At the end of 2019, the leaders of Change and Be Changed, Elisabeth and Thomas Hangartner, wrote an update for all who contributed in any way – in person, with monetary or in-kind donations and always the prayers. Even though our global pandemic keeps people from traveling to Kaseye, the work continues and the needs of the people of Northern Malawi are as great as ever. The following note gives a summary of their eight months at the Kaseye Mission in Northern Malawi working with the local people and with a group of international volunteers:
2019 was our Malawi year par excellence. Already in January we knew that the construction of the operating theater needed to be completed in 2019.
And we made it: on December 5th, the construction of the entire theater
was approved by the Medical Council of Malawi. Regarding equipment
and furnishings, some items are still missing. The INTERPLST physician
teams have been patiently waiting for the OP, which allows them to do a
good number of surgeries in Kaseye. For lack of a suitable facility in Kaseye, so far the teams have been operating in Chitipa, where they will continue to help out even after the planned handover of Kaseye’s surgical block in May 2020.
The completion of the operating theater made for a very busy, not to say hectic, year. Although eight months away from home is a long absence (it shows in and around the house!), at no point of our two stays in Kaseye we felt we had enough time. Without the help of many volunteers, namely the INTERPLAST teams under the leadership of Drs. Werner and Joachim, as well as the tireless support of Drs. Michael and Regina, Lotte, Toni, Klaus, Gwen, Doug, Claire and Jackie, Grant and Allan, we would not have been able to finish the OP nor work on the other projects that developed from mere ideas into the planning stage. Equally important was the monetary support of many friends and granting agencies. Our personal effort can only go so far; without funds, though, it does not go anywhere. To all our donors, we would like to express a heartfelt thank you.
We are planning to be in Kaseye in May to help celebrate the opening of the operating theater. Meanwhile we will nurture the relationships with family and friends and enjoy some downtime after a very busy and challenging 2019 in Kaseye.
Love and Peace, Elisabeth and Thomas
Annotation: The coronavirus pandemic forces us and signed-up volunteers to postpone planned trips to a later date when it is safe to travel internationally.