Malawi Red Cross Society (MRCS) yesterday launched the 2018 National Blanket Distribution Exercise with a pledge to continue supporting the less privileged in the country.
Speaking during the exercise which took place in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nchilamwera in Thyolo, the society’s president Levison Changole said the donation was in line with the organisation’s mission of alleviating human suffering and improving vulnerable people’s quality of life.
He said: “This is an annual exercise done as we approach winter. This year, we are distributing close to 20 000 blankets nationwide, with each district getting close to 600 blankets. Our target are the elderly, orphans and the disadvantaged in society. We are working with the district council to ensure that only those eligible benefit from this donation.”
Changole said the blankets were a donation from the people of Japan through the Japanese Blanket for Africa Campaign (JBAC).
For 23 years, the society in partnership with JBAC, has distributed 304 850 blankets countrywide.
In his remarks, Thyolo District Council vice-chairperson Jani Kana thanked MRCS for the support it renders to the vulnerable in the district.
He said the blankets had come at the right time considering challenges the elderly and orphans were facing with the beginning of winter.
Commenting on the donation, T/A Nchilamwera said Thyolo is facing challenges ranging from food shortages due to drought, fall armyworms and lack of land for cultivation.
“This is also one of the districts with high HIV and Aids prevalence rate, leading to a rising number of orphans. Much as we appreciate this kind gesture, we appeal for more organisations to come forward with assistance to alleviate the suffering of the people,” he said.
Aside from distributing blankets, the society has also been involved in assisting flood victims and training 1 300 first aid providers in the district.