Girls often drop out of education in Malawi and miss days at school as they cannot manage their periods with dignity.
Working with Thondwe Girls Project money was raised through selling cards and donations to buy 24 reusable menstrual hygiene kits for some of the girls in Luwatala. Some are at secondary school, the rest at primary.
We asked – what are the challenges for education for girls in Luwatala. This young lady explains “Lack of books, need help from parents and secondary school is 20km walk away”
As primary school leaving certificate exams approach students at Mpata Primary have been unable to study. Schools were shut in March due to Covid-19. With no internet or radio to learn they would be assessed against urban youngsters for a secondary school place. By selling books here we were able to allow Mpata to buy text books so students could study from home (school only has a few books). Good luck to the young people at Mpata as they return to school to sit exams.
Mpata Primary school has almost 400 students, no electricity and hardly any resources for learning.
Young tailors in Luwatala have been making masks for the community. About half the village can now have access to a mask to use, especially if they are going to the local market. All the kind donations from the crowdfunding site have been going towards hygiene resources for the prevention of Covid-19 spread so the community can buy the things it needs.
There are now (end of June) over 1000 cases of Covid-19 in Malawi and local transmission within the population. Testing is limited as is health care: Gardian article: if-it-comes-it-will-overwhelm-us-malawi-braces-for-coronavirus Luwatala has formed a health committee who are working with the church and the community to provide health support. Here we are responding to the community to provide soap, buckets and medication. We are also listening to and sharing stories of our experiences.
Luwatala is keeping well but concern is building as cases of Covid-19 in Malawi reach 273 at the end of May, with local transmission of virus now being reported. Donations via our Crowdfunding site have allowed the purchase of over 1000 bars of soap to be distributed within the community, focusing on shared community areas and the most vulnerable residents (see photos below). Luwatala now have some medication, pales for hand-washing and are beginning to make masks.
In March 2019 Cyclone Idai came through Malawi destroying buildings whilst crops and top soil were stripped by flooding. Food stores were low going into the rainy months – particularly at the local Primary School which aims to give its learners one porridge meal a day.