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On Saturday 17th November, 2018 Center for the Development of People (CEDEP), accompanied by 25 Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LBTI) members paid a visit at the Children’s Ward 2B at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) in Lilongwe. The visit, was part of CEDEP’s Corporate Social Responsibility, intended to cheer the children who were admitted at the hospital with various ailments, as well as bring hope to their guardians. After verbal encouragements, CEDEP

distributed 60 packed items containing of; 500g packet of sugar, 500g of Likuni Phala, a tablet of bathing and washing soap with a plastic bathing basin. The social responsibility was possible with funding from the Planet Romeo Foundation.

Members of the LGBTI community that were present expressed their happiness experienced through the charity work. A lot of the community members at the functions has been involved since the implementation of such charity works for the past three years by CEDEP. One of the participants at the function shared last years’ experience stating that; “It was a great success and left both her and those she visited cheerful, she hopes that, this year’s impact would surpass the last.”

Those who had never been part of the initiative showed much excitement, and were very eager to go spread joy to the children at KCH. However, many stated that though they were happy to be involved in this activity, they are usually excluded from such charity works in other spheres of society. This is so because of people’s perceptions of them due to their sexuality. They therefore hoped that people would see past their sexuality, and realize that they love to help those in need.

At the hospital, each participant spent some time with an individual patient, sharing encouraging words and jokes. Many reported having laughed and enjoyed their time with the patients and guardians. Likewise, the guardians of the patients shared their heartfelt thanks, such as the mother of a 13 year old boy suffering from malnutrition saying that she was, “I am delighted to know that there are people out there thinking of her sick son; and that the Lord truly should bless CEDEP and all those that came at KCH.” She also called for the initiative to continue to others who need help.

Overall, the initiative was a success, leaving all involved parties satisfied. The KCH staff also expressed their gratitude for the initiative, as resources in public hospitals are scarce; with many patients and their families being unable to make ends meet. The staff acknowledged CEDEP and its partners for helping the Malawi government through social responsibilities at public hospitals.