Friday, December 21, 2012

Bread and Fanta for Christmas??


This year, we sent some extra money ($3 per kid) for Christmas gifts for the kids. I asked Geofrey to send me pictures of the kids with their gifts and this is one that he sent me. I had in mind pics of kids playing with their new shiny toys... When I received the pictures, I thought, "That's not what I had in mind. Where are the toys???"

I immediately called Geofrey (Mercy League Malawi program manager) to see why he didn't buy them toys.

He said that the kids refused to receive a toy and instead wanted to use the money for a loaf of bread to take home and share with their families. A loaf of bread in Malawi is 300 kwacha (about 2 days wages), and a delicacy . These kids have never been able to buy a Christmas gift before and were so happy to be able to do so. They get food every day, but at home food is still scarce. What great kids you are all helping!!

Geofrey did buy them each a soda to enjoy. He said the kids were so happy they were dancing and singing!

So thank you for your donations. We were able to not only give these kids the joy of fanta and coke :), but also the satisfaction of providing something special for their families.



Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Thankful Kids!

These kids are sooooo thankful for everything that they get thanks to donors like you! This day it was a pen and a bar of soap (in addition to food)... 

What are you thankful for today?

Latest update from the field!


Monday, October 8, 2012

2nd Sponsored Child Enters High School!!!!

Blessings Lipunga, Ready for school!
For those that don't know, Mercy League Malawi does more than just feed and clothe under-privileged kids in Africa. Your donations also go towards things like mosquito nets, hygiene supplies, cooking utensils, etc. for needy families and school fees for some great kids!

Congratulations to MLM's second sponsored child to pass Standard 8 Exams and enter Secondary School (high school)!!!

Blessing Lipunga is now attending Monkey Bay Secondary School all school fees/books, being paid for thanks to donors from around the world!

In case you didn't know... In Malawi, school is free up to Standard 8 (8th grade), and then it costs money to go to secondary school (high school). Only about 10% of kids make it to the 8th grade in the Monkey Bay area, and a fraction of them can pass the exams AND pay for secondary school.

Thanks so much for your support!

Shane






Sunday, April 1, 2012

Malawi Food Costs Rising

I am at a bit of a crossroads and am not sure which path to take in regard to feeding. It is an issue I have wrestled with before.

The issue is, do we feed more kids a less nutritional meal OR feed less kids a highly nutritional meal? 

Currently the Malawi currency (kwacha) is in free fall and is losing value by the day, making food costs go through the roof. The government refuses to devalue the kwacha vs. the dollar and therefore each dollar that I send to Malawi only yields 165 kwacha (Check out this article for more info: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5h-stJNLykS9piOin_v3_xJhB77OA?docId=CNG.91f54df3baaf54aa7554fca3c3d379df.711), while on the black market you can get 300 kwacha. What that means for us is that as food prices rise, we are able to buy less food with the same amount of money. A small example of this is: we were buying tomatoes for 10 kwacha only a few months ago, they are now 30 kwacha.

I have told Geofrey that I really want to feed rice, vegetables, beans, and clean water one day, and nsima (corn flower paste), vegetables, beans, and clean water the next. We have been doing this, and although last month I sent the most money for food that I have in a long time, we were only able to feed 50 kids due to the rising costs... Geofrey is recommending rice and nsima only for a while.

I am leaning towards doing what Geofrey says because he is on the ground there and is getting pressure from the villages to feed more kids. Perhaps we can find a balance of every other day doing vegetables? Any feedback would be great!!!!

Thanks for all you do to help!

Shane Mast
Director