When the local team in Malawi began planning their GLS events, they realized Melinda Gates’ session could be a great opportunity to add further discussion around identifying issues in their community, and coming up with ways to address these needs.
Their prediction was right, because Gates’ session turned out to be the most engaging session at their four different sites around the country.
After Gates’ session and the discussion about how to address the needs in their communities, each site decided to raise money and execute four impact initiatives:
The building of a roof for an orphanage in Mzuzu
Business leaders from Telekom Networks Malawi (the second largest mobile network in the country) pitched a project to raise money and build a roof on an orphanage in their community. They felt compelled to protect and care for these orphans when they realized the orphanage was left without a roof after it had been blown off by a gusty wind. The company decided to match the money raised as part of their corporate social responsibility to complete the project.
On a sad note, the day after the GLS in Mzuzu, the attendee from TNM who presented the project died in a car crash. In the crash, he was identified by his GLS badge that he still had with him. The orphanage project will now be done in his memory. His passionate concern for the orphans will live on in Malawi GLS history.
The provision of bed nets to prevent Malaria in Blantyre
Attendees at the site in Blantyre voted to do something about the malaria epidemic in their community. The audience raised money toward the purchase of treated bed nets, and the donations were matched by one of the GLS participants. Palliative Care, a local health service organization that’s been participating in the GLS since it started in Blantyre in 2012, took on the project on behalf of the GLS community.
Palliative Care also committed to add to the amount so a minimum of 50 treated bed nets could be distributed to mothers and children from vulnerable households. Dr. Cornelius Huwa, the medical director of Palliative Care, received the check and expressed gratitude to the GLS community. The project will begin during the rainy season, when the malaria cases are at their highest.
The building of a latrine for the health center in Zomba to prevent the spread of disease
In Zomba, Malawi, the GLS audience decided to raise funds to build a latrine for the Mphupyu Health Centre located in the area where a ministry called Young Life is serving the community. The Young Life attendees pitched the project because they were concerned they did not have a latrine, paving the way to spread the very diseases they existed to prevent. Together with the GLS audience and the youth in the area, the Young Life team found the support they needed to complete the project.
The provision of bedding for a local maternity wing in Mzuzu
Attendees from the Northern Region Water Board team* pitched a project to provide linens, sheets and blankets for 25 beds at a local maternity wing, serving mothers and their new children in the community. Money was raised for the project during the GLS, and one attendee was compelled to match the funds raised.
These are just some of the projects that result from GLS leaders coming together to combat the issues of their community. At Willow Creek Association, we are excited about expanding the reach of the GLS in order to multiply this kind of impact, and share more stories about people taking action.
*Northern Region Water Board is wholly owned by the Government of Malawi and supplies water to individual households, institutions, commercial entities and communal water points in urban and peri-urban areas of the Northern Region of Malawi.