Aids, Malawi and over 500,000 orphans

Sometimes I marvel at life and the amazing way that important and life changing people and events come our way at just the right moment in time.

The other day, one of those “amazing connections” came to me in the form of an email from a doctor I had worked with many years ago on the board of the Pasadena Community Non-Violent Resource Center. Since then I have moved to North Carolina and my personal focus has expanded to helping Mothers Fighting For Others and our dear St Monica’s Orphanage in Kenya.

When I received this email I immediately forwarded it to Rocky, feeling there must be something we could do. She said….write about it on Mothers Fighting for Other!. As I was re-reading the email I realized I could never capture the essence of it and so will share the email with you all as it was written: The Children of Malawi

“As you know, Mary and I have been spending about two months each summer for the past 7 The Children of Malawi years in Malawi, one of Africa’s poorest countries. The Malawi people are among the finest, warmest and most loving people we have ever known. Many of them have become family to us.

Poverty, malnutrition, limited medical resources and inadequate clean water dominate the lives of many of them.

When we are in Malawi we volunteer in rural clinics and hospitals. We work with rural community based projects organized by the Malawi people as they deal with the disease and hunger and death that are part of their everyday existence. Many of these efforts are supported by the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (GAIA) which introduced us to the needs of Malawi’s people. We also organize travel for friends from the U.S. who come to learn from and to be in solidarity with the people of Malawi. Through careful listening and respectful observation, our U.S. travelers discern how they can best serve in order to bring hope to Malawi’s orphans, to their guardians and to the sick and dying. The good news in all that is not in the unbelievably poor conditions that our Malawi friends face every day, but— that they are rising to the occasion, helping one another in the most remarkable ways. And, with the help of caring people in the U.S., resources are made available to help them tackle their problems. Individuals and congregations and non-governmental organizations are all helping in these efforts. I know of many great organizations, but I know of none that makes every dollar given accomplish as much as GAIA does, nor of any that works any more closely with the Malawi people, utilizing their leadership skills and vision and commitment to invest in lasting and sustainable changes in their communities. When I am so fresh from seeing how effectively your gifts are helping the children and their women caretakers and in helping reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS in Malawi, I cannot let the opportunity go.I must ask you once again to consider helping these people with your prayers and with your dollars. Please go to the GAIA website right now and see if you are not moved by what your gift can do: The GAIA You can give immediately on line or put a check in the mail —or even make an ongoing commitment, as some of my friends do, by having a set monthly donation authorized through using their credit card.Now—here is some other good news. And now I am not asking you for money. I am asking for your voice.

Senators Tom Daschle and Bill Frist are about to meet with the committees that write the governing agendas for the Democratic and Republican party. They are going to ask the political leaders who make up these committees to add anti-poverty planks to their platforms, making ending global poverty official party policy.

And they need our help. I just took action with the ONE Campaign and signed their petition to the platform committees. Senators Frist and Daschle will deliver our signatures and send the message that Americans want a strong commitment to ending the suffering caused by extreme poverty and global disease.You can take action too, here: http://www.one.org/platforms/?rc=platformstaf Our nation and other nations need to keep the promise we have made to the world’s poor. Let your voice be heard. Shift the use of our tax dollars away from waging war to waging peace by ending the suffering of the world’s poorest people.This is a time of hope! Join me as an active ONE member and let our voices be heard by our leaders.”Wow, we have a lot to do! I hope my sharing this letter with you will energize you to take action…whether for St. Monica’s or Malawi or helping the global effort to help the world’s poor. We CAN make a difference!
Diane

2 Responses to “Aids, Malawi and over 500,000 orphans”

  1. Don Thomas August 11, 2008 at 12:47 pm #

    Hi Diane,

    I enjoyed getting this recent email which directed me to this great blog site. Thank you for introducing me to the tremendous work that you and your compassionate friends and your visionary leader Rocky Turner are doing through Mothers Fighting for Others.

    I am grateful to you for spreading the word about the needs of the wonderful people of Malawi.

    As more and more individuals like you and your friends give their energy and their money to help these beautiful children who have faced such incredible obstacles in their lives, and in helping the surviving grandmothers and aunts who are left with the impossible task of feeding and educating so many of them, the better chance these kids will have for meaningful, healthy lives.

    I am delighted to know that the same energy and vision that made you such a valuable citizen to the children of Pasadena is still alive and thriving in your new life in North Carolina.

    Thank you—and Rocky and Tracy and Shelley and Karen and Lola and Roxy and Courtney and Cecily and Taryn and Kelley and Sarah and Amy and Julie and Robin— for all you do.

    Mary and I have relatives fro Eastern Tennessee to Montana, so we get around, from coast to coast speaking to community groups, church groups and even neighborhood groups in people’s living rooms. We are always looking for invitations to share what we have seen, to be the voice for the children of Malawi and to get people informed about and supportive of the Millennium Development Goals.

    Next time we get close to your part of the world, we will try to make contact.

    When you get back to Pasadena for a visit, be sure and call. Mary and I would love to get together with you for lunch or have time to visit with you over a cup of coffee.

    Warm regards to you and your wonderful friends at Mothers Fighting for Others.

    Don

    626 240 9646

    PS: Thanks for spreading the word about the Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance (www.thegaia.org) and about the ONE organization (www.ONE.org). We need to speak out in order to help our nation’s leaders keep the promises we have made to those in the world who so desperately need food and health care.

  2. HeadMutha August 15, 2008 at 5:32 am #

    Don,

    What a pleasure to have you here on the site. Thanks so much for all you and the fantastic women you wrote about do.

    My new goal? To go to Malawi…

    Rocky

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