The Orant Journal

2020 was a tough year for everyone. As the year wraps up, we reflect on Orant’s successes and challenges. 

Water & Sanitation Program 

When people get sick, the most common advice is, “drink lots of water.” The second most common advice, especially during a pandemic, is “wash your hands.” But what about those who don’t have access to clean water? What do they do, especially now? 

Orant strives to make clean water and sanitation services available for everyone in the Dowa District of Central Malawi.

In addition to drilling 14 new wells in 2020 and delivering water to over 5,395 people, Orant: 

  • Repaired 89 boreholes 
  • Built 1 girls’ latrine at a primary school
  • Trained 14 community Water Point Committees in community based management of water points 

 

To combat the coronavirus pandemic, Orant’s Water Program: 

  • installed handwashing stations in public centers
  • delivered information to village chiefs, schools, and churches
  • supplied 50 chiefs with buckets, cleaning chemicals, and sanitation instructions

Education 

School started late in Malawi this year due to Covid-19. To protect students and teachers, Orant supplied schools with face masks. Our corporate and individual donors gifted 97 students in Malawi tuition and school supplies. 93 sponsored students are girls

One of our Education Program’s greatest challenges is keeping girl students in school. Household responsibilities and family expectations pull them away from the classroom. Many young girls hope that marriage or childbearing will lift them out of poverty. 4 of our sponsored students this year dropped out due to pregnancy. To avoid scenarios like this as much as possible, we regularly visit our students on site. We stay in touch with them after graduation. 

Healthcare

Orant runs a static health clinic on campus in Kasese and a Mobile Outreach Clinic that travels daily to see patients in hard-to-reach rural areas. Due to Covid-19, we suspended operations of our Mobile Outreach Clinic from April to August. We have since resumed modified operations. Our clinicians distribute face masks to patients, spread information about Covid-19, and encourage social distancing practices.

The 2020 malaria season was bad this year. Luckily, it was mostly over by the time Covid-19 arrived. Around 70% of the 28,000 patients treated between January and April were for malaria. In total this year, Orant treated 53,533 patients. The breakdown per month was as follows: 

Agriculture & Business 

Orant’s operations area is rural and agrarian. Most families maintain subsistence farms. Our Ag Programs aim to transform farming for survival into farming for business. We sponsor and manage 14 irrigation clubs and run one demonstration farm plot. Our FEM for Women Program provides local women entrepreneurs with microloans. 

This year, we provided $30,000 in microloans to local farmers and entrepreneurs. We helped dozens of local farmers establish mobile bank accounts. All loans from BOMFA and our FEM for Women Program were paid back in full.

2020 was challenging, but Malawians are resilient. We are grateful for the generosity of our donors. We are grateful for the hard work, passion, and tenacity of our staff. Whatever happens in 2021, we will be ready to make positive changes. Together.

The Orant Journal

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