South Africa: Order of Malta staving off starvation
When bushfires were ravaging many parts of Australia earlier this year, we were overwhelmed by the support received from the associations of the Order of Malta abroad.
“Associations from the America’s, Europe and Asia sent us their support through prayers and financial assistance were so generous and caring, we were humbled” explained National Hospitaller, John Murphy. “the fact that we are part of one a big family, the Order of Malta. With our brothers and sisters around the globe, their support meant so much to us during our time of need. When we have the opportunity and there is a need we have a responsibility to reciprocate and help those most vulnerable wherever they may be.”
As the Covid-19 situation developed globally the Australian Association reached out to our friends in the associations worldwide and in particular the Asia pacific region. It became apparent that the needs for most were not financial however there was one region that required urgent assistance and that was South Africa.
Amongst the many vulnerable people who have been hard hit by the effects of the lockdown, were the patients at the Order of Malta’s care facility in Mandeni, the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard.
The facility serves the poorest of the poor, many of them affected by HIV-Aids, receive life-saving medicine and food. The organisation also runs an orphanage, a hospice and a clinic for malnourished children.
With the worsening pandemic, Father Gérard Lagleder OSB, the facility’s founder and President, reported seeing many people on the brink of starvation. They responded by providing life-saving food packages to 300 vulnerable families. Each food parcel lasted one month for a family of two or three people. But demand for these parcels are expected to rise significantly and donations to the facility had fallen dramatically during the pandemic. Consequently, the Australian Association provided a contribution of $5,000 to assist with the growing demand at the facility during these unprecedented times. This will feed 500 people for a month.
“We are emotionally touched by the kind offer of the Australian Association of our Order to support our relief work in South Africa. Facing a grim future because of Covid-19 we are most grateful for this sign of solidarity within our Order.” Father Gérard T Lagleder O.S.B.