While the main focus on helping in the fight against the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic is on pooling together funds to procure essential medical supplies for all hospital treatment units for the pandemic, a Blantyre couple Della and Aj Kulemeka join the private citizens intervention with a difference.
They are calling on well-wishers, individuals and companies to donate towards their initiative, dubbed ‘Feed the Frontline Healthcare Workers Fund’ — saying these professionals “are working tirelessly everyday fighting Covid-19”.
Say the appeal posted on Facebook: “Together we can…Our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers — you name them — are being looked after by frontline healthcare workers.
“They rarely eat. Let us say ‘Thank you’ [in a special way] by providing a meal per day. This is not a call for one day, we will appreciate any kind of amount as it will go a long way.”
They have already provided the first meals on Friday at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital and Deputy Minister of Lands Abida Mia has been supporting this initiative with food stuffs.
Della said: “The smiles I have seen during deliveries have absolutely been a key driver of this initiative.
“We are so happy to see more individual initiatives popping up that are doing their part in lending a hand to the frontline workers. Together we can fight Covid-19.”
The couple is asking the public willing to assist to contact them — Della on the numbers: 0991 289 123/0885 289 123 (email: [email protected]).
And through AJ Andrew on: 0999 204 459/0881 847 503 (email: [email protected]). They are located in New Naperi, Naperi Road, next to Joy Radio in Blantyre.
On his part, AJ Kulemeka says the inspiration behind this initiative came about when he and his wife Della went with a relation to get them tested for Covid-19 at Queens and while there “had a chat with a few of the health personnel and we could see how overwhelmed they were”.
He says: “They do not even have time to take a break and go for a meal until their shift finishes. That’s when we came up with the idea that we should instead bring the meals to them for free.”
Kulemeka says sfrom their interaction with the healthcare workers, they discovered that there is no special meals that the system provides for them and are supposed to eat the same food that is prepared for the patients.
The couple are business-oriented people and run Workforce Recruitment Services — a recruitment and outsourcing agency as well as providing office and industrial cleaning services, among other businesses.
“We have identified a few local caterers operating as small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs), who are preparing the meals for us. This is also a way of empowering them and helping them to grow their businesses and we urge other caterers to come forward and work with us.”
The two injected K1 million to kick start the project and thus they have decided to attract other well-wishers through social media to bring awareness of the initiative.
“We have started this initiative with Queens Hospital for now but we may expand it to other health facilities that are handling Covid-19 patients in Blantyre and beyond.
“We have already been in touch with volunteers as well in Zomba and Lilongwe who want to provide meals there through our initiative.”
Kulemeka says single meal is costing about K1 000.
They pledge to publish a comprehensive report accounting for all donations made and received.
Many people on Facebook have commended Della and Aj Kulemeka for the initiative joining two formidable private citizens, Stanley Onjezani Kenani and Dr. Thandie Wa Pulimuheya in taking the lead of raising funds towards procurement of essential medical supplies for all hospitals in the country.
Peter Makossah wrote: “The ‘Good Malawians’ are doing everything humanly possible to help in this ravaging fight against the global pandemic while ‘the government’ is still sleeping on its laurels.”
In her comment, Reena Purshotam applauded Della, describing her as “an angel. I’ll never forget how you contributed money for my aunt’s radiotherapy when you didn’t know either me or her. May God bless you always.”
A lot more people offered their solidarity and added that this has given them a new dimension altogether in the fight against the pandemic — but totally not thinking of appreciating the frontline healthcare workers in this manner.
Emily Kasakula worte: “Wow! This is kindness indescribable. May God bless you and your family abundantly” while Trinitas Tinashe added: “words fail me. It never crossed my mind. Thank you, we will definitely reach out.”
Dorothy Tembo Nhlema disclosed that there is also a group of seven Bunda College of Agriculture women Alumni, who are supplying assorted meals to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) once a week.
“It’s not enough and everytime we go, there are more needs like water, fruits etc,” she said. “The frontliners are overwhelmed and sacrifice even time to look for food. They come out tired and wasted.
“The situation at KCH is bad, the emergency ward is now an isolation too. We are still trying to look for more resources.”
She sent out her kind thoughts to Rachel Mkandawire, Monipher Musasa, Grace Chikowi, Noella Kamwendo, Esther Prima Phiri, Ethel Chikoti — “God bless you, ladies”.
Elsie Elishaba said: “I have goosebumps all over my body. Andrew and Della Kulemeka, your pockets will never run out of supply. You have cast your nets into deep waters. You shall reap bountiful.”
While journalist Mbauwo Sibongire Chavula said she is “loving the spirit Malawians are showing” in their selfless contributions in the fight against the deadly disease that has claimed over 470 deaths since the pandemic broke out last April.
Reverend Innocent Chikopa of the CCAP Church said: “Bless them good people, Aj and Della Kulemeka” while Mutsuki Chifundo Paligolo added: “Angels are right here on earth — ooooooh may God bless them.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :