Curious children watch from a doorway while a WASH class is given at Kachulu Village

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The Warm Heart of Africa

Jamie Brown | Zomba District, Malawi

Cyclone Freddy made his way into Malawi in March 2023 dumping several months of rain in just a few days. The country, one of the poorest in the world and already suffering from malaria and cholera outbreaks, found itself dealing with unprecedented flooding and damage. Homes, crops, and sometimes, entire villages were washed away or submerged. Nearly 600,000 people were displaced, and hundreds killed.

I was able to travel to Malawi shortly after the cyclone with a WHO Type 1 Mobile Medical and WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) Team. Although the medical needs are great in Malawi, water is the foundation of health, and the water in many remote areas was contaminated or simply inaccessible. 

The team spent two weeks on Chisi Island and in Kuchulu village delivering training to leaders and residents on the use of water filtration systems. Each system can provide clean water to a family  seven for up to five years. Over 220 of these systems were distributed on the island to include the only school and clinic. These will service over 1500 people and help reduce the risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases.

The people of Malawi are some of the most resilient, positive, and warm hearted I’ve been lucky to know. I understand now why Malawi is commonly referred to as “The Warm Heart of Africa”.


Team Rubicon International

+1 619-317-6333

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