Field notes, perspectives, stories & updates from IAFR's work in Dzaleka Refugee Camp, Malawi
I cannot believe how many times a day I am washing my hands as we navigate our way through the Covid-19 pandemic. My hands must be thinking, " C'mon, not again". But we have discovered the immense importance this holds in protecting ourselves and others from receiving or sharing this virus. Unfortunately in many places, such as refugee camps, soap and water are not so readily available. Something so impactful is often difficult to afford or attain.
As we take extraordinary steps to battle Covid-19 in our various countries, we have been asked by others what they can do to help refugees...people who are even more vulnerable to the virus due to living conditions and food insecurity. Working with our refugee church friends and on the ground partner, There Is Hope Malawi, we have come up with two ways to help the more than 40,000 people at Dzaleka Refugee Camp.
The first way is to help provide wash stations (water and soap) around the camp. $10 would provide a bucket and a packet of soaps for a month. We believe that wash stations will need to be available for 3-4 months.
The second way is to help provide food for new arrivals to the refugee camp. New arrivals are put in a 14 day quarantine away from others. They have no access to aid that is normally provided to all other refugees in Dzaleka Camp. $10 should provide food for one person for the 14 day quarantine period.
We know many in North America and other countries around the world are suffering job losses and financial hardship. But if you are in a place that you can help our refugee friends in Dzaleka, you can go here and select "Dzaleka" under Ministry Locations to give a gift toward our Covid-19 response.
We are in this together!!
Yesterday we had the privilege of joining our friends at the Pentecostal Community Church for worship in Dzaleka. Upon arrival we were greeted with the biggest smiles and hugs I have seen in a long time. We were also greeted by these two children with the words "you are welcome." It struck me that refugees are so quick to welcome us into their communities but so often the rest of the world will not welcome them into their communities. It was a real lesson in hospitality.
IAFR has been serving people in Dzaleka Refugee Camp since 2009. About 50,000 people (mostly women and children) have found temporary refuge here from war, persecution and gross violations of human rights.
We visit Dzaleka 2-3 times annually, during which time this blog is most active.
Visit the Dzaleka page on the IAFR.org website to learn more!
We partner with There Is Hope, a Christian humanitarian and development agency established by a former refugee, Innocent Magambi.
We also partner with refugee churches in Dzaleka, seeking to partner with them in pursuing some of the things God has put on their heart to do.
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