Malawi Diaspora Network in US organizes virtual concert as fundraiser for COVID-19 PPEs

By Duncan Mlanjira

Malawian organizations based in the United States of America, under the umbrella called Malawi Diaspora Network, will hold a virtual benefit concert on Saturday, June 6 as a fundraiser to buy personal protective equipment (PPEs) as support for Malawi’s health workers on the frontline battle against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

It is being dubbed ‘PPE4Malawi: Virtual Benefit Concert’ to be held from 1pm-7pm ET (United States time) hosted online through popular streaming platforms — Facebook, YouTube and Eventbrite. 

A statement from the organisers says the virtual concert is a collective effort of Malawian talent of popular DJs and musicians based in the US as well as others in Malawi 

“Some of the featured artists who will be providing unique performances specifically for the concert include musicians like Temwah, Suffix, Masauko Chipembere and Peter Mawanga and the Aramavi Movement among others. 

“Also, on the line-up are some of Malawi’s most popular DJs such as DJ E-Dub and DJ Kenoree and also includes a special appearance by one of the few Malawian female DJs, DJ Lana.

“These musicians represent some of the most cutting-edge artists in the country and they are lending their support towards this philanthropic effort,” said the statement.

Viewers will be enthralled by encouraging words and appearances of guest speakers throughout the special event, who are all coming together in support of healthcare workers in Malawi. 

Amongst the speakers to make special appearances as keynote speakers include Dr. Eliya Zulu, Ambassador Arikana-Quao, Deputy Ambassador Margaret Mwanza Gadabu, Tione Chilambe, Dr. Paul Zeleza and Lucy Mkandawire-Valhmu. 

For contribution, people can go on GoFundMe: MDN COVID-19 PPEs for Healthcare Workers in Malawi.

“Contributions of any amount will help support healthcare workers working in stressful and under life threatening conditions,” the organisers say.

The live stream via Facebook (Malawi Diaspora Network), You Tube (Southern African Connection’s Channel) Eventbrite is free to register and the viewers will then receive a link to the livestreams. 

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One of the organisers, Sitinga Kachipande said they target to raise US$15,000 as a “minimum amount but the need is actually greater than that”. 

“If we can surpass this goal, it means that we can help more healthcare workers and help prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

“We are targeting to procure lifesaving PPEs like masks, gloves and gowns so that Malawi can act immediately and collectively in this pandemic response.”

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He said the Malawi Diaspora Network is a coalition of organizations registered with the US government and all are tax exempt. 

“The group started when we were planning the Malawi Diaspora Conference in the USA. After the conference, the idea of forming a permanent organization for Malawians in the USA also came about to work towards larger goals.

“We have also been supporting several Malawian initiatives along the way. We recently sent a donation to the flood victims in Karonga,” Kachipande said.