Covid-19 has presented every community with challenges no one could have predicted. As lockdowns have come into place all around the world, communities in Malawi have been presented with serious challenges.
When the closure of schools and nurseries in Malawi became inevitable, we were clear that the safety of students and their families in Mlambe schools was paramount. However the closure of The Mlambe nursery also meant halting our valuable feeding programme, where we guarantee that every child at the nursery receives a meal when they arrive.
Access to essential services and particularly food supplies are vital in Malawi, where people are often dependent on precarious incomes and receive little financial assistance. The economic impact of families who are unable to work during the pandemic is huge. 70% of the population live below the international poverty line, making our nursery feeding programme a vital resource for all of the children and their families who use the service.
After some reflection it became clear that the meal provided by the nursery feeding programme should remain available for these children. Thus, we decided to put some measures in place to help us do this safely.
Our in-country team members Geoffrey and Stephen, along with nursery teacher Earnest investigated the measures which could be taken to alter the programme at the nursery so that the children could come in once a day for their meal. After some research and using science-backed guidelines, the team taught the nursery children how to safely line up with a two metre space between them to wait for their meal whilst maintaining social distance.
The children modelled this beautifully and set a superb example for us all! We’re so proud of how the children are able to follow the guidelines so well and ecstatic to be able to continue this programme.
Geoffrey and Stephen also helped provide mothers of children in the programme with sanitation equipment such as soap and buckets for washing hands, as well as advice and support. We are so impressed with the wonderful children at The Mlambe nursery and hope to continue our socially distant feeding programme until the nursery is safe to reopen!