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Story from Malawi

(In yesterday’s blog post Sister of Providence Deborah Campbell introduced us to Joy, an IT technician working in the Catholic Relief Services office in Malawi, southeast Africa. Today, Joy tells us about his visit to his village at Christmas time and the happiness that stemmed from his use of Sister Deborah’s cash gift of some of the money she receives from CRS for food and incidentals while traveling.)

Sister Deborah,

This group picture was taken of the recipients of the food and clothing donations.

This group picture was taken of the recipients of the food and clothing donations.

I am sorry I have taken so long to share with you the details of the trip to my home village due to tight schedules at work since we came back after Christmas and New Year closure. I wanted to have a little time to put a good narrative together.

You bought about 11 packets of sugar and 22 kgs of rice. With the additional money you left, I managed to buy 19 more packets of sugar, a small pail of rice, some milk, cooking oil, meat, tea, candies, and other assorted items. In addition to these items I included about 30 shirts, 10 trousers, 7 pairs of shoes, and other stuff.

I left Lilongwe for the village on 21st December and arrived the same day. Roads are very bad during the rainy season, such that I couldn’t manage to go by my car so I left it in the city of Mzuzu and used public transport to get to the village.

There is only one 16-seater minibus that goes to my village which is about 65 kilometers from the city. But due to transport problems to this remote area, the 16-seater was forced to overload and the day I was going home it carried 26 passengers instead of the allowed capacity of 16. You can imagine.

Eating kids

Kids eating.

When I got there my mum and I worked on a list of the neediest people, not only from our village but other surrounding villages as well. We came up with a list of about 30 people. Out of the 30 we managed to bring together about 20 people at my mum’s house. The weakest were allowed to send someone to collect the parcel for them. The distribution was done on 23rd December while on the 24th I walked long distances delivering door to door for some needy people located far from our village who couldn’t send someone to collect for them. People were so excited and the distribution was the talk of the area.

I took some photos all the way and have sent you some. A few people I didn’t manage to personally visit, as I was so tired from my journey walking on foot. I had to ask someone to finish delivering the remaining items, while I only followed up to ensure all the items were delivered.

The well where people get their drinking water.

The well where people get their drinking water.

I have included a photo of the well where my people get water for drinking and all other chores. You’ll also see some bridges which I was crossing on my journey to my home village and some kids enjoying their lunch.

Once again, many thanks for your amazing support. May the good Lord reward you abundantly with good health and prosperity … and let him also bless all your sisters, nieces and nephews and grant them their heart desires.

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Sister Deborah Campbell

As a senior auditor for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Sister of Providence Deborah Campbell regularly visits countries needy countries to ensure donated funds are being used to help people most in need.

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