• Fair Trader

Cycle of Good combats Coronavirus in Malawi

Children’s Centre outreach team in the community

In our last blog we looked at food poverty and the coming impact of Coronavirus in Malawi. Our supplier Cycle of Good is one business now doing its best to cope with the pandemic.

While Covid-19 is not yet well-established in Malawi, precautions against it are having a big impact. Schools are closed, so thousands of children are missing out on their only meal of the day. Businesses are restricted, so parents are finding it hard to work. There’s no welfare state: if you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Cycle of Good is a long-term development project employing 18 tailors in Malawi’s Chilomoni Township. Using waste inner tubes and other recyclable products shipped from the UK, the tailors handcraft a range of useful and beautiful items including wallets and laptop/tablet cases.

Cycle of Good products

The company belongs to a group of social enterprises whose sales fund a vital Children’s Centre providing care and family support to around 2000 vulnerable children at any one time.

Cycle of Good has temporarily shut its UK doors in order to keep staff safe but is managing to keep the Malawi workshop running; all its employees are safely working, with social distancing and extra hygiene measures in place.

But the Children’s Centre that these businesses are funding has had to close for the time being. Cycle of Good’s dedicated team of caregivers are now working harder than ever to provide daily home support to the vulnerable children who normally attend the Centre. Critically, this support comes in the form of providing food, but the outreach team also provides public health advice, counselling, transport to health services, financial advice and, sadly, much-needed child protection services. They have identified 113 families who are most at risk; there are many more who need support but they’ve had to be realistic about what they can do.

Children’s Centre outreach team in the community

Basic family needs have been costed at £30 per month and identified as:

· 15kg maize flour

· 10kg likuni phala (soybean and maize porridge)

· 10 packets of soya

· 500g of salt

· 4kg of beans

· 2 litres of oil

· 5 bars of soap

· 1 bottle of Vaseline 

· 2 bottles of Waterguard (water purifier)

With loss of sales due to UK lockdown, Cycle of Good’s ability to fund the Children’s Centre has been hard hit. We hope that by selling their goods from our website while Fair Trader is closed, we can continue to help support vulnerable children and their families in Malawi. We wish everyone a safe passage through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Fair Trader, May 2020

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