The worldwide AIDS epidemic has left behind an estimated 15 million orphans. Approximately 80 per cent of hem live in sub-Saharan Africa.
Malawi has been struggling with high levels of HIV infection, which is made worse by extreme poverty.
Poverty is a huge problem in Malawi and it estimated that 65 per cent of the people live below the poverty line. Malawi is one of the poorest southern African countries and has been facing acute food shortages due to severe regional drought. Many people are unable to take on the responsibilities of extra children because they are already strained.
More action and money are needed in Malawi for the care of AIDS orphans and providing training for the orphans is essential. Skills training can empower the children and give them skills and hope for the future.
The need now is to help, care and protect these children and this can be only done with increased financial support and commitment.
For more information about AIDS in Malawi, see:
The World Health Organization’s Summary Country Profile.
The Plight of Orphans
The AIDS crisis has had a crippling impact on the country’s children and some estimate that Malawi will have one million children orphaned by AIDS by 2010.
The AIDS orphan crisis in Malawi is a daunting challenge for the country and its government.
Access to Education
Investment in girls’ education is the single most effective way to reduce poverty. Education is the single best development investment a country can make. It contributes to better health, higher incomes, and increased participation in community life. These social and economic returns have been proven to be particularly high when girls are educated.
Results of Projects
PREVENT AIDS * PROTECT ORPHANS * EDUCATE GIRLS
These are the objectives of Crib and Cross Franciscan Ministries’ Hope for Malawi Program.
Malawi has been struggling with high levels of HIV infection, which is made worse by extreme poverty. The AIDS crisis has had a crippling impact on the country’s children and some estimate that Malawi will have one million children orphaned by AIDS by 2010. Investment in girls’ education is the single most effective way to reduce poverty. It contributes to better health, higher incomes, and increased participation in community life.
We are channels of God’s Peace
In June, I traveled to Malawi to assess the results of the projects financed by our fundraising efforts to date. Our mission continues.
A – Karonga Vocational Training School
St. Thomas Technical is part of the Lusubilo (Hope) Orphan Care Project. It offers to orphans as well as other vulnerable children classes in carpentry and joinery as well as tailoring and design. A course at St. Thomas lasts two years. Currently there are 150 students with each trade having equal numbers of students, comprising both males and females.
Young adults with no prospect to support themselves and their siblings often turn to elicit activities and simply sink into despair, in which case they are their loved ones become victims to malnutrition and disease. The personal and social benefit of giving older teens hope and the capacity to earn a living is immeasurable.
B – Lunyangwa Girls Primary School
The school required additional classrooms in order to reach a student-teacher ratio of approximately 50 to 1. A shortfall had meant that over 100 students utilized classroom space designed for half that number.
I met the students in Standard 8 who are using the facility and was amazed to see their commitment to succeed academically with the help of his well-built resource. They are actually using the classrooms during this final semester before earning a place in a good high school to sleep as well as study, with no more than straw mats to separate them from the concrete floor. Students in Malawi normally get up very early in order to go to school, which begins at 7:30. If they have far to come and don’t have adequate nutrition and study environment at home, their education is compromised. The decision to stay for the full semester is a remarkable expression of gratitude for the opportunity that our funding has provided.
C – Marymount Computer Lab
Marymount has been and still is the best girl’s school in Malawi. Almost all of the students in final year pass the Malawi School Certificate Exam. The capacity for graduates to progress to university or to get good jobs had been compromised by inadequate facilities to keep pace with the modest advancement in technology in Malawi government and business life. There was a small room with a few computers before our building project was organized with only a few students getting keyboard time as a result. The new facility is bright, spacious and is already inciting some girls to pursue information technology careers.
D – Marymount Bursary Fund
CCFM’s Bursary Project came to life during Advent 2008 as an expression of solidarity with the poor. The project was administered by the MIC sisters who have been working in Malawi since 1948 and are in contact with many your people, many of whom are orphans. Education at the secondary level is not free in Malawi. Without the capacity to pay fees, students cannot attend school. With this donation, 14 young women have been assisted with fees and other necessities.
E – Medicine for Orphans
CCFM raised funds in 2005 to provide Cdn$25,000 worth of donated medicines to AIDS orphans. These, in the form of Physician Travel Pack from Health Partners International of Canada, were dispensed by the Rosarians sisters who operate a number of hospitals and clinics in the northern region of Malawi.
More remains to be done
We will undertake similar projects in the future with your help. Please share the joy and hope of this special season by making a donation today to this address:
Procure des Missions
“Hope for Malawi Children Program”
c/o Missionaries of the Immaculate Conception
121 Maplewood, Montreal QC H2V 2M2
Please mark your cheque “Hope for Malawi Children Program.” A receipt will be issued for donations of $10 or more.