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2006.11.15
Far from Malawi’s failed crops, on the edge of Blantyre city, the hunger crisis has the face of sickness. In Ndirande Township the Phiri family have lived alone since their parents died of AIDS. Brenda’s 22 and in charge. The family scrapes by on odd jobs. She mixes a weak broth – it’s all the food her five brothers and sisters will have for today. For the younger ones even playing is too much effort. Brenda Phiri, 22 “Everyday I have to wake up and find something to eat for the family. After the death of our parents there was no-one who could assist us at all.” It’s the soaring price of maize that hits the urban poor hard. In the middle of the country’s worsening hunger crisis, it takes little to trigger off a deeper crisis. AIDS is that trigger. A big worry now for the Phiri children is their ailing 14 year old sister, Thoko. She’s too sick to go to school, not sick enough to get treatment. Thoko Phiri, 14 “Whenever we visited the hospital they didn’t diagnose the problem. But now when we went they said that I have TB. I want to go back to school” On the slopes of the nearby mountain Brenda’s 13 year old brother helps shoulder the burden. He collects and sells rocks for construction. Bizwell Phiri, 13 “I am really worried about my younger sister we take her to the hospital but it doesn’t help. I still think in the meantime the best I can do is continue working so that she doesn’t miss meals. The future is misty now and I think that I will drop out of school for good.” Primary school is free here, secondary school is not so Bizwell has to chip in for the family. With some international attention on Malawi now there is a small ray of light for the Phiri family. Their neighborhood church organization, supported by UNICEF, does what it can to care for the worst off in the community. But with the lean season is fast approaching, these grandmothers and orphans will need all the help they can get. This is Sarah Crowe for UNICEF For every child, Advance humanity. *** Asset Name : UNICEF: Children struggle against hunger and HIV/AIDS in Malawi Asset Duration: 02 min 30 secs Shoot City: Blantyre District Shoot Country: Malawi Shoot Date: Sep 14 2005
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