The community of Sant’Egidio has underscored the need to reach out to the needy and underprivileged people such as flood victims saying that this is the benchmark of Christianity.
The faith based organization is currently implementing a relief distribution exercise in various districts to people who were displaced by cyclone Idai earlier in the year.
The disastrous cyclone hit most parts of the southern region, leaving a lot of families destitute after their gardens, livestock, houses and other belongings were washed away by the raging waters.
It is against this background that the organization found it worthwhile to take an active role in assisting the victims starting from their respective camps.
Speaking to journalists during a relief distribution exercise at St Andrews Catholic primary school in the area of Pitala Kasanga village, T/A Kalembo in Balaka, a representative of the organization in the district John Douglas said that his organization has been running various interventions aimed at building resilience for the victims.
”We have been assisting our brothers and sisters here with assorted items ranging from foodstuffs, plastic sheets of paper for roofing houses and water guard to combat the influx of waterborne diseases,” he said.
Douglas further said that his organization identified beneficiaries of the relief items in areas which were considered to be hot-sports in as far as the disaster was concerned.
He described the initiative a success with more than 600 beneficiaries reached out to so far in Balaka district alone.
Douglas attributed the success story to a cordial relationship that has existed between the organization and the village committees.
Violet Kananji from the same village is one of the beneficiaries of the initiative. Her story represents a similar experience that a multitude of households came across when the deadly floods displaced the entire village and forced them to seek refuge at St Andrews primary school which was turned into a camp for the victims.
”It was around 9 PM when we heard a sound of water and eventually houses began collapsing. We fled to the upper land and later proceeded to a nearby school where the government and other stakeholders mounted a camp,” the visibly dejected woman narrated.
She recalled that life at the camp proved to be unbearable as the flow of necessities was not enough to cater for almost 63 households comprising of almost 250 people.
Kananji commended the community of Sant’Egidio for the support rendered during the entire period and pleaded with other well-wishers to follow suit as the victims are relocating to their respective places.
Founded in 1986 in Rome, Italy, Sant’Egidio is a faith based organization of the Roman Catholic Church and it opened its doors in Malawi in 1999.
Apart from promoting peace and a prayerful life among communities, the organization also implements projects in various sectors with its flagship programs of Dream and Bravo.