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Collective efforts beyond the pandemic

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Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilisation work.” Vince Lombardi

As the world grapples with the impact of Covid, Malawi is equally under siege. Within four weeks, the country has seen an unprecedented number of deaths and infections that have overwhelmed the health system and hit the citizenry with grief.

At the beginning, people assumed that this second wave would take the same fashion as the initial wave; unfortunately, it came with aggression and brutality at a time most people had their guard down. This was followed by an expectation for the government to ‘do something’ while most went about business as usual.

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Eventually, people started to realise that this is a war and in war, survival is critical; and one usually takes the initiative to stay safe and protected. We eventually saw the citizenry rising and taking precautions—we also saw the genesis of altruistic initiatives by various quarters and people that have led to the much needed awareness and support for the health system and those affected by the pandemic in various ways.

The various initiatives and collective efforts are very encouraging and inspiring. Possibly, the fact that the nation has never faced such collective grief and despair is what has moved people to come together and support each other for the common good. But this should be the beginning of a ‘new order’ in the way we operate; this is a path to development beyond the pandemic.

We have a lot of things in the country that we would like to see improve and we have always had them, but we have always waited around for someone else, the government or the international community to move things for us.

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As we have seen, the collective efforts benefit us all essentially because we all feel the sense of responsibility and have invested our efforts, time and resources one way or another.

Granted, we do pay tax and it hurts when we feel that sometimes our taxes are not working to the level we would want, but sometimes it is important to keep eyes on the prize and take responsibility in making changes. After all, a committed and responsible citizenry will lead to changes in the right places.

How much more can we achieve with collective efforts in our communities, schools, health facilities, farming activities? The contributions, the sending food to front line workers and the provision of supplies by quarters all over the country; a clear indication of how much more we can achieve if we invested the same in various projects and take ownership. We have seen uncommon results with the initiatives to fight the Covid pandemic, how much more results can we see over time?

The country is definitely making itself proud and defining the Warm Heart of Africa indeed. For a while there, it seemed like the Warm Heart of Africa had lost its way but here we see the compassion that has brought people to act and react and impact for the greater good.

More importantly recent activities have brought us to realise and appreciate that everyone can start with what they have and where they are to make an impact – we have seen contributions being made from K1,000 to millions depending on different capacities, it’s happening; food and supplies, it is happening; everyone is adding a little drop that is filling the pool of resources being channelled to make a difference somewhere.

Making an impact is not always a matter of rocket science and grand gestures but the true essence of ‘where there is a will there is a way’ and the true essence of collective efforts. Everyone is capable of contributing something; time, resources, money, skills – it simply takes the will and the commitment.

Imagine if we started such initiatives when we first gained independence? We would have a lot to show. But, we can still decide now to make a change now and see better results beyond the pandemic.

I rest my case.

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