H.E.L.P. Malawi journey: day four


by Rhianna McChesney, Education & English Student

In today’s words of Mr. Wells Sikala, HELP’s Country Director, “Lose nothing, gain more.”

Wells spoke these little words of wisdom after he honked our truck’s horn to alert anyone who might have been walking around a particularly sharp bend in the long, narrow, maize-lined, bumpy and winding dirt road on our way to Mlambe Junior Primary School. Wells lost nothing by honking his horn like a mad man when the gain meant potentially saving someone’s life. Something about Malawi makes it easy to adopt this kind of optimistic mindset.

At Mlambe, one of Nanthomba’s local sister schools, we distributed more drawstring bags and water bottles from IFAW. Before passing out the gifts, everyone exchanged introductions with the area chiefs. It was an honor to meet the people who lead the community here. When it was time to leave, the students crowded around us. Touching their hands outreached in gratitude as we inched our way to the trucks made my heart swell with the joy of everything I have gained so far from this trip. Lose nothing, gain more.

Wells then drove us to the Nandumbo Health Center to the tune of “Celebration” by Kool & the Gang. The Nandumbo Health Center has come a long way since HELP first funded its construction in 2010. Once a single abandoned building, the health center now consists of several buildings, including a maternity ward, a guardian shelter, and an under-five clinic. Nandumbo’s staff of less than 10 people treats approximately 250 patients per day and sees about 80 births each month. HELP’s efforts to build upon existing resources consistently yields huge returns. Lose nothing, gain more.

Theme of the day? You guessed it! “Lose nothing, gain more.” Which is why I am deciding to wake up extra early for the 6 AM walking safari tomorrow!

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