As many of you know, mtima wanga
(or "My heart," in Chichewa) belongs to the children at St. Andrew's Mtunthama Orphanage (AMAO) in Malawi.
What started off as cultural curiosity, has become my passion. Now, with help from colleagues at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and partners in Malawi, we are hoping to make our hand sanitation initiative more sustainable by creating an NGO called "Wash Well."Why is it important?
- More than 2.5 million children less than 5 years old die from preventable illnesses annually (WHO)
- Simple interventions, such as handwashing, can decrease the mortality rate
- By creating Wash Well, we are hoping to promote disease prevention through handwashing, spread knowledge, and education through the vulnerable population in Malawi and throughout Africa.Who's affected?
-Wash Well will focus its efforts on kids-- the most at risk for disease and biggest vehicle for changeWhat is it?
Taught by orphanage caregivers and teachers, Wash Well's education intervention is easy as 1, 2, 3:1. Why do we wash hands?2. When do we wash hands?3. How do we wash hands?
**This is all based on CDC and WHO recommendations
Each learning point has a discussion or role-modeling activity associated with it. Where?
We will start our project in the orphanage population in Malawi, share it with local schools and "spread" the information to orphanages and schools throughout Africa. Where is your money going?
- Lawyers to legitimize the organization, soap for children and their families, education supplies Accomplishments to date:
- Introduced hand sanitation at AMAO, taught the caregivers how to teach the lesson plan, decreased the incidence of illness 4-fold within a year
- Taught hand sanitation at 4 rural schools within Malawi, 1 church, 4 neighboring orphanages
- Taught hand sanitation program at an orphanage in Ghana, thanks to Jen Klunder
- Met with the Malawian Ministry of Health 3 times
- Met with local district officials 6 times
- Won 3 awards in 2018: The Saban Research Institute's 1st Annual People's Choice Award, The Saban Research Institute’s 23rd Annual Best Poster Award, Children's Hospital Los Angeles' Quality Improvement, Resarch Trainee Award
Matamando, Gift, Patrick, Fui Fui, Hope, Robert, Charity and I all thank you for considering us in your decision to help. Your donation is greatly appreciated-- and truly contributing to improving the lives of others. *Special thanks to:
Mark CordenPeter Phiri Juan EspinozaAlexis Daveanport-SamanRonen Zipkin Children's Hospital Los Angeles Global Health Track
Please reach out with any questions or concerns.