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Sad news from Malawi

We heard on Wednesday 15th August that sadly Essie Longwe our Assistant Director for The Landirani Trust in Malawi passed away. She was the most inspirational woman who helped form the Landirani Trust and was dedicated to helping the orphans and helping the women become self sufficient.

We first met Essie in April 2005 and she was always smiling, laughing and immaculately dressed even when we travelled in the dusty villages. She worked with the CCAP church and worked in partnership with Kafumbi Njewa our Director in Malawi. To show their dedication to helping the orphans, when we first met them they were travelling some 20km to 70km on bicycle taxi’s and having to stay in the villages for days at a time without any financial support, but the belief that God would provide for them. Landirani was formed in April 2005 and Essie was made Assistant Director. She went from strength to strength in empowering the women especially, to become self sufficient in planting vegetable gardens, helping prepare land for growing orphan maize gardens, and starting up small businesses. It was wonderful to see her motivating the women in the villages. Kafumbi and Essie were a double act together and worked perfectly in supporting each other in different aspects. Sadly Essie leaves behind her husband, Bernard and four children, Boniface, Grace, Bernard Junior and Bridget. The youngest is only 13 years old. They are all devastated in the sudden death of their mother and wife. We all pray that all the hearts of the people that Essie touched are speedily healed, so that the good work that she started can continue on. Thousands of people turned up to her funeral on Friday 17th at her home town of Nambuma. She will be sadly missed by many. The photo above is of my son Sam, who spent several months in Malawi during his gap year, and became Essie’s son living in their household.

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