Boston, MA (PRWEB) November 9, 2005
The Pendulum Project is working with eight African community based groups located in Malawi to assist approximately 9,000 children who have been left vulnerable and orphaned due to a combination of HIV/AIDS and structural poverty. The Pendulum Project is non-profit humanitarian organization based in Boston, USA and Malawi that works to strengthen child centered community development initiatives in Malawi by providing essential resources.
There has been a steep rise in the number of orphaned children now estimated at close to 1 million, of which half are orphaned due to the death of a parent from AIDS. It is estimated that there over 1200 community based organizations throughout Malawi assisting children, families and caregivers who are struggling for basic survival and dealing with psychosocial trauma. Mr. Penston Kaliembe, Director of Social Welfare Services for the Government of Malawi said, “ Most of these programs have activities for the children that include vocational skills training, payment of school fees, home based care, literacy education support, peer groups and HIV/AIDS education but are constrained because they need more funding to provide these services and deal with the ever growing numbers of children who are in need due to current rates of HIV/AIDS, deep poverty and the current food insecurity crisis.”
Malawi, where The Pendulum Project has been working for five years, is one of the poorest countries in the world with a high prevalence of HIV/AIDS (14.4% for people 15-49 years) and is in the midst of a severe shortage of food that is threatening the lives of millions of children according to The Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) which recently reported that approximately 4.2 million Malawians will not have enough food this year.
The community groups with which The Pendulum Project has partnered have formed out of a compassionate response, but an overwhelming majority lack sufficient resources. Money and training is needed to strengthen their projects that are focused on child development, provision of basic needs and community action.
In August, Ellen McCurley, Executive Director of The Pendulum Project and Laws Byson Chiunda, Project Coordinator in Malawi visited several youth and faith based community programs that are current partners or are seeking external support from The Pendulum Project. Of these programs, Chiunda said, “Many need greater access to training to strengthen the staff’s and volunteer’s knowledge about child development and organizational management. They need extra support so they can do more for these children than just give them a small bowl of cornmeal.” McCurley, who resides in Boston but visits Malawi for several months a year summarized the situation. “More mechanisms are needed to channel much needed resources to strengthen these community based program activities that are solely focused on empowering youth with skills, love and basic needs to make them more self-sufficient, economically and psychologically. That is what our organization is mobilized to do.”
The Pendulum Project has launched a fundraising appeal to provide support to existing community partner programs based in Malawi and to partner with other community organizations that it is has identified as valuable and sustainable initiatives. “Our goal is to raise $200,000 to support 12 community based programs in Malawi that are assisting 12,000 children and their caregivers,” said Elizabeth Sheehan, Chairperson of the U.S. Board of Directors. “The money and direct services, such as medical supplies, will go directly to these community based initiatives to support their activities that include: feeding programs, vocational training for children, provision of clothes, school fees, access to health care, youth support groups and after school care.”
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