2017 Newsletter: President’s Address
The 2017 Newsletter was sent out with great success this year. Below is the newsletter’s opening address from MCV Board outgoing President Tom Vitaglione. See the entire MCV_Newsletter_2017 here.
Dear Donors and Friends,
Malawi Children’s Village has celebrated its twentieth anniversary! In 1996, MCV was a pile of bricks and a dream. Malawi was in the throes of an AIDS-induced nightmare that had produced 800,000 orphans who were experiencing high rates of hunger and death. Perhaps worst of all, hope was close to extinction.
The dream of MCV was to restore hope to orphans in 38 villages along the southwestern shore of Lake Malawi. There were more than 4,000 orphans in these villages with an average of six orphans living in households headed by grandparents and others. The death rate from malaria alone was about 10%, and few orphans could even think about going to school.
MCV was the product of fortunate meetings of former Peace Corps volunteers and Malawians. Together, they decided to develop a village-based orphan care program designed to provide support to households willing to care for orphans. The combination of chief-appointed volunteers in each village and a small central staff became the core of that support system. Soon, a clinic was opened, a nutrition center established, and regular outreach visits began providing food supplements, clothing, health education, and training in irrigation/food sustainability. Later, other programs and partnerships were established, and secondary and technical schools were opened.
Today, twenty years later, much of the dream has become a reality. More than 15,000 orphans have received services (including 3,000 currently enrolled), households now have an average of only two orphans, the death rate from malaria in young children has plummeted by 80% (due to treated bednets), and almost 85% of orphans are attending school!
While the Malawian staff and board have made all this happen, it would not have occurred without the continuous and generous support of hundreds of donors across the USA whose generosity is enhancing the lives of orphans and restoring hope to the 38 villages served by MCV. While we cannot serve all of Malawi’s orphans, we are called to do what we can, and you are making that possible. We invite all of you to become part of the MCV dream through your donations, well wishes, and prayers. The dream will not remain a reality without you.
Tom Vitaglione, Board President
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