THE POST-SIGNAL / Desiray Seaux
Kirk Schexnider gave an update on his African mission work to fellow Rotarians. He also discussed his future plans for more mission work. Available for a photo were, from left, Suzy Webb, acting as pro tem president, and Schexnider, Crowley Rotarian.
Rotarians updated on Malawi mission
The Crowley Rotarians heard an update on Malawi, Africa from fellow Rotarian Kirk Schexnider.
It all started in 2013, when Schexnider took his first mission trip. Looking back on the many accomplishments of his work he says, “I could not imagine how much of an impact we would be able to accomplish.”
This past summer he spent a little over two months in Malawi and was able to, with the help of the villagers, erect a health center in a remote village 21 miles from a paved road.
The health center was a new construction starting from the foundation. It is a 700-square-foot building with a full veranda, brick walls, brick walkways to a cistern for water storage since the closest water source is half a mile away and outdoor toilet with sewer pit.
The bricks used to build the clinic were all hand made locally. It took about three weeks of 14 hour work days for the local artisan to craft approximately 22,000 bricks used to build the clinic.
Although it’s not a hospital, the clinic focuses on preventative care such as baby shots and prenatal care.
Equipped with an entryway/waiting room area, two consult rooms, an indoor bathroom, and a storage/dispensary the government will supply basic supplies.
The facility will be completed this winter when Schexnider returns to add a bore hole for fresh water and add solar power panels for basic energy needs since the government said that power will not be available for eight to ten more years.
Besides the new health clinic being built Schexnider also created blessing bags for health and hygiene outreaches for 1,600 villagers in 3 remote villages. The blessing bags distributed contained toothbrush, tooth paste, anti-bacterial soap and mentholated spirits. 6,000 pounds of red beans and full cream powdered milk were also distributed to two orphanages, village outreaches and others in need. The orphanages also received book sacks for the children.
Schexnider picked up the children’s book sacks in Egypt for about $5 to $6 a piece. He states the book sacks were a last minute purchase while in Eygpt on the way to Malawi. He saw the designer “knock-offs” and recollected the terrible condition the hand-me-down book sacks were on a previous trip. He bought one for each child in the orphanage.
Upon Schexnider’s next trip in December he plans to distribute another 600 blessing bags to the villagers.
The budget required for his upcoming missionary trip is $10,000 which includes construction of a new water well and solar power equipment.
Donations can be sent to Schexnider in care of Northside Christian Church. All donations are tax deductible.
“A ‘dream for a better world,’ and Malawi in particular is just a dream since without the financial support, your prayers and thoughts. ‘One World’ is an ongoing theme that I always want to believe in!,” said Schexnider.