Queen honours Malawian volunteer

Queen Elizabeth II on Friday recognised Malawian volunteer, Brian Khembo, due to his exceptional voluntary service supporting the elderly and street kids during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Khembo has been recognized as the 146th Commonwealth Point of Light.

The volunteer is the founder of ‘My Community My Responsibility’, which is educating the local community about COVID-19.

He leads weekly outreach meetings with 300 elderly people in local towns, to amplify the key messages of social distancing and regular hand washing, while also distributing food, masks and soap. The volunteer also provides 50 vulnerable street children with regular hot meals.

Khembo in his remarks thanked the Queen for choosing him to be among the people to receive the Points of Light award.

“This award will fuel my desire to support many children on the streets and the vulnerable people, it will help me to be a model for many in Malawi. My desire is to see that one day most of these (street) kids should become independent and productive citizens of the country,” he said.

On his part, acting UK High Commissioner in Malawi David Beer hailed Khembo as an unsung hero who has decided to do something and support his community through the current COVID-19 crisis.

Beer said: “Using personal resources and sometimes pulling together little contributions in cash and kind from friends, Brian has been able to reach out to the most forgotten and vulnerable in this pandemic: street kids and the elderly.

“Brian has regularly provided meals and protective wear such face masks to street kids and has been helping the elderly in some of the poorest neighbourhoods with food items and information on how to protect themselves from the pandemic. I congratulate Brian for the award and the recognition from HM The Queen for his selfless acts.”

As part of the legacy of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London 2018, Her Majesty The Queen – as Head of the Commonwealth – is thanking inspirational volunteers across the 54 Commonwealth nations for the difference they are making in their communities and beyond, by recognising one volunteer from each Commonwealth country every week.