Compelled by their predicament due to Covid-19 devastation, Malawi Network of Religious Leaders Living with or Personally Affected by HIV/Aids (Manerela+) on Wednesday distributed assorted food items and personal protective equipment (PPEs) to the minority groups in Mangochi district.
The minority groups who received the items are the: “Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI), also known as LGBTI community from Monkey-Bay, Maldeco and Mangochi boma.
Speaking in an interview after presenting the items at Maldeco in the district, Manerela+ programme officer, Harold Kachepatsonga said the items were given to vulnerable groups to lessen their suffering occasioned by Covid-19 pandemic.
“Since the outbreak of the pandemic, we have observed that the LGBTI community are among the most vulnerable groups of people in the country “feeling a heavy pinch” due to their exclusion in Covid-19 responses by government and stakeholders,” he explained.
“Therefore, to fill the gap, we saw it fit to respond to their situation by giving them these food items and PPEs to ease their challenges,” revealed Kachepatsonga
“This intervention falls under “Covid-19 prevention and preparedness” our organisation is
implementing in Zomba and Mangochi with financial support from Open Society Initiative for
Southern Africa (OSISA) to help fight the pandemic,” he disclosed.
Kachepatsonga said the food items will help them meet their basic needs while the PPEs will help them to embark on activities that enhance their observation of Covid-19 prevention measures.
To this effect, he urged the LGBTI community against laxity in heeding Covid-19 preventive
measures, saying the pandemic is still around that calls for their involvement to uproot the virus.
Kachepatsonga, however, took advantage of the event to ask government and stakeholders to start viewing minority groups as human beings and start including them in Covid-19 responses.
One of the beneficiaries, Winnie Mzumara from Monkey-bay thanked the organisation for reaching- out to them with the food items and the PPEs, saying own their own they couldn’t afford to buy the items because most of them are poor.
“The outbreak of Covid-19 exposed us to harsh realities of life. Now that we have received these
items we feel wow!” she commended.
The items included: sugar, rice, milk, cooking oil, soya pieces, soap, jik, vim, face masks, among
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