Recovering after Cyclone Idai in Malawi

Modestar's story

Life was peaceful for families in southern Malawi before Cyclone Idai tore through. Living within close-knit communities, communities worked the land and relied on their livestock to make a living.

But when Cyclone Idai devastated Malawi in March 2019, families saw their homes and livelihoods washed away, sunk into the rising floodwaters.

One of those families was Modestar’s. The disaster forced them to leave their community in search of a safer place. For Modestar, a single mother of two, the road to recovery was not going to be easy.

Woman from Malawi stands in front of emergency shelter after Cyclone Idai
"I'm very pleased to have this shelter - thank you" - Modestar told us.

After moving to a camp where other families were also escaping the flooding, Modestar received tools and essential aid items to help her on the road to recovery.

Just nine days after collecting her shelter kit, she built a new home for her family. Modestar cleverly used some leftover nail hooks to hang up the items from her new kitchen set, helping to make the shelter a home.

When we visited Modestar, she laid out the bright ground mats she had received to welcome us. There, under the shade of a tree, Modestar explained how the aid items we supported her with were making a huge different in her children’s lives.

Not only had she created a much-needed temporary home for her children, but she was using the water filters to produe clean, safe drinking water for her family. Access to clean water was almost impossible after Cyclone Idai hit, but now after purifying her water, she stores it in clean water carriers to make sure it doesn’t get re-contaminated.

Thank you


Modestar and her family were just one of the thousands of families in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe who lost their home after Cyclone Idai swept away everything in its path.

The road to full recovery is still long, but thanks to your support, people like Modestar can start rebuilding their lives and regain a sense of normality after disaster.

Your support means everything for families who’ve lost so much – thank you. 

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