We currently volunteer for a public outreach project of the Malawi Blood Transfusion Service (MBTS)
which was initiated by Servas Malawi. It includes collecting testimonials of blood donors and receivers which together with a photo of the person are printed and added to a “Wall of Fame” to motivate more people to give blood.
Malawi government established the MBTS with the help of the European Union in 2003 to collect safe blood and supply it to the country’s hospitals. One of the major challenges is not meeting the national blood requirement. Malawi annually requires at least 80 000 units of whole blood but currently the MBTS collects only 42 000 units / about 50% of the annually national requirement.
During our stay with the local host Olive Malomboza, who works for the MBTS, we discovered that the organization was doing a blood drive day in downtown Blantyre. We took advantage of it and headed downtown in search for more donor testimonials. Blasting music from speakers showed us the direction. Using our recently learned greeting forms in Chichewa we easily connected with our interview partners:
Muli bwanji (How are you?)
Ndili bwino – kaya inu? (I am fine. – How are you?)
Ndili bwino – zikomo (I am fine. – Thank you.)
Zikomo kwambiri. (Thank you, too.)