Malawi’s Ambassador to Washington, Steve Matenje says philanthropy among all people in the world has great potential to help the vulnerable in the Malawian society advance in education, gain some economic opportunity as well as strengthening democracy.
Matenje was speaking at the launch of the Malawi Washington (MWF) Foundation at his official residence in Potomac Maryland, an event which attracted members of the diplomatic corps from the SADC community and their people as well as Malawians living in the United States, particularly those from the Washington DC metropolitan area.
“The formation of the benevolent foundation by the Malawian women demonstrates a realization on the part of our spirited women that the onus to improve the standards of living for Malawians is not the sole responsibility of the government but also a social conscience of every Malawian especially those living in the first world.”
The Malawian diplomant pointed out that the love of mankind has the power to improve the people’s welfare by helping the dependent, deprived and the marginalized in society become self-reliant and achieve some economic independence.
“Furthermore, as Malawians we know very well the importance of philanthropy and the true power that it can have not just on the world at large, but on our own people,” said Matenje adding; “the majority of whom continue to live in poverty, not out of choice but because they lack access to basic tools they need to be self reliant, prosperous and economically independent.”
Matenje observed that Malawi is a country with great beauty and enormous untapped natural resources in such areas as mining and tourism coupled with a resilient, hardworking, ever-smiling and warm-hearted people that are a role model for peace, security and democracy in Africa.
“It is both the philanthropy of wealth as well as the philanthropy of action that will help the most vulnerable members of our society unlock the resources we have and turn them into wealth needed to get our country out of poverty in all its forms and enable it reach its potential within the shortest period of time possible.” Matenje said.
Matenje thus encouraged all Malawians living in the United States to emulate the selfless commitment and dedication undertaken by the Malawian women in the Washington metropolitan area to give of their time, wealth
MWF Executive Members Thokozani Kadzamira told Nyasa Times that it is the wish of the organization to reach out and touch the disadvantaged especially the girl child and the elderly.
“Tangible social and economic development starts with making meaningful investments in the youth, especially the girl child and as women they would like to take the initiative to make a difference in the lives of the vulnerable in their home country, “ said Kadzamira.
In a separate interview another executive member, Linda Beza-Naming’ona disclosed that the group provides scholarships to the needy children in Malawi.
“We are currently providing scholarships and funding to five orphaned girls, three pursuing secondary education, another is at a teachers’ training college and the fifth is studying medicine at the Malawi College of Medicine,” said Beza-Naming’ona.
Naming’ona also disclosed that the organization which is registered as charitable organisation in the US also recently donated a dialysis machine to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre.
According to members of the group, the idea to form the foundation was mooted by former Ambassador to Washington, Hawa Ndilowe who is now Secretary to the President Cabinet.
“The Malawi Washington Foundation was formed with a view to improving welfare of the vulnerable through academic and economic empowerment and also helping those that are frail attain food self sufficiency,” Kadzamira told Nyasa Times.
With the Vision statement “Bridging Global Communities for a Better Future” the Malawi Washington Foundation also wants to cater to child and elderly headed families who are impacted as a result of loss of life due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
During the launch MWF raised $4,500.00 through direct donations, raffle draw and a silent auction.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :