Twins at 18. Another story of daily life in Malawi
“Mutharika declares State of Disaster over coronavirus” (Nation Newspaper)
As the possibility of coronavirus reaching Malawi from neighbouring countries, is becoming obvious, President Peter Mutharika on Friday banned public gatherings and ordered closure of schools as part of drastic measures to cut densification. (Nation Newspaper)
This announcement was my worst nightmare. Whatever about the rest of the world, Malawi is certainly not prepared for such a calamity and I fear for the safety of all our staff of over 60, their families and the thousands or people we work with in the most remote and deprived villages on the planet.
Mutharika was re-elected in June last , but after months of court investigations and wrangling, the election result was finally ruled invalid in January, so the country awaits a new election in the near future making everything even worse, if that’s possible.
But we have never really interested big numbers, and have always focused on individual and small communities and every day or every hour there is a story that makes me weep and often cry. Today is no different where the story comes from Margaret, an amazing woman in her own right and head of our preschool project, and Cecilia who came to us 4 years ago when she had nowhere else to turn and who is a newly qualified nurse, with no prospect of a job in nursing for maybe two years, and who is back working with us since graduation. Her story is an unwritten book!!!
Margaret writes (four years ago she had no English)
I went with Martina to have a workshop with caregivers how they have started this year. Some schools have been closed because of porridge so we have called a meeting to discuss the ways how to find the porridge because almost 4 schools have been closed because of hunger. I will be doing this as am waiting for new maize to be delivered, as you said, but it is not very plenty and a lot of money.
Today we went to Chamalaza to distribute clothes as well. We met this girl, it's her photo. Her name is Mercy Kaira. She is 18 years old. She delivered twins on 23rd December 2019. She dropped out of secondary school due to lack of school fees. Her husband dropped out of school when he was at primary level. She is a housewife and they do some piece work for farmers to earn a living. This is her house where they live. It is small and they sleep on a mat on the floor with the babies. They are often hungry
We gave her clothes for the babies and we will bring more and some maize as well. Maybe when her babies are older she would like to finish her schooling, like me when I was 38 (thanks Boss) and we will bring them food as well, now we know where they are.
Cecilia says the mother and babies are very well and healthy