Muslim Women Organisation (MWO) on Wednesday joined President Joyce Banda in a “Give A Blanket’ campaign at a ceremony that was held at Sanjika Palace Stadium.
MWO donated 27 blankets with the assistance of Mrs. Dudha who in her own capacity donated a further 36 blankets to the campaign.
‘Give A Blanket’ campaign is an initiative of Malawi’s President Joyce Banda that is intended to solicit blankets from well wishers and distribute them to very elderly and poverty stricken senior citizens in the country.
Speaking to Malawi Muslims Official Website at the end of the ceremony, MWO Chairperson for Blantyre District Asiyatu Lipenga said that her organisation has been engaged in similar activities throughout the country and therefore felt the need to donate to the President’s campaign as an extension of MWO activities.
“We felt duty bound to contribute the little that we had because Her Excellency’s initiative is intended to assist the needy, which is one of the objectives of MWO,” explained Lipenga.
She further said that MWO has travelled across the country and has witnessed the suffering of the orphans, widows and the elderly, which are the main vulnerable groups in the poverty levels in Malawi and therefore recommends President Banda for stepping in to alleviate the problem by using the simple method of donating a blanket to senior citizens.
Speaking at the ceremony, President Banda said that it is a curse to leave old parents suffering without anyone caring for them, treating them as if they are aliens that have to be exterminated from the world. She also condemn the tendency of accusing the elderly of witchcraft simply bacause they are advanced in age.
“You mean someone who bore you, looked after you and schooled you should become a witch now that you have started looking after yourselves? Why didn’t they bewitch you when you had just born and never spend anything to look after you later on?” wondered the President.
She therefore appealled to everyone who is touched by the plight of the elderly or would like to thank their parents or guardians (even if they are dead) for the role that they played in their lives to come forward and join her ‘Give A Blanket’ campaign to change the lives of the poor senior citizens of this country so that they should feel appreciated and cared for for their bravery and courage in moulding us to what we are today.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 60% of its population living below US$1 a day and with the scrouge of HIV/Aids taking its toll among the energetic and middle class society, it leaves the elderly as the most vulnerable with nobody to look after them. They lack the very basic necessities of life like blankets, clothing, houses and food.