Sunday, May 20, 2007
Why Malawi? Here’s why:
• It’s one of the poorest countries in the world in need of food, medicine, education and economic development. Approximately 60% of Malawi’s population lives below the UN measured ‘extreme poverty’ line: less than one dollar a day!
• It’s the heart of sub-Saharan Africa where there is on-going famine and food security crises.
• The HIV/AIDS pandemic is raging and ravishing families and communities. At least 15% of the population in Malawi is infected. Many medical practitioners estimate the infection rate at 33%.
• Malaria, TB and other health-related challenges are equal to that of AIDS.
• Half of Malawi’s school-age children do not currently attend school, and the adult literacy rate is over 60%.
Although chronic disease and extreme poverty have taken their toll on this former British colony, the warm-hearted people of Malawi are amazingly resilient and receptive, inspiring others in how well they care for orphans and widows in their distress. In this Lake Region of Southern and Central Africa that David Livingstone explored in the 19th Century, calling world attention to the slave trade that resulted in its eventual abolition, the new enslavement called AIDS is destroying the people, leaving nearly one million orphaned children.
Why Malawi? If we know about the need, then why not try to do something about it?
In 2005, several churches, including Central Presbyterian Church of Summit, New Jersey (where my wife is Associate Pastor) formed Y-Malawi, Inc a faith-based nonprofit aimed at supporting relief and development work in Malawi. The mission objective of Y-Malawi is to “provide community-wide, sustainable development and transformation in the areas of water and food security, healthcare, education, evangelism and discipleship, youth programs, and economic development, including micro-finance.”
Since its inception just two years ago, Y-Malawi supported World Vision in launching a new Area of Development Project (ADP) through child sponsorship of more than 2,500 vulnerable children in the Nkhoma village area of southern Malawi, and raised $1.2 million in cash donations. Y-Malawi also has supported CitiHope's PACCT program.
Y-Malawi is the first phase of the greater vision of networking with 100+ churches, adopting at least 10 village areas in Malawi, and expanding to other African countries through what the founders are calling Y-Africa, Inc.
Y-Malawi Mission Team Visits CitiHope Malawi Staff