Creating a Climate of Change for Girls

Urgent Appeal

 

We are asking you to create a climate of change for girls. Providing the healthcare they deserve gives girls the opportunity to pursue their own hopes for the future and break the cycle of sickness and poverty. This can be providing something as simple as reliable electricity and safe water to clinics.

 

These joy-filled young mothers at Mulanje Mission Hospital (above) have their new babies clutched tight to their chests to nurture their young lives. In the days before, many of these babies were in incubator beds and dependent on oxygen supplies.

 

A gift of £25 helps give a premature baby the best chance of life with the support of a solar-powered incubator or oxygen machine in neo-natal wards. It also means better care for mothers too. It shines a light of health and hope in the darkness and creates a climate of change for girls.

Madzi indi moyo

Water is life. But for mothers like Miriam, water has become a lifelong challenge. A challenge that puts her life, and her baby’s life, at risk. We’re asking you to help change that.

Whether it’s fetching water for the house, jeopardising girls’ education or increasingly erratic rainfall making women’s farm labour even more laborious, water can be an all too frequent measure of the hardships facing women and girls in Malawi.

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“The major problem here is water and the bathroom - there is no toilet or shower. It is not good for mothers who have just given birth,”

- Miriam

Motherhood in Malawi: Miriam's Story

The struggle for water followed Miriam from the field to the maternity ward.

Like many expectant mothers in Malawi, she had been labouring in the fields just hours before going into the labour ward. She took the 20km journey across the dusty Phalombe plains on the back of a bicycle. 

In a hot, dry October, the journey took her through parched river beds, bypassing washed-out bridges. A few weeks later these plains will flood and rivers overflow, isolating local communities from essential services.

She arrived at the government health centre in Nkomaula to give birth, with her mother for support. The clinic has no mains electricity and no running water. No reliable water for the midwife to wash his hands, for Miriam and her baby to bathe or her mother to prepare food to sustain them. 

The health centre relies on guardians, like Miriam’s mother, to fetch water from the village pump. When the pump is dry or broken, they go to a nearby river. If the water runs out at night, they have to wait until the next day.

With no mains water supply, sanitary facilities are non-existent. As a result, shortly after giving birth Miriam had to bathe herself outside from a bucket, behind a decrepit bamboo fence, barely out of sight of people passing by. Not safe, not secure and not hygienic for anyone, let alone a new mother.

With your help, EMMS International’s partner, Mulanje Mission Hospital, is working to improve access to water and essential healthcare at clinics like Nkomaula. Your gift of £18 can provide mothers like Miriam with somewhere safe to deliver their baby by renovating water and sanitation at a rural health centre.

Miriam gave birth to a beautiful baby girl in facilities that have barely improved since she herself was born. Without action, the outlook could be similar for baby Brenda. It’s time to create a climate of change, so that young mums like Miriam and children like Brenda have an opportunity to overcome the challenges they face and pursue their own hopes for the future.

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Madzi ndi moyo
Water is life

You can create a climate of change for girls

Baby Brenda will not remember this experience, but if nothing changes it could one day soon be her own experience. The sex discrimination faced by girls is plain to see in clinics like this. Their health, safety and security are at risk in a way that men will not experience. It is mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers who fetch the water and keep a bedside vigil.

Your support can help create a climate of change for girls. A nearby clinic is a testament to that as EMMS International’s partner, Mulanje Mission Hospital, has supported the clinic to have reliable running water for the first time in its 20 years. The clinician in charge explained what this meant for his staff and patients:

“For the first time, we can easily clean our hands before and after each patient.”

Your support this Christmas will help make clinics in southern Malawi a safe place for the women and girls who rely on them most.

 

A gift of £36 will help create safe places for women to deliver their babies. In doing so you will be removing one of the barriers faced by girls in Malawi. You are creating a climate of change for girls so that they can live healthy lives and pursue their own hopes for the future.

Your gift to create a climate of change for girls