International COVID-19 Grant

Handwashing Supplies for the Community in Malawi

Handwashing Supplies for the Community in Malawi
Lizzie Boti expresses gratitude for the handwashing supplies.

“In our village of Suman, we are so thankful for the support of the handwashing facilities and the personal prevention equipment. The facilities will help us to wash our hands with soap in order to prevent COVID-19. We were amazed that you were able to remember us, the aged as well as the young. May God bless you, UMC (United Methodist Church) women and please extend our gratitude to the ones who facilitated the giving of the gifts for us to prevent the Coronavirus,” said Lizzie Boti.

Because the pandemic has erased many of the gains women have made in countries around the world, United Methodist Women has, over the last six months, made dozens of emergency grants, including one to the United Methodist Women of the Malawi Provisional UMC Annual Conference in Blantyre, Malawi to rebuild. Funds here are used to provide basic hygiene kits to vulnerable community members to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These kits include hand sanitizers, gloves and hand washing buckets.

Like Ms. Boti, senior Peter Nguluwe expressed gratitude, “I am very joyous today. We didn’t expect to receive the hand washing buckets. We were rather hearing from other villages that they had received the facilities, hoping that ours will come. I am so grateful. May the good Lord bless you and everyone involved in this giving. We will be able to prevent COVID-19 now.”

The History and Future of United Methodist Women in Malawi

The partnership between United Methodist Women in Malawi and in the U.S. is strategic for the women near and far because Malawi remains fertile ground for ministry in several areas of growth like women’s empowerment, girls’ education, advocacy and leadership training for community development.

The Malawi United Methodist Women, begun in 1988, started small with 15 women. In 1999, the organization blossomed after intensive annual evangelism work. Currently, there are 9,250 United Methodist Women members in Malawi.

The churchwomen expect greater stability in the country and for women and girls to flourish as a change in local government leaders has indicated that the new regime shall be one in which officials listen to the people. Malawi United Methodist Women expects leaders to advocate for the development of communities and focus on much needed economic empowerment of all citizens, including women.

Challenges to the growth of the United Methodist Women organization include the low education level of most women and girls in Malawi and a dispersed population due to their seasonal employment in the agricultural-based economy. Sharing information and educating women and girls requires time. However, we believe that a real and lasting impact, in terms of transforming the lives of women and communities, will be achieved as United Methodist Women become active agents in the development of communities in Malawi.

Motera Mhone is the Women’s Work Coordinator of the United Methodist Church in Malawi.

Posted or updated: 11/6/2020 12:00:00 AM