Over 100 members of the Chapel Hill community gathered together for a night of live music, cocktails and a silent auction of Malawian art to benefit the children of Malawi.
The Malawi Children’s Initiative hosted a Cocktails for Kids event this Saturday at the Horace Williams House. UNC School of Medicine professor Dr. Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Duke University School of Medicine professor Dr. David Fitzgerald piloted the event as part of their effort to advance the education, healthcare and food security of the children living in what is considered the third poorest country in the world by the International Monetary Fund.
The Fitzgeralds were introduced to Malawi after expressing an interest in moving abroad and working in Africa. Elizabeth Fitzgerald worked as part of the Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative while David worked with the University of California, Los Angeles at the Partners in Hope Medical Center, both in Lilongwe, Malawi. Together, they helped to introduce antiretroviral therapy and educated local clinicians on how to treat HIV.
Since 2012, the Malawi Children’s Initiative has sponsored 20 children a year to go to school and funded the work of a nurse at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe, Malawi. It has provided the resources to feed the caregivers of hospitalized children as well as fund degrees for a hospital social worker and a nutritionist.
“The last time I visited Malawi was in January," Elizabeth Fitzgerald said. "Every time I go there I see kids whose stories I feel like I need to tell. If people knew about their stories and knew that there was a way to help them get through the things that they’re facing in life, that they would want to reach out and help too."