Malawi has recently announced its first cases of COVID-19.
It’s an anxious time. The lack of infrastructure in the country means a disease like this is an unimaginable challenge. To put it simply, Malawi has around 25 intensive care beds for the entire population and even fewer ventilators.
As the response unfolds, ‘flattening the curve’ will be managed somewhat differently to the U.K. Information on Coronavirus is widely heard and shared in the larger cities of Malawi. Yet for the 90% of the population who live in rural parts of the country, the message is much less likely to be heard, as access to electricity, TV and radio is limited.
Social distancing and frequent hand-washing will be a challenge when most communities don’t have running water or soap. Lockdowns will be hard to impose in a country where almost no-one can work from home. The trade-off between saving lives and jobs will be an agonising call to make in a country where Covid-19 and hunger pose an equal threat.
Whilst President Mutharika has announced certain tax breaks for businesses, the economic safety net will be unable to match the more generous, if imperfect, package governments in richer countries have rolled out.
However, there are reasons to be hopeful.
The country has been diligent in its preparation for an impending outbreak of Coronavirus. Malawi has watched Asia and Europe deal with this crisis and wasted no time in enforcing restrictive measures to help slow the spread of the virus.
The government quickly stopped international flights, closed all schools and universities, and banned weddings and large gatherings. Equally, those entering the country are also under careful watch. The country’s response is being funded in part by the President and all his ministers taking a 10% pay cut.
Malawi also has a young population who will fight a disease mainly affecting the older generation. The spread of Covid-19, although inevitable, should be slower as many Malawians do not travel outside of their village or region.
What’s happening to my donation now?
Your donations are needed now more than ever and we are very grateful for your continued support.
Most of the money we raise each month goes towards our staff costs and this will not change. We stand behind the people who are the lifeline of The Chazuka School before, during and after this pandemic.
Although we have temporarily closed The Chazuka School, our staff have been redeployed to form part of the community’s response team and will be providing essential support to the people of Chazuka during the crisis.
We are currently discussing with our partners on the ground the best way in which we can redirect the donations normally spent on porridge and school resources and will announce these measures as soon as possible.
Join our Chazuka family
Today, we encourage you to join our Chazuka family in these troubling times.
The Chazuka School may have temporarily closed its doors but we can still make our children’s dreams come true. Sound up to play this video about the future Key Workers we have in our pre-school.
If you would like to donate to our efforts then you can do so here.
Perhaps you are on furlough and would like to skillshare in some way? Please get in touch with Sara at firstname.lastname@example.org
Or maybe you could like, follow and share our social media posts so that we can reach more people and together we can continue to build bright, happy and healthy futures for the young people of Chazuka.
Zikomo … Thank you 🙂