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Support for families affected by Cyclone Idai

Just before what was promising to be a strong harvest, heavy rains and widespread flooding swept through southern Malawi.  Cyclone Idai cut off access, destroyed infrastructure, wiped away crops, caused loss of life and affected over two million people in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. 

Support for children like Atupele

Our response

Following the initial response by the Malawi government and other disaster response agencies we completed an assessment of the families we support through our outreach programme.  Our initial assessment was conducted by Kondwani and Mrs Phiri (read our initial blog post here), they reported that communities are suffering serious hardship. Stored food supplies were destroyed, many houses were not habitable and infection was a serious concern.

They visited each of our families in the affected areas to give advice and basic essentials where needed.  The team made recommendations to Open Arms for additional support where needed and our fundraising effort was launched.

The results

Thanks to your help we have raised over £18,000.  This has provided extra support to the families on our outreach programme who have taken in an additional child from Open Arms.

What’s next

As part of our response, we have stepped up our outreach work to provide more visits and support to the families that need additional help because of Cyclone Idai.  We will continue to monitor and support the children that we have returned home through our Matron’s community visits.

We will continue to work with communities to keep up to date with any problems and we will continue to offer advice, support, food and ongoing monitoring where it is needed as families get back on their feet.  

Support for children like Atupele

Atupele stayed at Mangochi infant home when she was born following the death of her mother.  She returned home as a healthy toddler and is now 12 years old and in year 5 at a local school. Her elder sister, Hilda, is a farmer and also her carer.  

Hilda works to support her own two year old child from a dysfunctional marriage and she cares for Atupele aswell.  They live in Manjawira village, which is 74 km from the Mangochi Infant Home and very remote. 

Their house had a grass thatched roof and was built with un-burnt bricks and following the cyclone, was in a very unsafe state due to the heavy rains.  Part of the house collapsed during the rains, and the remaining walls were an immediate threat to their lives so our Matron recommended them for immediate support. (You can read our blog post initial blog post about Atupele here.)

Building work started in June and Atupele and her sister now have a completely rebuilt and much more secure home thanks to Open Arms.  This has given her a new lease of life after moving back and they are very excited to own what she refers to as a magnificent house. 

Atupele is working extremely hard at school, she is proud of her handwriting and her emerging independence.  She passed her end of school year exams as top of her class so is a credit to the care her sister has given her. Hilda, her elder sister told us that ‘Atupele is a very quiet girl, very cooperative and assists with household chores. Atupele Jolomo experiences a great sense of responsibility.’ 

By providing the family with a secure and safe home, they are able to concentrate on looking after themselves, rebuilding their lives, getting enough food and continuing with school.  We have been able to do this thanks to the help of our supporters and for that we’d like to say a huge thank you!

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