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My Take On it: Donations in cash and kind continue to flow in for Cyclone Freddy survivors


But a Samaritan, as he travelled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him.


As Malawi continues to search for bodies from ruins from Cyclone Freddy, donations in cash and kind from within and outside the country. In the spirit of no gift is too small, last week a small donation of cash came from the UK, which should make every parent proud and others spring in and do their bit to help in the calamity that has befallen Malawi.

Five-year old UK-based Madame O. (UK laws prevents identification of minors) was so concerned to hear her grandparents’ country Malawi was hit by cyclone, she raised £400 from mostly school friends and then had her mother send the collections to Malawi.

Grandpa George and Grandma Rose bought maize flour and blankets and  and donated these to the people at Kachere Village in Blantyre.

Well done and a big thank you to Madame O.

According to authorities, “the death toll from Cyclone Freddy in Malawi is slated to surpass 1,200 after authorities said Thursday hundreds of missing people would be declared dead as hopes of finding survivors fade.” 

On the national stage, President Dr.  Lazarus Chakwera appointed former President Dr. Joyce Banda as national ambassador for relief operations. The former president, who comes from Zomba district told me her district was hit by cyclone Freddy, and graciously took the appointment with the import that it deserves.

On his part firmer Ambassador Brian Bowler coordinated with his brother (local beer brewery giant) and donated MKw 100 million. The funds were used to buy maize flour blankets and distributed to the affected districts in the southern region that includes Blantyre, Mulanje, Chiradzilu, Phalombe, Chikwawa, Nsanje, and Zomba.

The churches joined the NGO communities and have also been sourcing donations to provide C. Freddy survivors with blankets, clothing, and flour. The Word Alive church and the Enlightened Christian Gathering Church and others have all been working within the region to help the government mitigate the impact the cyclone has had on communities.

Within the SADC region it has been heart-warming to see the neighboring countries Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and others speedily come in with cash and kind.

From the international community Geneva-based Malawian diaspora giant analyst Onjezani Kenani set up a GoFundMe the day the cyclone hit the country. Collected funds have been regularly sent to Malawi and in coordination with local conduits and the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) to source maize flour and then source blankets and other implements to give to the survivors.

For the first time, it should be noted with appreciation, that the work around facing the horrible devastating pictures of Cyclone Freddie, assistance is from within Malawi and the SADC region. Appreciably help has been pouring in from the international communities like the UK, the UK, EU, China, UN and others.

This is a great example of the principle of subsidiarity, which was developed as part of Catholic Social Teaching. The principle states “economic, social, and political issues should be dealt with at the most immediate or local level that is consistent with their resolution,” needs, and abilities.

Well done Malawians and SADC neighbors!

Janet Karim
Janet Karim
Author, high school Learning Disabilities Teacher, candidate Master of Education Special Education, Mason University; highly organized, charismatic and persuasive Communications Specialist and accomplished Journalist, Editor with 41 years in the communications field, offering expertise in all phases of print, broadcast, telecast, and social media productions. Enthusiastic story teller. Highly-motivated and trained media professional possessing exceptional writing and editing skills with ability to draft engaging and effective content; Opinion column contributor for leading national dailies (Maravi Post - 2015-PRESENT; Nation Malawi - 2015-PRESENT; Times Malawi (2004-2007). Other areas of expertise include grant writing and NGO project management. Highly trained in international, regional and local lobbying and election skills. Collaborates with international companies to initiate development policy change and foster public awareness, with deep commitment to social justice and health care equity; especially in work towards women's political, economic, and social empowerment; ending child, early and forced marriage; and promoting the human rights of the elderly. Advocate for highlighting climate change its effects on the planet. International development work experience with the United Nations headquarters (10 years, and two years UNDP field work); field experience (Malawi) - Oxfam, UNDP, UNICEF and UNESCO. Superb public speaker who communicates effectively with target audiences through strategic one-to-one or large audiences, expert in event planning and PR campaigns. Conscientious, diplomatic, and tactful in all communicationsg.
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