One of the commercial banks in the country, First Merchant Bank (FMB) on Wednesday donated MK2 million towards 302kms cycle challenge from Blantyre to Lilongwe that will be undertaken by its own employee, Stewart Kambewa, as a charity event towards Nation Publication’s Limited’s 2018 Mothers Day Fun Run, a Safe Motherhood initiative.
Hiwa (L) presents a dummy Cheque to NPL’s John Kaunda as Kambewa (in black suit) shook his hand.
Kambewa, who shot to fame in 2016 by cycling 1,755kms from Nsanje to Chitipa in eight days to raise funds to build boreholes in selected parts of the country, intends to cycle 302kms from Kameza in Blantyre to Lilongwe Shopping Mall in aid of underprivileged mothers in Ntchisi.
He plans to raise K20 million as he rides from Chileka Roundabout through the 311-kilometer distance to Lilongwe on September 8 this year.
Mothers Day Fun Run is the newspaper’s annual Safe Motherhood initiative which seeks to curb and reduce unnecessary maternal deaths across Malawi and this year’s will be held in Ntchisi in support of its district hospital and its sorrounding health centres
Reports are that the Ntchisi District Hospital and its surrounding health facilities are facing many challenges, a situation which is putting people’s lives, especially pregnant women and newly-born babies at risk.
Spurred by this Safe Motherhood initiative, Kambewa decided to join the newspaper in raising the funds which The Nation targets to raise MK150 million from well-wishers.
At the cheque presentation at FMB’s headquarters in Blantyre, Head of Transactional Banking Ewen Hiwa said the bank is honoured to stand behind their own.
“Giving back to the community through noble causes is at the core of FMB, as evidenced by the numerous projects implemented by the bank and even our chairman in his personal capacity,” Hiwa said.
“It is therefore very encouraging to realise that this culture of giving has been inculcated in the bank’s employees as can be seen in this gesture by Stewart.
“Added to this, by making this contribution, we are not only assisting an FMB family member in realising a selfless goal, we are also contributing towards an improvement in martenal health care at Ntchisi District Hospital and the sorrounding areas.
“We hope that this challenge will represent more than just a cycle from Blantyre to Lilongwe and that it will serve as a reminder to take stock of our own fortunes and also raise awareness of society’s most pressing needs that may require the attention and support of various stakeholders, financially, materially and morally,” Hiwa said.
Representing The Nation, John Kaunda applauded Kambewa for his contribution, saying cycling 302kms is gruesome and unique and it shows he is good citizen with a golden heart.
He thanked FMB for supporting Kambewa and the Safe Motherhood initiative, saying the bank is unique and deserves support.
Kaunda said the Mothers Day Fun Run started in 2005 with Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital as the first beneficiary through equipment and drugs for the martenity wing.
In Ntchisi, they are targetting to assist the district hospital and its sorrounding 12 satellite health centre. So far they have raised MK50 million out of the MK150 million.
Kambewa said the ride has been divided in about 5 stretches;
Blantyre to Zalewa – 45km
Zalewa to Chingeni – 63km
Chingeni to Ntcheu – 36km
Ntcheu to Dedza – 70km
Dedza to Lilongwe – 88km
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