Our next project takes us across the border from Zambia into the beautiful country of Malawi. We'll be working in a small village called Mtema, which is about 20 miles northeast of the capital city of Lilongwe. The 22,000 people who live in Mtema are primarily subsistence farmers growing maize (corn).
As a result of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, there are at least 750 orphans and vulnerable children in the community. Our local partner on this project, Somebody Cares, has identified at least 8 child-headed households in the main village in Mtema. Most of the orphan children are cared for by grandmothers.
Literacy is very low and there is only one primary school located about 3 miles from the main village. The majority of the girls in this community get married between the ages of 11 and 15. Very few girls ever get the chance to go to school.
Our goal is to help anyway we can. In working with our on-ground partner, Somebody Cares, we will be raising funds from our Hoops of Hope events to do the following:
1. Feed the 750 orphan children one nutritious meal every day for the next year. For every $40 you raise at your Hoops of Hope event, you'll feed one child for a year!
2. Build a community center to be used for food storage, preparation, education, etc. The cost of the community center is $30,000.
3. Dig 4 boreholes to provide fresh water for the community. Access to safe drinking water is a huge challenge for Mtema. In the primary village people have NO access to safe drinking water. They depend on the river water for drinking. This is the same river that animals use, and that is used to bathe, wash themselves and their clothes. As a result, the people of Mtema suffer from a number of waterborne diseases. Total cost is $10,000 per deep borehole.
As always, EVERY PENNY you raise from your Hoops of Hope event will go to these projects. We have not and will not take money from your event for Hoops of Hope overhead. We appreciate your partnership as we strive to make a difference for these children.