Catholic movement urges cyclone survivors to participate in environmental restoration

Christian Family Movement (CFM) – a lay Catholic organization – has urged survivors of Tropical Cyclone Freddy to take an active role in restoring the environment as one way of averting natural calamities in the future.

CFM made the sentiments when it handed over a donation of food and non-food items to 114 families living at Namisisi Camp in the area of Traditional Authority Mwambo in Zomba district. The donation was valued at K2.3 million.

CFM national president Francis Matewere said as an organization made of family couples from all the Catholic dioceses in Malawi, they believe the family comes first; hence, their decision to mobilize resources to reach out to families in distress due to the effects of the cyclone.

Mabwilira (in red t-shirt) receiving the donation from Matewere being assisted by his wife and Fr. Chiwanda

“The foundation of the church comes from the family. So, going forward, we will make sure that these people are settled and we will keep on writing to our partners and NGOs to come forward and to put up programs for recovery and settlement and even psycho social support to some of these people who have lost their families,” Matewere said.

In his remarks, Father Innocent Chiwanda, who is also a Pastoral Secretary for the diocese, said the mission of the church is to go out and help people in every kind of need regardless of any distinction or religious beliefs.

But Chiwanda pleaded with the survivors to consider replanting trees wherever they live.

Fr. Chiwanda: Let us plant more trees to avert natural disasters in the future

“God gave us nature and we are benefiting from it. So, we need to take care of it so that it also benefits us. Trees are important because they help to reduce soil erosion and other natural disasters. So, let us unite and work together to restore it, especially those in disaster prone areas,” he said.

The camp chairperson Rodgers Mabwilira asked well-wishers to help them with mosquito nets and food, saying people are starving at the camp.

“The donation has come at the right time because we have been here for some days without food so with these items we are grateful and I am urging other people who are willing to help us to come forward,” he said.

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