Christmas Appeal 2019
Will you help answer a mother's prayer this Christmas?
Many mothers in Malawi pray daily for food, shelter and pain relief for their children.
For mothers living in poverty in Malawi whose children are very ill, their Christmas prayer is the same as every other day. To see their children free from pain and suffering.
Mothers like Leah carry the burden of care for sick children and supporting the family as a whole. Every day she is faced with impossible choices in caring for her sick child, herself and the rest of the family.
Jonathan is her fifth child, her fifth blessing. However, since he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, her strength has been tested every day. Her husband refused to play his part and divorced her, leaving her to care for all five children and without a job to make ends meet. She has fought this battle alone for 10 years.
When Nurse Flora, from EMMS International’s partner, Palliative Care Support Trust, first visited their dilapidated home, she found Jonathan malnournished and suffering from painful sores. She found Leah overwhelmed by the daily struggles of providing for her family, raising her children and giving Jonathan the special attention he needs.
Nurse Flora’s visits now mean Jonathan gets the specialist care and nutrition he needs. But it also means Leah gets the support, encouragement and friendship she needs too. She is no longer left to fight poverty and sickness on her own.
Miriam didn’t think life could get much harder. Living with HIV has been a daily struggle without the food and support she needs to manage her illness.
However, things took a tragic turn for the worse when her little boy James began to get sick and it was confirmed that he was HIV positive also.
Abandoned by her husband, she is left alone to care for 2-year-old James and his 10-year-old sister, Grace.
Miriam is trapped in a vicious cycle. Without enough food she cannot stay healthy. Because she’s so sick she cannot work to buy food.
As a result, James is malnourished. This is dangerous for any young child, but especially so for a child with HIV. When both Miriam and James are sick, then it falls to Grace to care for the family.
"Miriam lives in absolute poverty" Nurse Flora explains. Working in Malawi, poverty is a daily reality for Nurse Flora and so to say this family lives in absolute poverty is a grave diagnosis.
A gift of just £18 puts food on the table and saves Miriam from the agonising decision of how to stretch the little money she has to care for and feed her family.
How you can help...
Help like yours means Nurse Flora is there to lift the burden from mums like Leah and Miriam and shows that they and their children matter. That every mother matters.
Your gift can provide...
A place to turn to. When health emergencies occur, mothers need somewhere to turn to. Your gift of £8 helps provide the security of transport to hospital and quality care when things get especially difficult.
Food for the table. No mother should watch her children battle with hunger, or be forced to give up a meal just to see them eat. Your gift of £18 can help a mother start and maintain a kitchen garden to keep the whole family healthy and strong. This is an essential part of managing incurable illnesses.
Care for carers. Home care visits not only meet the needs of patients but support those who care for them. All too often mothers struggle on their own to provide complex care and support for the rest of the family. Your gift of £34 gives people like Leah the love, care and support of a nurse who visits them at home and helps them to face these challenges.