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Young Japanese Volunteers Distribute Blankets in Malawi

April 2016

Twenty-one volunteers from Rissho Kosei-kai and the Japan Team of Young Human Power visited Malawi, in southeast Africa, from April 23 to May 3 to distribute blankets among the needy and infirm.Twenty-one volunteers from Rissho Kosei-kai and the Japan Team of Young Human Power (JHP) visited Malawi, in southeast Africa, from April 23 to May 3 to distribute blankets among the needy and infirm. They were headed by Rev. Yoko Yoshida, minister of the Sakura Dharma Center in Chiba Prefecture. The blankets were collected through Rissho Kosei-kai's annual Japan Blankets for Africa Campaign in Japan, and the volunteers' visit was sponsored by the Rissho Kosei-kai Youth Network Group.

The volunteers visited four places in Malawi's Central Region, including one in the suburbs of Lilongwe, the country's capital, and distributed 2,153 blankets among the elderly living in poverty, the disabled, orphans, and HIV/AIDS patients, in cooperation with the Red Cross Society of Malawi, which is a local partner organization of Rissho Kosei-kai's Donate-a-Meal Fund for Peace.

A girl who received a blanket at Mchinji said, "I am grateful for a blanket before the cold winter comes, and I sincerely wish for the happiness of the Japanese people."

The group also visited four families who had received blankets before, and the families told them how they used the blankets and said the distribution of blankets was a great service to their country.

After that the group witnessed operations of the DREAM program, a joint project by Rissho Kosei-kai and the Community of Sant'Egidio (Italy) for supporting progressive research to treat HIV/AIDS patients. They toured a medical center and a molecular biology laboratory that are bases of operation for the DREAM program, in Mtengo wa Ntengha, a rural area in the country's Central Region.

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