Marist Brothers in Malawi, in partnership with the Malawi Red Cross Society, last Friday donated food and non-food supplies to over 500 students from Mayaka Community Day Secondary School (CDSS) in Zomba.
Misean Cara, a mission support organisation from Ireland, and MRCS partners provided over K18 million towards the procurement of the donated supplies, which included sugar, soya pieces, blankets, cooking oil, flour, salt, hygiene kits for girls, as well as clothes and blankets.
Misean Cara is supporting Marist Brothers in Malawi with financial resources for the implementation of a bursary scheme, which is targeting 15, 000 underprivileged students in seven schools in Balaka, Zomba, Dedza, Salima and Lilongwe.
Speaking after presenting the relief items, Marist Brothers in Malawi Finance and Administration Manager, Brother Daniel Banda, said the donation was aimed at assisting learners and mother groups to recover from the effects of Tropical Cyclone Freddy, which hit the area in March 2023.
Banda said they expect that the joint efforts will provide the learners with the much-needed relief to enable them overcome the challenges they faced and continue their education.
“Education is a necessity these days, so we train boys and girls to be good citizens in the country. Through this, we can develop as a country, and for that reason, we sought support from our brothers in Ireland,” said Banda.
Communications and Resource Mobilisation Specialist Felix Washon commended the Marist Brothers for their support and urged learners, parents, and guardians not to sell the donated items.
“Many learners were affected, and education services were disrupted. It is important to help them so that they can continue with their education. According to statistics, many students drop out of school due to a lack of support. Some lost their houses, others their clothes, and they did not have food. As the Red Cross, we commend the Marist Brothers for their support,” said Washon.
Vice head girl at Mayaka CDSS, Testimony Kachingwe, appealed for more support, stressing that majority of the learners do not have learning materials.
Testimony disclosed that the cyclone not only disrupted their homes, but also affected their school materials.
“Many learners did not perform well in their previous terms due to Freddy because they had no time to learn while moving up and down, searching for a place to live and food to eat,” concluded Kachingwe.
Community leaders described the donation as a welcome relief to the learners and their families.
They said the items will help them meet their basic needs and get back on their feet.