Malawi: First Lady Hails Muslim World League for K1 Billion Support to Malawi Orphans

11 April 2021

First Lady Monica Chakwera has commended humanitarian efforts by Muslim World League (MLW) for their continued contribution to the socioeconomic development of Malawi over the last two decades.

Madam Chakwera made the applaud on Saturday at Bingu International Convention Centre in Lilongwe where she presided over a handover ceremony of symbolic cheque worth K1 billion by Muslim World League's Orphanage Support Program meant for 6,000 orphans across the country.

In her address, the First Lady stressed that much as Malawi expects bumper harvest this year, there are vulnerable people in dire need of support from government and well-wishers.

"According to UNICEF, almost 20 per cent of Malawian households are looking after orphans. These households are usually headed by young girls or the elderly. Unfortunately, there is inadequate care, shelter, clothing and protection from exploitation as well as abuse," she said.

"This gesture is highly recommendable for it will go a long way in alleviating challenges being faced by the vulnerable in our communities.

"The Orphanage Support Program is in line with government's policy that orphaned children should be safely kept in our communities before resorting to refer them to institutions where there is inadequate care," added the First Lady.

She also singled out various developments which have been undertaken by the organisation such as its efforts to increase access to potable water.

She said: "Let me commend the Muslim World League for contributing 300 boreholes in the last four years, particularly in areas which had no access to potable water.

"It is sad that almost four million Malawians do not have such privilege. I highly commend this type of partnership for the sake of our development," Madam Chakwera said.

Apart from the monetary donation, the organisation also gave the beneficiaries COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPEs) and food relief package valued at K50 million.

In his remarks, Muslim World League's Executive Advisor, Sheikh Walid El Saadi, said driven by their Islamic faith, it is forbidden to sleep on a full stomach while others are starving. In that regard, he said it is the responsibility of everyone capable to reach out and do charity works.

"What we are doing today has happened for over 20 years, but today it is special because it has been graced by the First Lady.

"We are all brothers and sisters of the same father Abraham, hence we need to help those in need. Whether you are Christian or Muslim, we serve one living God," he said.

"Recently, we had talks with the State President who has given us a nod to construct a state-of- the-art hospital which will cater for all diseases, including cancer which forces Malawians to seek treatment abroad.

"It is a big project which will take four to five years once everything is set," he said.

At the event, which was also graced by Minister of Health, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and Deputy Minister of Lands, Abida Mia, there was also launch of a mobile application by Standard Bank called Unayo which will be used to transfer funds to the intended beneficiaries.

Previously, the Muslim World League used cheques to deliver cash to their beneficiaries, however, due misappropriation of funds which had been happening over the years, they decided to tighten security through mobile banking whereby children in remote areas will have easy access to their money.

On his part, Standard Bank's Chief Executive Officer, Phillip Madinga, said it was an honour to partner with the Muslim organisation in an initiative which would benefit a lot of vulnerable children.

He said the gesture by the organisation aligns with their purpose as an institution which aims at improving the socioeconomic livelihood of the Malawians.

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