A Sign of Solidarity

Today we drive about 120 km north along the east coast to Malawa. It is a region that was hit hard by a severe earthquake of magnitude 7.5 and the subsequent tsunami on September 28, 2018.
As we drive along the road, we repeatedly see the consequences of the disaster. Destroyed houses and ships and swamped former agricultural land. We stop briefly at a mosque, which is being rebuilt in the same place but 2 meters higher.

There are several small villages in the vicinity of Malawa where there are GPID communities. The people there live mainly from fishing. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed their small fishing boats and thus their livelihoods. In 2018, the disaster led to great solidarity with the affected people in the international ems community and a high willingness to donate. The EKHN also contributed funds from its budget. Among other things, these funds were used to finance simple fishing boats and secure an income for the affected families. At the same time, it provides the church communities with a fixed income, as the families keep 50 percent of the income from fishing; the other half goes to the church community. On days when the fishing boats are not in use, they can be rented by other fishermen.

Around midday, we take two of these boats from Malawa to Palau. A small fishing village located on a peninsula that is difficult to reach by land. In addition to fishing, the people live from farming and harvesting cloves.

Junita Lasut and Jens Balondo have prepared a small gift from their parish for the pupils in the two villages: Shoulder bags with the EKHN logo filled with materials for school lessons. These materials were purchased locally in Palu, thus also supporting the local economy.

The return journey by boat was a bit of an adventure, as heavy rain had set in in the meantime and we had to pack the contents of our rucksacks, the rucksacks themselves and some of our clothes in several plastic bags to make them waterproof before we could set off.

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