Balaka, Malawi is still struggling back to its feet after Cyclone Idai displaced almost 100,000 people in March of this year. The local government is planning, assisting and building but locals
remain out of work and out of their homes. Two weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall, SOS teamed up with local NGO’s WaterStep and Love the Hungry to send a First Response Pallet to Malawi that would serve as a literal and physical band-aid for the situation. Along with medical supplies, the pallet included water purification equipment and (since crops in the field were washed away) fortified meals that saved over 1,000 orphans cared for by Kasupe Ministries. Now, we have followed up that first response with a full shipment of much needed medical aid that will allow the community to heal from its wounds.
Dr. Fletcher Padoko, Executive Director of Kasupe Ministries, is an anchor in the Balaka community and a valued partner of SOS. Working with Dr. Padoko, SOS was able to coordinate both shipments as well as numerous suitcases of supplies to Kasupe Ministries and the children his organization care for. With this new shipment of medical equipment and supplies, Kapire Health Center and Balaka Hospital will now have the necessary tools to treat issues such as general surgery, nutrition related illnesses, malaria and other infectious diseases.
In the season of Thanksgiving this shipment and it’s connection to Louisville held a special place in our hearts. Marian Cochran (pictured below) , a Louisville resident, friend of SOS and friend and host to Fletcher Padoko funded this container with her sisters from the estate of her mother who passed earlier this year. Marian’s mother had met Fletcher and was amazed by the work he does for the people of Malawi; Marian told us that funding this shipment was the best possible thing to do in memory of her mother. The entire story – helping re-build a community after devastation and our neighbors conveying compassion and solidarity for people a world away – is a story of Thanksgiving we shouldn’t soon forget.