Many who know me, know that Malawi, Africa is near and dear to my heart. It started when I hosted Moses, a pastor from there, in 2009 and again in 2010. He and I have remained close. From what I understand, Malawi “the Heart of Africa” is a beautiful little country and also the poorest in all of Africa.
I first heard of MAP through the American Occupational Therapy Association message board from Sue Coppola, the American representative of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. She said she went to Lilongwe, Malawi and encountered an organization called Malawi Against Physical Disabilities (MAP) (this is the exact city where Moses is from) calling for assistance from occupational therapists. MAP works to get adaptive equipment, such as walkers and wheelchairs, to those with physical disabilities. I contacted MAP last year with the intent to get equipment in their hands. I have been disappointed in my efforts as I have learned there are many barriers to getting equipment to Africa. I was able to connect MAP to representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO) as they currently have an international initiative to train people on wheelchairs in regions with limited resources.
This last Christmas, my 12 year daughter put on her Christmas list that she would like money for wheelchairs for Malawi. She emailed her list to her family. For Christmas she received $112 for Malawi. I know that doesn’t seem like much, but Moses tells me $100 will pay for a month or more of rent. We passed that money along to MAP. Here is the response we received:
Your daughter should has a big heart. I hope she continues and grows with that Heart, I am very touched. If we had a thousand daughters like yours, the world would be a very nice place. Please convey my sincerest thanks to her. Tell her the money will be use to make walkers for some of the children who have become disabled due to cerebral palsy. These ones, to be able to eventually start walking they need walkers. Angie once more thank you very much. Let us keep in touch. I shall send a photo of one of the children who will receive the walkers from your daughters grant.
I post this in hope that at least one person may feel the urge to help those who are as lucky to be from a country such as America. If you wish to 1 of a thousand daughters (or sons) here is how to help:
- Malawi Against Physical Disabilities P.O. Box 256 Blantyre Malawi
- THRIVE MALAWI
- UNICEF *side note: check out UNICEF’s: The Missing Face Documentary found on Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman’s DVD: Long Way Down (great DVD, BTW).
- Raising Malawi