Someone once said, “Life is a series of thousands of tiny miracles. Pay attention to them.”
Sharing with you all three little miracles that recently helped Abundance scale up its activities (without any additional funding).
Abundance works at Mbando village, a remote rural area of Malawi with 95 households mainly farmers and fisherfolk. They face many difficulties including lack of access to vehicles to transport the sick to the nearby hospital which is 3km away. Using internal funding from contributions of Abundance’s members, we had bought a bicycle ambulance for the community to take pregnant women and elderly to the clinic when needed. We had got the bicycle ambulance custom made with a stretcher attached to the bicycle, made by a kind gentleman Masa Chikapa, who has a small welding and engineering business in Blantyre. Masa has been doing some charity work funded by Malawians in the diaspora, particularly Malawians in Texas, USA. He shared pictures of the ambulance with his friends in “Malawians In Texas Organization” or MITO. They quickly responded saying they want to donate a few ambulances across Malawi. Abundance team was thrilled when Masa said he has chosen Mbando village to be the recipient through MITO’s funds. So, Mbando village now has two ambulances which they can share with their 95 households in the village and with others in nearby villages when the need comes. The ambulances have been useful to transport several pregnant women and sick people as well as the elderly. Furthermore, last year there was a motorbike accident at Mbando and this ambulance was used to take the injured to the clinic.
Another little story on how we are able to scale up a project on eLearning through a tiny miracle. Some of you may have followed us on social media when we did a crowdfunding campaign in June this year through Global Giving to set up an eLearning Center at Chilimba Secondary School at Mbando village. Our target was to raise $5,000 within 18 days and we surpassed our target thanks to well-wishers such as yourselves who generously donated for this project. The center plans to use Rachel and Keepod technologies as low cost computing solutions to provide access to learning resources for 50 people at Mbando village. We planned for 50 people because we had budgeted for buying 50 keepods at retail prices in Malawi and accordingly raised funds. We were lucky to have been advised by Carl Meyer, the founder of a non-profit IT company ShiftIT, who helped us with technical information for this project. Carl is a friendly guy and turns out, he is a friend of Keepod founders Nissan and Franky in USA. Through Carl, we got in touch with Nissan and Franky and finally, they confirmed that they would supply us Keepods at the manufacturing price and cut the price further through a special discount for charitable organizations. The end result? We can now afford 150 keepods, three times more than what we originally planned!
The third story is about Ruth Mumba, our Director, who provided training on menstrual hygiene and reusable sanitary pads making at Mbando village. Ruth recognized that girls and women at Mbando has what we call “Period Poverty”. They use unsanitary methods during their periods, such as using newspaper strips and old cloths. Girls were worried that these would fall off and they will be ridiculed, and many do not attend school during their periods. Ruth planned a workshop to for supporting menstrual hygiene and dignity for girls and women at Mbando and provided lectures and a reusable sanitary pad making training. She organized pad making kits which were given to each girl after the training. Abundance posted the pictures of this training on facebook. Within hours we got a mail from “Little Big Prints” a non-profit organization that helps adolescent girls, requesting Ruth to train some girls in their project area on padmaking. Ruth and her sister Grace Moyo soon got busy providing training to another school in Zomba funded by Little Big Prints. Soon after, Mother Mary Children Centre, a non-profit organization operating in Chikhwawa District, also communicated with Abundance. Happily, Ruth and Grace travelled to Chikhwawa and facilitated a similar training for their mother group members. We are thrilled that news of our activities and trainings are spreading and that we are able to extend our actions beyond Mbando village.
We believe all these little miracles happen when we are focused on doing our work with utmost love and devotion. At Abundance, we are paying attention to life’s little miracles and we like telling these stories.
Reflections and Blogposts by Abundance members and friends
The blog posts here are a collection of reflections by people who have supported Abundance,or visited Mbando village where we work.