Kids swim for Cyclone Freddy relief
By Lee Forland | Malawi in Southern Africa
Swimming for a purpose. Photo by SIM Malawi.
Three young SIM children have taken to the water in a charity swim event to raise relief funds after the devastating Cyclone Freddy.
In early March, the storm dumped an unprecedented amount of rain across southern Malawi, causing widespread destruction and loss of life. SIM, together with partner churches and other local churches, immediately began collecting and delivering relief supplies for the communities affected.
Harnessing their great love for swimming, Silas (13), Toby (11) and Fiona (9) did not hesitate to jump in when their local swimming team sponsored a fundraising event: to swim as many lengths of a 25 metre pool as possible within an hour.
Using a combination of butterfly, front crawl and breast stroke, Silas was pleased to achieve a personal best of 102 lengths - a total distance of 2.55 kilometres. With full support from his home community, he received six Canadian dollars in donation pledges for every lap he swam.
Silas says: “I love swimming and I had a lot of fun, and I was happy to be able to help the people hurt by Cyclone Freddy. I saw one of the landslides caused by Freddy, and I heard about everything the people had lost. I’m glad we were able to help out by swimming.”
Toby also made a strong contribution to the fundraising effort by swimming 100 lengths for a total swimming distance of 2.50 km, while little sister Fiona swam 1.15 km – 46 lengths. As a family, the children swam a combined total of 6.2 kilometres, raising approximately Can$1,500 to fund Freddy relief. The money was channelled to Flood Church in Blantyre, who purchase and deliver the supplies to those in need.
Silas, Toby and Fiona are the children of Shannon and Jason Brink who are serving with SIM in Lilongwe, Malawi. Mum Shannon was delighted with her children’s achievement:
“I am very happy that my children had an opportunity to use their gifts in a way that was meaningful and personal. They saw the effects of a landslide in the area of Ndirande, Malawi and understood that there were people who had lost everything. This swimming event gave them a good way to contribute to the relief effort.”
• For the families whose lives were devastated by the cyclone.
• For the local communities facing the long road of rebuilding, that they keep their trust in God.
• That the needed funds can be raised to support the ongoing relief work.
Though Cyclone Freddy has passed, there are many who are still rebuilding their homes, who are without adequate food and who require funds to replant crops and make repairs.
If you have been inspired by the Brink children's swim and would like to give to ongoing relief needs, please click here to find your closest donation office and mark your gift as Malawi’s Disaster Relief Project #96759.