Photos of Elifa receiving the aid

“Now we are back to square one”

"Words fail me to express what I experienced. I never imagined I would ever go through this in my life."

That's what Elifa Chimpeni, 41 and a married mother of four children, said about Tropical Storm Freddy which hit Malawi in March 2023.

The storm caused widespread flooding and mudslides, killing almost 700 people, injuring over 2,000 and displacing over half a million people. Thousands of families were without shelter, food, clothes and reliable access to safe water and health services.  

The storm couldn't have happened at a worse time for Elifa and her family. She and her husband had saved enough money to finally build a house large enough for the whole family. And then the storm hit.

"Now we are back to square one," she said of the house, which was badly damaged by a landslide that caved in two sides of the structure.

While sad about the loss, Elifa was glad no one in the family died or was injured. "The only sad part is that we lost a lot of belongings," she said.

Fortunately, the family was able to find shelter while they repair their house. To help them get by, they received cash from Islamic Relief Malawi to buy food and materials to rebuild their home. Elifa also received a hygiene kit that included soap, sanitary pads, underwear, body lotion, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

Elifa and her family were among many who received assistance from Islamic Relief Malawi, which was provided with support from the Canadian government through the Humanitarian Coalition.

"We are thankful for the support you gave us," she said of the aid, which will help them as they get back on their feet.