Thanks to the incredible response to Joshua's Emergency Appeal we have been quickly able to start helping people whose lives have been devastated by flooding in Malawi.
One such person is Mphatso, a single mother with 11 children to care for. Mphatso makes her living from brewing local beer to sell in her village which is in the Khola region, north-west of Blantyre. She was making a fresh batch of beer on Monday morning a few weeks ago, amidst torrential rains, when her life was turned upside-down. She told us of the ordeal of being caught in her house as it collapsed.
“I went inside to dry off a little, and one by one the walls began to fall. First was the toilet outside, then one wall of the house, then another, then another”. As she talks, she gestures absent mindedly towards an area where walls had recently stood.
“I picked up the baby and ran towards the doorway, but froze. The doorway fell before me. I scrambled outside in time to watch the whole house fall down."
Buried in the rubble were all of Mphatso’s worldly goods. Kitchen utensils, clothes, blankets and her source of income, her clay pot for brewing beer.
In the days that followed, she managed to unearth the family bed and some blankets, a few broken plates and items of clothing. Everything else has "gone the way of the mud". Luckily none of her other children were in the house when it fell, and all but the youngest four have gone to stay with other relatives. One of her sons, a Form 3 student told us he has not yet returned to school as his uniform has been destroyed.
Since that day, Mphatso and the four youngest children have taken refuge in Joshua’s nearest Feeding Centre in Nkanamano. That first Monday night, when the storms were at their worst, four other families joined them, but moved on the next day, finding shelter with other relatives.
Mphasto however has nowhere else to go. Her home for now is her muddy bed, looking sheepishly small in the giant hall of the Feeding Centre. When we arrived at the centre, two of the children were found, groggy and sleepy in the bed, sick with Malaria. Mphatso arrived back from the clinic soon after we did, with medication in hand.
When asked what her long term plan was, she said she simply does not know. She cannot afford to rent or move away, and has no family that can take them all in. She added, “We have to wait until dark before we can shower as there is no private place. I feel shame.”
Thanks to your donations to Joshua's Emergency Appeal we are already helping Mphatso and several other families like her. We are providing immediate relief such as extra food, kitchen utensils, buckets, blankets, seeds and soap. In the months ahead, your donations will also provide training, tools and materials for people like Mphatso to rebuild stronger more durable homes that will stand up to the rains if they come again.
Brick by brick, one family at a time, you are helping rebuild lives. Thank you.