Here in Malawi, we are slowly returning to some kind of normality after all the negative impact of the C-19 Pandemic, but unfortunately, we are not yet able to host visiting volunteers. I am, however, pleased to report that despite the Pandemic and other unfriendly weather events, Open Arms has continued to moved forward especially in the way we are returning babies and older children back into their extended families.
Five years ago, our Infant Homes in Blantyre and Mangochi were both caring for more than 30 babies each. Now, we care typically for 18 – 25 per Infant Home. The numbers of babies being welcomed are broadly the same but we have been managing to reintegrate most babies by latest age two and some even younger.
Cyclones and tropical storms are no longer occasional events but are occurring regularly. In the past year Tropical Storm Ana and Cyclone Gombe both precipitated large amounts of rain on Malawi’s Southern Region. One of three Shire River hydro-electric generation plants was completely washed away and with it 1/3 of Malawi’s power generation capacity leaving us with extended power cuts and higher fuel bills from running our old generators to power our washing machines. Feedback from our outreach visiting staff after the heavy rains is reporting that crop damage has been the main problem for our 300 outreach beneficiaries.
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