Slideshow: Open Arms Malawi thanks supporters

Charity Open Arms Malawi has thanked its supporters across Harrogate district.

The charity was set up by Harrogate man and former teacher at Ashville College Neville Bevis and his late wife Rosemary.

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Open Arms provide medical attention, shelter, food and love to some of Malawi’s orphaned and abandoned children - 65 per cent of whom have HIV and AIDS.

“Dear friends of Open Arms,

Some encouraging statistics have been published with reference to the rate of infection and mother to child transmission in Malawi.

There has also been a noticeable decline in the maternal mortality rate across the country.

However, literally as I write a desperate grandmother has arrived at our door clutching a tiny new born baby.

The HIV positive and mentally unstable mother is unable to care for the child and neither can her grandparents.

The child has been expressed down to the Social Welfare Department, while arrangements are made for her admission.

Many Malawians will spend this Christmas hungry, lacking clean water, lacking medical assistance and medicines.

They will be lacking employment and will be facing further financial difficulties as the Kwacha diminishes in value on a monthly basis.

They will face the New Year without a great deal of hope.

These are the harsh realities of Christmas for too many in Malawi.

Open Arms is in the very fortunate position to provide everything that is required to give the young and not so young people in our care a happy and meaningful Christmas.

Our friends have sent gifts for the children, clothing for the staff, and aprons for the Director, Administrator and Matrons! Toys have been given out at the Feeding Stations, where we have also distributed maize seed and fertilizer that will help grandparents across the Southern Region of Malawi to support their families.

We are only able to do this with the continued assistance we have been receiving from you, our supporters, over nearly 20 years.

The hundred children in our care both temporarily and for a minority, permanently, can face the future with a degree of optimism.

None of this would be possible without the goodwill and generosity of people all around the world.

All of us here take this opportunity to thank you most sincerely for this, and to wish you all and your family and friends a peaceful and happy New Year.”