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Lockdown diary - July

Our team continue to monitor the cases of coronavirus in Malawi closely with local medical experts. The infant homes and family homes have been locked-down for three months now but there have been some local transmissions recently and the infection rate in the country is starting to climb.  We are therefore extending our lockdown for a further four weeks while we monitor daily.

Vital care for babies most at risk

Staff and children have settled well into their new norm and hove coped well with the demands of working during lockdown.  Winfreda tells us 'It has been different working residentially and being here every day. It has brought staff even closer to the babies and it has helped us to love them unconditionally. Also, we would have been commuting back and forwards to work endangering the babies and our own families. The lockdown has kept everyone safe.'

Israel, now aged two, has been keeping a keen eye on the changes at Blanytre. Like any toddler, he is very observant and has recently noticed that the groundsmen are not visiting anymore. In response, Israel has been stepping up to do his part and can often be found sweeping the garden with a tree branch he has found!

Singing Chikondi Farewell

Opportunities to learn and develop

“Online classes have helped a lot because we are able to recover all the previous work that we did back in school, test our brain capability when given various tests and assignments and mostly we are able to ask if we didn’t understand a particular question to our teachers. We really thank Martin for setting up and taking us through how google classrooms works and helping us at the start with some of the problems we faced.” - Eric

Home schooling continuing

Google classrooms are working well for our older children studying their exams.  They are settled into their routines and managing the technical issues.  Martin, our Blantrye administrator, has worked hard to support the students and check on their progress on top of his already very full schedule.

He tells us "as an administrator/ IT assistant I organise the devices and set up everything ready for classes, it was not easy for our children to get familiar with the system of google classrooms. I trained them and they were ready to be in class". 
Norman says "I thank Martin for checking on me each and every day before or after my classes this helps me to solve some problems I face. Am very thankful".

For those children not at school or not supported by remote schooling their mums have been keeping them busy with daily chores and activities.  These are essential life skills which promote independence and confidence, and help keep the children busy and occupied in these strange times.


Back in the community

Our community work is continuing but Ennifer and Rex are managing a restricted operation focusing on supporting the children who are most at risk or need additional help.

One little girl visited recently was Shamida, who was welcomed at Open Arms Mangochi on 16 October, 2009 when she was seven months old. After 18 months she was well enough to return to live back at home with her aunt.

Visits give the family Likuni Phala (fortified soya flour) to help improve her healthy status and a small monthly allowance to buy clothes and school materials.  Shamida gets important support with her medication from Open Arms and her family get support and advice from our matrons so that they can educate her about her medication and how to stay healthy.

Shamida Chilungulo

Community support

“Shamida is growing very fast. She is always very happy and friendly, evidence that she is being cared for well at home.” - Rex

Planning next steps

Your support is vital to the children in our homes and in their communities. You are supporting older children through exams and training to set them up for independence, you are providing life-changing care in our infant homes and home based care in communities to promote sustainability and avoid further intervention.  

We desperately want to continue these services but the wider impact of the coronavirus is threatening our funding due to the cancellation of many events and activities this summer.  With Malawi inflation reducing the buying power of our funds and the 40% expected drop in available funds this year, our team have had to make immediate changes to their services to be able to continue to meet the needs of our children and local partners in Malawi.

With your help we will continue to 

How can you help?

You can support us by making a regular gift or one off donation here or if you'd like to partner with us this year you can contact us on  Thank you.

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