Malawians from across England last Saturday evening gathered for a good cause for their motherland equipped with a mentality that “blessed is the hand that giveth than the one the receiveth” with a dinner and dance at Hilton Hotel in Northampton to raise funds for cancer patients in Malawi.
A UK based Malawian public health care charitable organisation, Malawi Health Care Support (MAHECAS) organised the event, as part of its annual gala.
The well patronised red-carpet event, the Mahecas Dinner and Dance was organised and hosted by Malawi Queens Health and Education Project (MQHEP) an altruistic grouping of Malawian women which started as a social network assemblage on Facebook.
‘Spirit of giving’
Mahecas UK whose primary aim is mobilise support for the health care system in Malawi is this year celebrating its 20 years centenary amid strong calls to Malawians in the UK for their support to the needy and the suffering especially cancer patients.
They kick-started their two decades of existence as a charity on February 7th 2015 with a pre-Valentine Dinner and Dance which was held at Bexleyheath Marriott Hotel in Kent which was also organised by Malawi Queens on behalf of Mahecas. Then they have another party at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester.
In his keynote address, Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, Kena Mphonda expressed deep and profound gratitude to Mahecas UK on behalf of President Peter Mutharika and the government for its continued support and commitment in providing resources for the health care system in Malawi.
Mphonda said government expects the Diaspora community to take part in national development and hence the establishment of Diaspora Desk in the Foreign Affairs Ministry to enhance engagement.
Said Mphonda later in an interview: “It doesn’t matter how little we give, it is the spirit of giving that matters most. As Malawians in the Diaspora we must always strive to thrive in giving a helping hand to the people back home.”
The Malawian envoy explained that the ultimate objective of the government is to eradicate poverty and improve the health care system and in the long run create a better Malawi for all and position the country on the thoroughfare of sustainable development.
‘Votes Of Thanks’
In her remarks Mahecas chairperson Dr Milika Matiti thanked the people their continued support in helping her organisation in its effort in assisting in the provision of medical supplies and equipment.
Matiti emphasized that Mahecas is not a charity for doctors or medical professionals only as others widely believe, saying Mahecas is for everybody.
“I would like to highlight and underline that Mahecas is not for medical personnel, it is for us all and thus I implore all of you and everybody to take a leading role.”
In the opening remarks, Malawi Queens UK chairperson Emily Kamwendo hailed Mahecas for leading the role in soliciting funds, providing medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and for giving support to cancer patients in Malawi.
“As Malawi Queens UK we feel have a role to play in helping out back home and organising functions such as these for Mahecas is an honour for us but ultimately we thank Malawians for the support,” said Kamwendo.
Mahecas UK was formed in 1995 and since then been a pioneering force mobilising Malawians and friends of Malawi in the UK in supporting the health care system in Malawi and has well established fundraising activities such as annual Dinner and Dance, annual big walk and a yearly international food tasting day.
According to Dr Matiti , Mahecas is currently working on a cancer project in Malawi which is grave concern in the Southern African country causing tremendous morbidity and mortality due to lack of comprehensive care.
“Almost 9,000 new cancer cases are diagnosed every year.” said Matiti, “However, this may be due to lack of good cancer diagnostic services, minimal early detection (screening) treatment and palliative care,”
Cancer is when abnormal cells divide in an uncontrolled way and some cancers may eventually spread into other tissues.
There are more than 200 different types of cancer.
Malawi Association UK (MAUK), an umbrella body for all Malawian charitable organisations in the UK attended the Dinner and Dance and was represented by almost the entire executive committee led by chairman Martin Guga, vice chairman Thom Chiumia, secretary general Stepheson Mbewe, executive members who included Hanna Chasowa, Cosagne Kachingwe and publicist Peter Makossa.
MAUK donated the proceeds of the Malawi achievers awards in 2014 to Mahecas UK who later used the money for medical equipment in Malawi.
Guga told Nyasa Times that he was very pleased with Mahecas’s good work and pledged MAUK’s support in its endeavours.
“We at MAUK are very thrilled with the way Mahecas conducts itself. This is encouraging and we appeal to all Malawians in the UK to continue supporting the needy and the suffering through credible Malawian charities such as Mahecas,” said Guga
London based Malawian human rights lawyer Jarvis Matiya said it was a just cause.
“The battle against cancer is ongoing and we must face it head on. The hustle against this marauding and killer disease is real, and far from over,” said Matiya.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :