2017 Desk Calendar
Click on a photo below to read a description of the pictures found each month of the calendar.
January is Malawi’s rainy season. Flooding that washes out roads & bridges can be devastating. For many, already long walks to stores, markets, or even hospitals become impossible. Villagers are left at risk of hunger & illness. In flood conditions, Malawi’s fragile economy and meager services are frozen & already vulnerable lives are put in peril. And still, a good rainy season is essential for subsistence farmers. They are dependent on good crop yields to feed their families through the year.
Rainy season continues during February. Many families live in huts that aren't durable. Homes made of mud, sticks, & thatch roofing can be washed away in heavy rains. Homes face other threats. The family in this picture lost their home when a drifting ember landed on their thatched roof. They lost everything: their maize, peanuts & grains as well as 4 goats and all their possessions. Love a Village was able to help them with some emergency relief. Yet, it could take years for them to recover.
Too many girls become mothers & are forced to leave school. Even younger girls will leave school because they are expected to do household chores or to care for young or sick family members. Older girls who are not pregnant often stay home from classes when they get their period. Love a Village is training 100s of girls to sew reusable sanitary pads, removing a simple barrier that keeps too many from completing school. With their new sewing skill, girls can make & sell items to earn money.
April is HARVEST time! We're profoundly grateful that God has connected us to an organization that's teaching a farming technique that will help farmers grow up to 3 times their regular yield! Many villagers are being trained in Foundations For Farming & have begun demonstration plots on their land. Luhomero’s Primary School will also start a plot to educate their students! Food security through improved farming & animal breeding is essential in helping villagers escape the grip of poverty.
May is a time when Love a Village often visits Malawi to observe the progress of the projects going on in the community of Luhomero. Teams take suitcases full of Sawyer water filters for villagers participating in training on how to use & care for them. Almost 200 have been purchased to date! Clean water's essential for staying healthy. Young children & the elderly are still at highest risk of disease - sometimes resulting in death - due to drinking contaminated water.
Julie founded Love a Village in 2015. The journey that led to the birth of our mission is a story of faith. Julie followed Jesus step by step as He led her into new relationships & revealed the deep needs in Luhomero - an overlooked community of over 4000 wonderful but very vulnerable people in Malawi. Julie’s passion is simple: to be a friend and love in Jesus’ name. June is Julie’s birthday. It’s a good time to pray for wisdom for her as she carries responsibility to lead Love a Village.
It’s winter-time in Malawi. Temperatures drop as low as 5ºC. Cold permeates through mud walls, thatch or tin roof, dirt floor & straw mat villagers are sleeping on. Huddling together for warmth is necessary when clothing is scarce & blankets are few. Think camping in Ontario’s cottage country in late October with a tent & thin sleeping bag. Love a Village is empowering villagers to access basic human rights, enabling them to focus on earning income for their family's additional needs.
Daniel & Jean are our Malawian partners. They're an absolutely incredible couple! Dan's a dedicated, hard-working man who's overseeing the projects on the ground. We're thrilled to be partnered with such an incredibly gifted team. God brought us together in an incredible way at exactly the right time. August is their anniversary. Join us in praying for them as a couple & that God would direct Daniel in His path, as he seeks to serve God through obedience to His command to care for the poor.
In this photo you will see a young cow farmer. The cattle may belong to his family, or he may have been hired to do piecework to earn money for his family. He spends a good chunk of the day at the river. This water source also serves as a place for villagers to bathe, wash their clothes, & collect drinking water! You can imagine the consequences of drinking from this source. We are working hard to help families access clean water by providing community rope pumps & filters.
Sanitation and hygiene are easily taken for granted by many. But not so by villagers who don’t have the resources to easily construct a chimbuzi (toilet). A large majority of the households in Luhomero are without one. People are still dying from poor hygiene practices. Empowering villagers to build proper chimbuzis and tippy taps (washing stations) will help keep them healthy! Our goal is to see every village have a sufficient number to accommodate its residents.
November's when Malawi reaches its hottest & driest time of the year. It's the perfect time for shallow wells to be installed! Water tables are at their lowest, therefore confirming that upon drilling, if water is found in that area, it will be available throughout the year. Our goal is to see each of Luhomero’s villages equipped with at least rope pump, giving families access to safe water throughout the year. An added bonus for the women & children is that it acts like the office water cooler!