2016 Newsletter – A letter from our President
Missed the 2016 MCV Newsletter in the mail? Read it here on the blog. Below is the newsletter’s opening address from MCV Board President Tom Vitaglione. Read more stories from the newsletter here.
Dear Donors and Friends,
Twenty years ago, some returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Malawians came together to consider the plight of Malawi. Already one of the poorest countries in the world, the AIDS epidemic was overwhelming the country. Among other problems, there were an estimated 800,000 orphans in the country, and that number was certain to grow. With the social fabric in great stress, the future for these vulnerable children was bleak.
While the size of the problem seemed to preclude successful resolution, the group felt compelled to at least try to do what it could. That decision led to the creation of Malawi Children’s Village, a village–based orphan care project that focuses on 38 villages along the southwestern shore of Lake Malawi.
Twenty years later, the dream continues, with more than 2000 orphans currently being served, and more than 12,000 orphan “graduates” making a difference in villages, towns, and government. Though there was no way to respond nationally, MCV has achieved success in its catchment area, and that is portrayed in the articles in this newsletter.
This success is not happenstance. It would not be possible without the hundreds of loyal donors whose contributions cover annual village-based orphan care ($30) and secondary school tuition ($255). Though small by American standards, these costs are well beyond the reach of Malawian households that have taken in children.
MCV also benefits from a growing number of partners: Open Arms provides rehabilitative care for infant/toddlers; Engineers without Borders (Anchorage) has installed a safe water system; THREEafrica provides tuition support for girls to attend secondary school; a number of American primary school-to-school initiatives support Malawian government primary schools. From its inception, MCV has benefited from the generosity of Rotary Clubs, including: Seneca Falls and Clifton Springs (NY) support for 25 village-based irrigation systems; Kansas City support for malaria bed-nets and a new initiative you can read about in this newsletter; Palmer (AK) support of housing repair; and of course continuous support from the “home” club in Limbe, Malawi.
Finally, the innate resilience of Malawians, in the villages, in the staff, and in the local governing board is the underlying reason for MCV’s success.
We remain ever grateful to the hundreds of you who support them as they continue this noble work. Zikomo!
Tom Vitaglione, Board President