By Kay Yoder, Florida Regional Leader and Director of US Operations for Ripple Africa
A country not instantly recognizable by its name or geographical location, Malawi is one of Africa’s best kept secrets and a travel destination not to be missed! It is a beautiful, sub-tropical country with a majestic lake lining much of the country’s eastern border and a diverse terrain of mountains, hills, and plateaus from north to south. In spite of Malawi’s lovely landscape, this tiny sliver of a nation is ranked as one of the most impoverished and least developed countries in the world.
During my first trip to Malawi years ago, I quickly realized that although most Malawians lack the material resources we take for granted here in the US, these people are anything but poor! What I discovered instead was a pervasive attitude of contentment and generosity. I immediately fell in love with these welcoming people and learned firsthand why this country is called “The Warm Heart of Africa”.
From the rainbow of vibrant colors and patterns worn by the people, the women effortlessly carrying massive quantities of items upon their heads, and the flocks of children who fearlessly came running whenever they spotted a foreigner so obviously out of place, Malawi truly exceeded all my expectations!
Despite its many attributes, make no mistake—Malawi is a country facing significant challenges! Severe educational and healthcare deficiencies, as well as an overdependence on natural resources, threaten the survival of its people. Governmental assistance is almost nonexistent which means that opportunities for advancement are severely limited.
Thanks to all of you, however, the fingerprints of Together Women Rise can be seen all over Malawi due to the projects we have funded in recent years. Three such projects—Ripple Africa’s fuel-efficient cookstoves, Global AIDS Interfaith Alliance’s nursing scholars’ initiative, and Advancing Girls’ Education in Africa’s after-school life skills program for girls—are all working hard to address some of the country’s most pressing needs.
And, as stakeholders, you are personally invited to experience Malawi for yourself during Rise’s June 2022 trip! This ten-day adventure will crisscross the country making stops at our various grantees to meet some of the beneficiaries and witness firsthand the impact of our collective giving. Before heading home, a few more memories will be made at the beautiful Liwonde National Park on a safari.
Interested? Click here to find out more of the details. I promise this will be a trip of a lifetime—hope to see you there!