The African Unions’ Permanent Representative to the United States Dr Arikana Chihombori-Quoa has called on friends of Africa and the African Diaspora to come together to tackle the number of challenges the continent is facing.
Ambassador Chihombori-Quoa, who was guest of honour at the Child Legacy International Fund-raising event in Houston last night, said that the number of mother and child fatalities in hospitals, critical water shortages, young girls dropping out of school due to early pregnancies and other serious health problems experience can be reduced drastically if there was a concerted effort by Africans in the Diaspora to pull their resources skills and experience towards the continent.
Quoting the former President of Ghana and pan Africanist Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Ambassador Arikana said that one was African not because they were born on the content, but because they had the passion for Africa at heart.
“Our continent was divided by the colonialist so that it should not thrive. Our appeal is that we harness our potential through unity so that we grow and empower Africans. Skills and resources that are not found in Africa can be found among those in the Diaspora so we ought to pull our resources together,” said Ambassador Chihombori-Quao.
Child Legacy International is a Christian non-profit organization working in Zimbabwe and Malawi to transform lives of thousands of people in rural communities. It was established in 1987 by US-based couple Jeff and Karen Rogers. The projects in Chiredzi and Chingele communities in rural Zimbabwe, as well as in Musundwe district outside the Malawian capital Lilongwe, works to provide holistic development including safe and sustainable water sources through the construction of clean water wells and water pumps. Over 2700 broken water wells have been repaired in Malawi since 2012.
In addition, the project has constructed community hospitals and built wind and solar power for the health centre in Malawi. Members of the local community have been trained in medical care and sustainable farming methods such as organic practices and permaculture on over 75 acres of cultivated and irrigated land. Over 250 people from the surrounding villages are employed on-site, and cascade the methods learned from their vocation to enrich the harvests in their communities.
“Our mission is to build sustainable communities in Africa where hope thrives, and legacies of opportunity are created, breaking the cycle of generational poverty. In order to change the face of Africa, her people must be given opportunities to change their own destinies, and Child Legacy works to empower people to help themselves,” said Jeff when he addressed the packed audience at the fundraising event.
Jeff Rogers said that the narrative of Africa as a continent of deprivation and devastation was a one-sided representation by western media which put off a lot of people in the US from wanting to investor trade in Africa. He told the packed audience at the event that the reality was that Africa had enormous mineral and human resources and had a lot to offer in terms of development projects and partnership with those in the Diaspora.
Since 2008 when the project started in Malawi, more than 300, 000 patients have received medical care and treatment. Immunisation against various illnesses has been a significant success, with over 57,822 vaccinated and almost 12,000 children immunized in 2017 alone. There have been no maternal deaths recorded at the health centre in Mkanga village where the Child Legacy hospital was established nearly ten years ago, and the number of mothers giving birth through traditional midwives has dropped from 90 percent to 5 percent, due to the presence of trained midwives and clinicians in the community.