Food Aid Distribution
Julian sent us two reports in January, that have been combined into this article:
In Mphalale, Tsumba, Nyombe and Bisiketi we have been running our usual mercy work which involves the local church helping the vulnerable in their community with food aid. These programmes are a critical way of targeting the most needy who are without any means of support. They continue until the end of the hunger season.
We have taken food aid to the churches in Lilongwe (40 bags), Nsanje (10 bags), Nyombe (24), Bisiketi (16), and have released about 100 bags locally to the church. Each bag weighs 50Kg. In Nyombe, for example, there were 56 people waiting to receive the help. We spoke with several to hear their stories. One single mother of 5 children described how they had eaten only bananas for the past 2 weeks. Everyone reiterated that now there is no more piece work to be found. Therefore there is no possibility of finding more food until the fields have food in them - at least 5/6 weeks away. We will be working with the chiefs of the local villages to allow people in need (measured in hundreds if not thousands of people) to acquire food now against a promise to repay after the coming harvest - releasing upwards to 500 bags. Without this the majority in each village will have no means of finding food for the next 2 months.
We will also hire the services of an independent haulage contractor to deliver 45 bags to our 3 churches in Nsanje. The recipients will promise to repay (in maize) to their church after the harvest which will allow the church to have a food bank to run its own mercy work next year. The same principle will apply in Nyombe, Bisiketi and Lilongwe too.
We plan to repeat each of the above steps again towards the end of February.
Please continue to pray for the security of maize held in storage and for safety on the roads at this time.