Thank you very much for all getting involved so enthusiastically to help us to get some food to the famished folks of rural areas of Malawi. The drought has really affected the crops and the people there are still going to face a much more desperate situation this year.
A phrase that I frequently heard was: “finding food”. People describe their activities of the day as, “i need to find food”, or “he is not here, he has gone to find food”.
The most difficult thing for me to bear during my 4 weeks there was the sight of hungry people and not being able to do anything significant about their plight. One old man I saw particularly broke my heart – he was probably in his sixties, thin and hunched over, shuffling along the rough gravel road, bare-footed, after evening twilight, still looking for food. He stood in the way of our vehicle as we were navigating around the ditches and trenches carved into the road by the flash floods which also damage the drought-stricken crops. I will never forget his forlorn eyes as our bouncing vehicle lights flashed across his face capturing the image in my mind of a desperate soul… I could barely hear his rasping voice as he spoke to our driver who had stopped the vehicle – I couldn’t understand the language he was using, but even before my translator could utter a sensible word, I already knew what he was saying…I had seen it in his eyes, his desperate face, his scrawny body…he was begging for food.
What About the Others?!
My heart was broken, not only because of the desperate plight of this man so late in the day still trying to “find food”, but also because I knew that this image that had been irrevocably burnt into my mind represented a problem too big for me to solve. I kept asking myself, “how long will his situation be relieved by food given him today?” “What about tomorrow, next week, next year?” “What about his wife, his family, his home…?” “What about the many others struggling to find food?!”
The reality hit me hard: even though I have food to help people like this old man, it will only help for a few days. The image of this old man relentlessly stands its ground persistently obscuring my vision, demanding a solution. To this end I will work to provide a more effective and permanent solution. I already have some ideas which I am working on, you could find out more by looking at the following links: The Bright Water Project (Solar Irrigation) and The Joseph Project.
The fact that I had any food at all to help these desperately hungry people was thanks to you and your donations. I am very grateful that you gave and there are many Malawians who are also grateful that you gave. Here below are some pictures and videos of the hungry folks in Malawi, some show their needy situation, others show them receiving the food that you gave.
The above video is a compilation of pictures and video clips that i took and put together in Malawi to show the distribution of the 12 bags of corn that we were able to purchase and distribute during the Mission to Malawi in March this year.
The pictures above show folks receiving about 5kg of food each. This is not much, but will at least help them for a few days while they continue to find food. It is not ideal to be giving food like this on a regular basis, but this is only an interim solution whilst we work on a more sustainable answer to the hunger problem.
We were able to purchase and distribute 12 bags of corn to the participants present at the 5 churches where I conducted training.
Above: Here you can see how they prepared and ate their food with great joy.
Below: The crops have not done well this year.
The crops have not done well.