WaterAid Malawi yesterday made a K41 million donation towards this year’s Mother’s Fun Run and unveiled a long-term partnership with Nation Publications Limited (NPL) in the project.
This is the biggest donation from one source since NPL launched the flagship corporate social responsibility project in 2005.
Making the donation in Lilongwe, WaterAid Malawi country director Mercy Masoo said the organisation seeks to contribute towards maternal, neonatal and child health involvement.
“Most often we think everything is fine but going out, you appreciate how things are bad and in dire state. I have spent a night at the hospital [Ntchisi] without electricity for the entire night with 90 pregnant women and health care workers making split-second decisions to save lives.
“The hospital has a generator but it consumes a lot of diesel such that for an entire day the hospital had no power. A lot of money would have been spent yet this hospital and all its 11 satellite health centres get K12 million funding a month,” said Masoo of her second sleepover challenge she undertook on Saturday.
She then pledged that WaterAid will be a long-term partner in the project.
Said Masoo: “We will do little but we are in for the challenge and we will be in the campaign as well as bringing others. We are in this together and we will mobilise resources for water, sanitation and hygiene activities, for example, as well as publicising the cause for others to come in.”
WaterAid Malawi wrote a K40 million cheque while K1 million was raised from the organisation’s staff who put the money together after experiencing the dire situation of pregnant women at Chinguluwe Health Centre in Ntchisi on Saturday, where they joined Masoo in the sleepover challenge.
Receiving the donation, NPL chief executive officer Mbumba Banda said she hopes the donation will spur more individuals, companies and organisations to jump on board.
She said: “I am overwhelmed. This is more than I had expected. Mother’s Day Fun Run is about stepping into the space to protect and help those who cannot and are in need. From this donation, there are so many stories that can be told that underline the need to forge partnerships.
“I am amazed at how you have dug deep into your pockets to help people, some of whom you might never meet. That is what humanity is all about. The donation makes everything worthwhile. For that I say, thank you.”
NPL set a target of K150 million for this year’s fun run and WaterAid Malawi’s donation brings the total amount of funds mobilised to about K130 million.
This year’s exercise takes place on October 13 in Ntchisi. The resources will go towards purchasing of medical equipment for Ntchisi District Hospital and its 11 health facilities, thereby bridging gaps that have been existing for a while to achieve safe motherhood .