Malawi, Southeast Africa

June 20, 2016

Malawi, a country located in southeast Africa and about the size of Pennsylvania, is currently home to a rapidly growing population of about 13.1 million people. As one of the top ten poorest countries in the world, over 55% of the population live below the poverty line of $1 a day.

That statement is taken from a 2009 research paper by a Furman University student focused on causes of poverty in Malawi.

Habitat Malawi was established in 1986 and seeks to serve families in a country where over 75% of the population lives in substandard housing.  Habitat Wake established a partnership with Habitat Malawi last year and we are sending our first full mission team to build there this coming week.  Habitat Wake board member Michelle Pavliv and I travelled to Malawi last fall and are excited to be co-leading this first team from Habitat Wake.

Our team of 17—comprised of local Habitat volunteers, a couple Habitat Wake Americorps members, six Habitat Wake staff members and some family members will depart from Raleigh on Friday and arrive in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital on Saturday.   The team will spend five days in the Salima district building two homes with the Goliati and Eliya families.

The Goliati family is comprised of 32 year old Pelepetuwa, mother of 5 and grandmother of 3 currently residing together in a one room house with a dirt floor, mud bricks, and no windows.  The Eliya familyis headed by 43 year old Anne and her five sons and 1 daughter and they currently live in a single room house with mud bricks, dirt floor, and broken window that leaks regularly in the rainy season. They must share sanitation facilities with their next door neighbor.  The team will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with these two families who are counting on Habitat for Humanity to improve their housing conditions and give them hope for a better future.

After taking a short, but amazing three day safari trip to Zambia, the team will return to Raleigh July 6.

We ask your prayers for the team for safe and uneventful travel and that we can serve in a way that God’s love shines through us and in a way that uplifts the Malawians we work with and does not create a detrimental dependency.  We seek to be humbled by our affluence and privilege and that the experience will change us to be more generous and just in our lives and actions.

As internet connectivity is available, different team members will communicate the experiences of the trip through this blog.  Keep your eyes open for some amazing stories and insights.