For many years Dürr Technik has been supporting children, young people and adults in our aid project in Ntaja, Malawi. One question is currently driving us: How are the people there in times of the Corona Pandemic?
For weeks now fear of infection with the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 has been omnipresent in Malawi. At first glance, the official corona infections in Malawi are low. However, since there are almost no testing facilities available, the number of unreported cases of Covid-19 is very high. In Malawi all schools are closed. Sports events are cancelled. Since there is no social security, many people are threatened in their existence. Especially in the rural areas there is little knowledge about infection routes, dangers and prevention possibilities.
KNOWLEDGE CAN SAVE LIVES
Dürr Technik and its local partners are currently focusing on education in the areas of hygiene and distance rules and on improving the nutritional situation. In detail, assistance is being provided in the form of:
1. Training courses
Recently a one-day training took place in Ntaja. Education about the dangers of corona as well as hygiene training and the production of soap were the main topics there. Locally produced soap is cheap and helps to protect people from infection with the corona virus SARS-CoV-2. A total of 40 participants took part in the training and are now spreading the knowledge to their families and neighboring communities. Knowledge and prevention can save lives in these times.
2. Radio broadcasts
Radio Lilanguka reaches a large part of the Yao in their own language. Currently, two regular self-produced programs on the subject are broadcast. In addition, there are broadcasts with information on distance rules and hygiene. Since there is no classroom teaching in the schools, educational programmes for young people are also broadcast.
Foundations for Farming (FFF)
Currently, almost 2,500 families in the region around Ntaja and Chisopi are involved in this programme. Until the beginning of the lock down, weekly training sessions were held in composting, agro-forestry, beekeeping and honey production, vegetable growing and tree planting in the villages.
In the first 3 months of 2020, more than 250 goats were purchased and passed on to needy families.
Harvest 2020 - a great blessing
The past few years in Southern Africa have been characterised by long periods of drought and massive flooding. The rainy season from December 2019 to March 2020 went very well for the approximately 80% of Malawi's people who depend on agriculture.
4. Dürr Technology School - Chiyembekezo
Currently all schools in Malawi are closed. This includes the Dürr Technik School - Chiyembekezo. At the moment it is not foreseeable when classes at the schools can be resumed. Measures are currently being planned to provide comprehensive training for teachers and students, as well as their families, when the schools reopen.
5. Sports and youth work
Since all team games have been cancelled throughout Malawi until further notice, the various football and netball teams are increasingly involved in hygiene training in the villages around Ntaja.