Cyclone Freddy Survivors Praise GiveDirectly for Lifesaving Cash Support
Survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Chikwawa district thank GiveDirectly Organization for vital cash transfers helping them rebuild their lives and communities after the cyclone.
Chikwawa, Malawi — Survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy in Chikwawa district, specifically from Group Village Heads (GVH) Nantusi and Savala, are expressing their gratitude to GiveDirectly Organisation for the vital cash transfers that have enabled them to rebuild their lives and communities after the devastating cyclone, write Comfort Bulangete and Noel Chimwala.
In May 2023, GiveDirectly extended a helping hand to 2,781 affected households in the region, distributing MK292,840.00 in cash and mobile phones worth 12,000 Kwacha to each household, facilitating the much-needed recovery process.
Elizabeth Bela, 81, residing in GVH Nantusi, conveyed her elation upon receiving the cash, saying, "I used the money to buy one bag of maize for food and used the rest to build a three-room house because my previous house had been destroyed by Cyclone Freddy. My former house was not sturdy, with a grass roof that made it susceptible to cyclone damage. I'm immensely thankful to GiveDirectly; now, I feel safe, knowing my new house has an iron-sheet roof."
Believing in the importance of completing her house, she mentioned that her future goal is to start a business once the construction is finished.
Zefa Nyongo, 43, from Nantusi Village, detailed her use of the funds, "I purchased four 50kg bags of maize, cooking utensils, school supplies for my children, and two nanny goats. This is my way of saving money for the future; I'll sell the goats when they multiply. My life has improved significantly, and my children are now attending school, thanks to GiveDirectly."
Kondawani Fraction, 39, of Chibandwa Village, GVH Nantusi, explained how he managed his funds: "I bought a 70kg bag of maize, cooking utensils, initiated a fish-selling business, and purchased two bags of cement to build a well for watering my garden. My family is grateful to GiveDirectly for helping us recover quickly, and our next goal is to build a sturdy house."
Davite Lion, 73, from Chibetela Village, GVH Savala, recounted the joy that swept the village when he received MK292,000 in cash from GiveDirectly. "I was thrilled because I knew I could finally afford food, which we were lacking, and achieve my dream of building a new house. I used part of the money to hire brick moulders and women to draw water for the bricks. I'm constructing a spacious three-room house for my large family. This is the most significant change in my life, and I can't thank GiveDirectly enough."
Reverend Moses Chimphepo, Director of Preparedness Response at the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (Dodma), visited Chikwawa to assess the impact of the cash transfers.
He commended the beneficiaries for wisely using the funds, citing a variety of uses, including food, housing, and starting businesses.
Chimphepo also applauded GiveDirectly for responding to President Dr. Lazarous Chakwera's call for assistance to the affected communities.
Thokonzile Munthali, Director of Planning and Development for Chikwawa District Council, expressed appreciation for GiveDirectly's support and the Dodma delegation's visit to evaluate how people utilised the cash transfers.
She highlighted the positive changes witnessed in the communities.
Tom Mtenje, Senior Manager at GiveDirectly, emphasised the importance of providing cash to address a range of immediate needs, enabling recipients to make choices based on their most pressing requirements, whether it's food, shelter, or other essentials.
GiveDirectly, a non-profit organisation, remains committed to delivering unconditional cash transfers to alleviate poverty.
In Malawi, it has gained the trust of the national government and key development institutions as a reliable cash actor.