SaltMalawi Blankets Appeal
What image comes to mind when you think about a sub-Saharan African country like Malawi? - Bustling cities? Game reserves? Dusty roads? Bush villages? Shimmering heat? They are all there of course, but did you know that more than 80% of the population live in poverty trying to scratch a living as subsistence farmers? In September 2012 the new government devalued their currency by a massive 49% to help sort their finances. That has now worked through the supply chain making everything hugely more expensive for people who could afford next to nothing anyway. At the end of November, we heard of another 20% increase in fuel costs.
The majority sleep in their clothes with just a cane mat separating them from the cold, damp, hard earth floor of their mud brick, draughty hut. It’s bad enough for the adults but unimaginable for children and the elderly.
Against this background, we at SaltMalawi have received a request from the village church leaders across the Central Belt, via Julian and Caroline, to see whether we might assist by helping them obtain supplies of blankets to distribute to the children in their villages and to the vulnerable elderly. We supplied some blankets about 4 years ago and the smiles of gratitude from young and old alike are still fresh in our memories. So we decided to launch a campaign to see whether our friends in UK would like to support us in raising sufficient funds to buy at least 400 good quality blankets from suppliers on the ground in Malawi.
The rainy season is just trying to begin and is in fact late (as at 1st Dec 2012). It’s dark and cold by 5.00pm. There is no electricity in the villages and villagers are unable to afford candles. So the only light or warmth comes from the charcoal fire outside, on which whatever passed for dinner was cooked. Bed is the next warmest place; or rather it would be if you had one.
We have been amazed by the initial response, which, if continued will ensure we are able to do much more than originally envisaged. Thank you to all who have participated, are participating and will participate in supporting this appeal.
N.B. This appeal is now closed. Thanks to all who helped us.