Responding to the Devastating Cyclone and Floods in Malawi

By Chantal Hildebrand, Rise Up Program Manager

Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi were recently struck hard by Cyclone Idai.  Hundreds of people have reportedly been killed, thousands have been displaced and many cities and towns have been destroyed. Many aid groups are still working to assess the level of damage, but the United Nations has deemed Cyclone Idai asone of the worst weather-related disasters ever to hit the southern hemisphere.”

Rise Up Leader Pemphero Mphande at the Rise Up ENGAGE Launch event in Malawi in 2018.

Among those impacted are girl leaders who are part of Rise Up’s Enabling Girls to Advance Gender Equity (ENGAGE) initiative in Phalombe, Malawi – many of whom are currently displaced due to the continual flooding their communities are experiencing.

As relief efforts are trying to reach all those affected, Rise Up leaders across Southern Malawi are lending their hands in support. Rise Up leader Faith Phiri, from Girls Empowerment Network Malawi, mobilized resources such as blankets and sanitary pads, and provided trainings on how to respond to gender-based violence in emergency situations to help ensure girls and women are safe. Rise Up leader Pemphero Mphande, from Forum for AIDS Counseling and Training, set up a fundraiser to support families impacted and is personally going to these communities to volunteer his time to support relief efforts. These are just a few of the ways Rise Up leaders and our allies in Malawi are working to support individuals and families affected by the continuous flooding and devastation left by Cyclone Idai.

Rise Up Leader Faith Phiri (center) at a training in Malawi in 2018.

If you would like to help, below is a list of organizations leading relief efforts in Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique that you can donate to:

  • Oxfam is planning to reach up to 775,000 people across the three countries with clean water, sanitation services, food and other non-food items like emergency shelters, in coordination with local partners. The organization also plans an analysis of the way the disaster affects women and girls. Donate
  • The World Food Program is distributing food in the city of Beira and surrounding areas, and will stay on the ground to aid recovery as the flooding dwindles. Donate
  • CARE is coordinating with the national and local government in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe to assess the situation, identify needs, and coordinate with other aid agencies to provide shelter, hygiene kits, mosquito nets, blankets, and water canisters to those affected. Donate
  • Gift of the Givers is an African disaster relief organization that is leading flood response in Malawi. Donate
  • Partners in Health is working to rebuild homes, deploy mobile clinics and ensure families are safe, housed and fed in Malawi. Donate