December 1st 2016
Read an update from the field from executive director Peter Gamula, of Mercy Care Malawi. He shares about Malawi's current food crisis and how it's impacting the children he serves.
Malawi, the warm heart of Africa, is facing many challenges. Rolling blackouts, rising fuel prices, high unemployment, and understaffed hospitals make for a pretty dire situation. We’re also in the middle of our worst famine in decades.
The president has declared that the country is in a state of emergency because of the hunger crisis. Due to drought, poor agricultural practices, and high population growth, millions are starving. One of the girls in the community shared “I cannot attend classes because I need to help my mother search for work so that we can buy maize”.
Hungry is the greatest enemy for development of any country. Families are separated. Girls are giving in to older men. Boys are forced to go outside the country searching for jobs (child labor). Children are starving and lives are lost. Some families live on one meal for a whole day. This is contributing to the increase of HIV/AIDS as people do whatever it takes just to have something on their plate.
Our efforts to educate the youth in our program have been paralyzed by the drought. The number of students who drop out is increasing each and every day. Most kids go to sleep with empty stomachs and it’s hard for them to concentrate in class.
I visited Chikumbutso who has withdrawn from school. He has the money for school fees and owns a school uniform but he is still not attending school because of the hunger situation.
He asked me: "How can I learn without eating anything" in response to my asking about his commitment to school. Hunger is hitting us much harder than we can endure.
It is challenging to encourage kids and students to come and work hard toward their education when they are sleeping with empty stomachs. The coming months will be more challenging because these families will pull their kids out of school to work in the gardens to farm food for the next harvest.
My ministry (Mercy Care Malawi) offers kids who attend our after-school program the chance to eat a balanced meal. This not impacts the children, but also the parents who have peace that their child will receive at least one meal each day. Our feeding programs are vital to the health of our communities and with UPI’s help, we’re feeding hundreds of kids each day.
Join me for a virtual dinner this month! I’ll be leading the live webinar and you’ll get a tour of the ministry in Malawi, meet some of the kids, and get a glimpse of life in the village.
Buy meals for some of our children and sign up here!