By Duncan Mlanjira
Malawi UK Military Community (MUMCo) have completed their 7,046 miles fundraising challenge and exceeded the target they set of raising £7,000 (K7 million) to procure personal protective equipment (PPEs) for health workers in the frontline fight against the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The charity challenge, that started on May 4 and and finished on Sunday, May 31, has managed to raise an extra £946 (over K900,000).
There were 132 enthusiastic participants, some of whom pledged miles and some did one-off, with some joining the challenge right in Malawi.
MUMCo chairperson, Sheila Banda Tobie — who is a veteran having served in The Royal Artillery for 10 years — said they plan to deliver the items soon after the forthcoming fresh presidential election.
“However, we are closely monitoring the COVID 19 situation there so that we can react if an immediate need arise warranting us to deviate from this plan,” she said.
“We are currently in touch with the experts in Malawi, including the Society of Medical Doctors, who are reviewing the situation in COVID isolation centres.
“We are inclined to follow their science and recommendations on which centres to deliver the items.”
Tobie said they were very grateful of the overwhelming support they received from both the British public and fellow soldiers in the UK and also in Malawi.
“Military personnel and veterans as well as families were determined to ensure we succeed in our challenge and raise the funds to buy the PPEs.
“I appeal to all Malawians in the UK and across the world to still donate if they haven’t done so already as the country needs us more than ever.”
The chairperson said they were inspired to form MUMCo after taking cognizance that they were sharing a common heritage and also that they have undergone similar experiences in the UK Armed Forces.
“It was natural for us to come together into an entity as a community,” she said. “That way we are able to look out for each other on issues that concern us both in times of need and happiness.
“We to come together to tackle challenges that face us as a community both for Malawi and the UK,” said Tobie — works as a Commonwealth Recruiting Manager for the British Army.
Tobie’s deputy in MUMCo, Bruno Kantiki undertook a solo charity challenge and raised over K3 million in his 100 mile Challenge doing 10 miles a day also for the same goal of procuring PPEs for Malawi health workers
Kantiki embarked on the challenge on April 19 and finished on April 28 and raised over K3 million and the PPEs were handed over to Blantyre District Office two weeks ago.