Where is Malawi you ask? Find out here for a little refresher. Malawi, towards the southern tip of Africa, is not a nation on the international radar or consciousness. However, the Washington Post gave it "above the fold" attention on their webpage today regarding a massive famine.
"A drought across six southern African countries has left 12 million people hungry this year, according to the United Nations. None has reached the acute hunger crisis faced by Niger, in West Africa, during the summer. But Malawi has long been ravaged by malnutrition, AIDS and desperate poverty, and many children are now suffering from all three afflictions."
If the 12 million number seems too remote and removed from the reality of the starvation, here is a personal story of one village coping with the tragedy:
"One by one, the women of this hungry village untied their babies from their backs and hung them on a scale dangling from the limb of a mango tree. As a volunteer called out the weights, Anna Bande, a nurse, grimly plotted the toll of southern Africa's latest drought on Malawi's young.
'It is affecting every child,' Bande, 53, said wearily as she drew lines on grubby paper growth charts last Thursday. Instead of the smooth upward arc of healthy, growing children, the babies of Mbadzo had lines that zigzagged slowly higher before spiking down in the past month, as the last of the food from a disastrous harvest disappeared."
Many children, both who have parents and the many orphaned children from the scourge of AIDS, are suffering from malaria, jaundice, malnutrition and other diseases. Many children and adults are likely to die because of the lack of food in the country badly affected by drought.
What can you do? If you have a little over a dollar a day, you can sponsor a child from World Vision. Click here and select a child from Malawi and make a difference today. Sponsor two children. But make a difference today.
So maybe you don't want a long-term commitment, how about a one-time gift?
- Give a specific amount from $20 to $2,000 for direct food aid here.
- Send a child to school in Africa for a year for only $75 here.
- Help Africans purchase seeds, tools and receive training by donating here.
- Sponsor one of God's children here and select "Malawi".
My wife and I today made the commitment to monthly support Mary. She just turned 8 years old and is living in a community hard hit by HIV/AIDS. World Vision has this to say about her:
"Mary lives with her parents, 3 brothers, and 1 sister. Her parents struggle to provide for the family.
Mary and her family live in a community severely affected by the HIV/AIDS crisis. In some communities, AIDS affects the entire social structure as a generation of hardworking adults is being wiped out. Frightened children and exhausted grandparents rarely have money for food, school, or medical care. Through sponsorship, you can ensure access to these and other basic needs for Mary and her family.
Mary is in primary school and she enjoys studying the national language. She helps at home by caring for the animals. She likes to play group games. She is in good health.
Your sponsorship commitment will help provide Mary and her community with the assistance they need to save a generation from the HIV/AIDS crisis. World Vision will faithfully use your sponsorship support of Mary to meet her needs and minimize the impact of AIDS in her community through tangible prevention and care programs. You are an answer to prayer, helping children and families gain access to basic needs and learn about God's unconditional love."