23-year-old Joyce Mubisa lives in the Mwenefuvya village in Malawi, more specifically the Traditional Authority Mwabulambya in Chitipa district. She had to drop out of Yamba Community Secondary School when she was young because she couldn’t pay the school fees. Joyce is the eldest of four children in her family. Fortunately, all of her siblings are able to attend school.
Joyce is the head of the household as both of her parents died years ago. “We lost our parents some time back as such I take care of all my siblings in this household,” she says. “A Child Protection Worker visited our home the other day and informed us that we have been selected to get a WASH kit that is to be used for COVID-19 prevention. She explained that the COVID-19 Response Project intends to distribute to selected vulnerable households in our village.”
Through our COVID-19 response project in Malawi, with financial support from the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada, Joyce and her siblings received a kit for improving their access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in March 2021. Each WASH kit includes two buckets, one with a tap and one without, a tablet of U-fresh soap as well as a container of water guard for treating water so it is safe to drink.
Joyce is thankful for the support rendered to her household. “Before receiving the WASH kit we were using a cup whenever we wanted to wash hands but now everything has been simplified with these buckets, more especially the bucket with a tap,” she says.
Joyce also acknowledges the importance of washing hands with clean water and soap that is now possible for her and her siblings. “Nowadays, we wash hands with soap while using a bucket with a tap and in the process protecting ourselves from contracting COVID-19.”
She also talks of the importance of treating water with water guard so it is safe to drink as it also prevents diarrheal diseases.
Joyce says she’s grateful to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Coordinator for Chitipa District Health Office and the Child Protection Worker from Chitipa Social Welfare Office for identifying her household to receive this essential support.