After graduating from the University of Chicago with a B.A. in Mathematics, I decided to travel by myself to Malawi, a country in southeast Africa, for a month to help teach math at a local high school and volunteer. In Malawi, the vast majority of people are incredibly poor. The World Bank most recently rated Malawi 182nd out of 187 countries in terms of GDP per capita. Here in Malawi, I've been working alongside Villages in Partnership, an organization that partners with villages in Malawi and has Malawian staff on the ground to help support their needs.
Throughout this month, I’ve gone to the homes of many families living in extreme poverty. The majority of houses are built of mud and lack electricity and plumbing; families often do not have enough food to survive. This year is especially bad, as an extreme drought left most families without the harvest that already fall short of their needs. With the help from Villages in Partnership, I’ve identified 22 families that are in desperate need of help. I've visited each of these families, and have seen the hunger and need firsthand. We’ve outlined items that we would like to purchase for each family. One of the most coveted items is a goat, at roughly the cost of $60, which provides manure as fertilizer for families, helps children get milk, and allows families to get money from selling offspring. Goats are long term sources of stability for families. One family I spoke with was able to sell four baby goats, and subsequently pay school fees for their children. Clothes, soap, and farming supplies are other items which families often need. My fundraising goal is 22 families x $80 = $1760, enough to cover the cost of a goat and allow for some extra items to each family.
If you are at all able to contribute, any size donation makes a significant difference to the families; parents in Malawi often get paid $16 a month as a salary. Your donation is tax-deductible, and goes directly to VIP. I will then be using the money to purchase and distribute the items, with help from the staff. All donations will be followed up by email from me with the photo, name, and story of the family that you have helped. I will also outline exactly what items your money will be helping to purchase. You can find out more about Villages in Partnership by their website: villagesinpartnership.org.