village people get back on their feet in the future. Aid from the outside alone will not suffice, the local farmers and villagers must put their hands to the plow and pull themselves up and out of the pit in which they find themselves. Enter a group of people from the U.S. who are committing themselves to making a simple corn planter that can give a Malawi family a hand up to plant their crops easier and faster during the next planting season. 

You can help. For only $15.00 to $20.00 you can go to your carpentry shop and make a number of these simple planting devises that will give them a chance to increase their crops, with less strain and stress. They have had enough of that. They need to know someone cares about what happens to them. These planters will say “we care, and we are doing something to help you to get on your feet.” 

Write today for a copy of the flyer that gives the specifications for making these units. Better yet, write for several copies and pass them out to your neighbors, work-place friends, church family, and community groups to encourage them to help with this project. The goal is to get 1,000 of these units to Malawi by November 1. Email us and just put CORN PLANTER in the subject line, and we will get the flyer to you electronically, or contact us with your postal address and we will mail flyers to you. info@malawiproject.org

Pictured: Brian Huffman of Muncie, Indiana was one of the first to volunteer to make these units, and one of the first to deliver his planters to the Lebanon, Indiana warehouse for shipment to Malawi later in the year.

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