June 28

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The Road Less Travelled

“Partners in Health believes that there is a thin line between health and poverty.” – POSER Manager

Not a Finance person for one day…

It was Tuesday morning (26th June 2018), the sun was shining bright and cold breeze could be felt as well. I was standing in front of one of the Partners in Health Facility in Neno with backpack containing bottled water, food and some personal stuffs. I did not bring my laptop and would not be going to Finance office. It was the day that I would be joining the PIH Team to do home visit on some families they were supporting for the POSER or Program of Socio Economic Rights.

Through POSER, PIH strives to alleviate suffering of people by providing comprehensive community-based care programs as a human right issue. It also helps to break the cycle of poverty and disease by addressing the needs of the poor through improved access to education, direct cash for in and out patients, cash for food supplements, housing, vocational skills, goats pass on and others. (citation needed)

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The center of Ligowe during the visit with POSER Team.

 

One hour away from Neno, we had reached Ligowe and its nearby villages. The team went to the first house. They started to interview the head of the family, filling up preliminary application sheet and collecting more information to put through on their data base. Even though they were talking in their local language, one of the team members explained to me in English some of the important information provided to them. During their discussion, I could feel that the family really needed support and assistance from someone like PIH.

There were also families living with some diseases like HIV, tuberculosis, asthma and malaria. Hence, they could not fully help themselves as well to provide food and school support for their families. One family I met did not even eat for a few times in the past month. Their food supplies were not enough for them.

As we go along, we reached the next house and then the other until the last family. Based on my count, we had visited around 6-8 families from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm that day. The geographical area of Neno and nearby villages were mountainous. The road was dusty, small and big rocks could be found and we needed to traverse the side of one mountain to another. This was also a challenge for PIH to reach all the families on the area. We even walked for several minutes just to reach a family as the service vehicle could not pass through. The villages were also far from each other, making it difficult to reach as many families as they could.

It was a great experience for me to be involved in this one day activity. But, I literally did not know what’s the plan of the government here for their people. Some families were dying out there trying to survive each day of their lives. They were asking for help. They were looking for someone who could alleviate them on their current situation. They wanted to live longer just like us.

Partners in Health cannot do it all alone. This NGO also needs “partners” to help them lift the living condition of the people here in Neno, Malawi. And I hope it’s YOU, who will be PIH’s next “partner” to take the road that is less travelled.