Group meeting with Bridges to Malawi members

Welcome to Bridges to Malawi

We are a committed group of 6 American health care professionals and 1 extraordinary Malawian Engineer/Inventor trying, with your help, to make a difference in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world where 80% of the population are subsistence farmers and malaria and malnutrition are a way of life. 10.3% of the population is HIV positive. Things have been worse than usual there because the rains had failed for two years in a row, leading to widespread crop failure and consequent famine. Fortunately, the rains have finally started.

Our Mission

Bridges to Malawi is a small secular nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the people of the Kasungu District of Malawi. Our numerous programs include:

  1. Annual Medical Mission Trip: Working closely with our Malawian partners, we help provide medical care at St. Andrews Hospital and Kasungu District Hospital. We also participate in rural clinics and housecall medical care in the same area.
  2. Annual High School Contest: This is run in the Hudson, MA area; the winner gets to go to Malawi for free with the medical mission team. Other participants of the contest are invited to come along but must pay their own way. This once in a lifetime experience for these high school juniors and seniors is life changing—intended to help produce the next generation of those dedicated to making the world a better place.
  3. Medical Supply Donation: As part of our medical mission trip, we provide desperately needed life saving medical supplies, medications, and equipment (such as an aquarium pump bubble CPAP machine to save premature babies and an ultrasound machine). These are donated to the hospitals where we work as well as to K2TASO, our Malawian NGO partner, which provides support and medication for the HIV positive population of the Kasungu area where we work.
  4. Healthcare Student International Experience: We also help train nursing students by providing them the rare opportunity to experience resource poor Third World medical practice as part of our medical mission trip. Two US 4th year medical students have participated in our mission trips in the past as well.
  5. Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS): We are also endeavoring to prevent malaria by undertaking indoor residual spraying (IRS) as a means of killing the mosquitoes that transmit the malaria. This involves application of a long-lasting contact killing insecticide on the inside walls of dwellings and other structures in malaria prevalent villages. The insecticide and techniques used are those mandated by the WHO and the government of Malawi. Working through a Rotary International grant with our K2 TASO partners and the Lilongwe Rotary Club , we have been instrumental in the protection of approximately 25,000 people in 9 villages until November of 2018 with a plan to continue and expand this program beyond then.
  6. Land Lease: In order to help improve local nutrition and prevent future famines, we are instituting a new program called “Land Lease,” which pays 50 of the poorest farmers where we work to grow the high-nutrition drought-resistant crops we choose on a half acre of their land rather than the traditional maize (corn) or tobacco. This will also include the planting of 10 or more trees on each farmer’s land. Approximately 350 people will benefit from this pilot program, which we plan to expand if successful. $140 will keep a farm family on their land for a year and enable them to grow soybeans and plant trees.
  7. Goat Pass-On Program: We continue to raise money for the purchase of goats for donation (over 280 so far!) to poor farm families as part of a pass-on program. The first-born goat is given away to another poor farm family. Milk and manure are enormous benefits to the poor farmers where we work. Goats cost $37 apiece.
  8. Famine Relief: We have provided over $10,000 in famine relief, thus far, through direct purchase and distribution of desperately needed food, making the difference between life and death in many cases
  9. Irrigation Projects: We are helping build 2 new treadle pump-run irrigation projects in addition to the 6 we’ve already funded. An irrigation project costs $250 apiece
  10. Micro-Credit Bank: We have founded a micro-credit bank to help fund local business endeavors run by impoverished farm women (initial loans: 11 groups funded with all of the loans paid back ).
  11. Orphan Tuition/School Support: We are providing school costs for several orphans
  12. School Laptop Computer Donation: We are donating laptop computers filled with educational software to 2 local schools in Malawi
  13. Telemedicine Project: This enables US doctors to see patients in Malawi via Skypr and assist in their care) set up a telemedicine program at St. Andrews Hospital.
  14. … Acres and an Ox … Project: Currently most of the subsistence farmers in Malawi (80% of the population) plant their crops using their backs and a hoe. We wish to help them cultivate more efficiently`by purchasing an ox and a plow for each of 6 villages to be shared by the all villagers. This will ultimately be a pass-on program like our goat initiative. The milk and manure from the oxen will be shared as well. An ox and a plow cost $650 apiece.
  15. Waterwheel Project: Many fields along the Bua River could be productive despite the current drought if they could be irrigated. We hope to initiate a small industry which will produce low cost waterwheel irrigation systems along the river. With luck we will be able to generate a little electricity too!

Check out our News page to see the latest on BTM’s progress. Last NEWS update 12/30/16