Billy's Malawi Project - USA
In September of 2007, Billy’s Malawi Project Inc. became a recognized non-profit organization in the USA. The inspiration was Mags Riordan, a Dingle, Co. Kerry educator who raised money to build a medical clinic in memory of her son, Billy. Billy drowned at age 25 while swimming in the lake on Cape Maclear in 1999. Following his death, Mags traveled to Malawi to experience the ‘paradise’ Billy had spoke of and to bring a hand sculpted memorial stone to the shores of Lake Malawi.
During this trip along with others that followed Mags saw an outbreak of cholera and continual deaths from malaria and simple childhood diseases first hand. It was at this point in which Mags very quickly realized that a medical clinic in this area is not just necessary but it is essential. For these people medical treatment is almost non-existent. There is no clinic, doctor or nurse available, and the nearest hospital care is a four hour difficult journey away. There is one doctor for 800,000 people in the nearest hospital, located in Mangochi, the nearest large town. Having further observed the situation over a period of months, Mags returned home to Ireland with the objective of raising enough money to build a clinic for the people of Cape Maclear Thanks to the hard work and enormous amount of time, the clinic opened in 2004, and has since been expanded. Over 90,000 patients have been seen for all types of illness since opening.
Billy’s Malawi Project USA is a 501 (c) 3 organization aimed at assisting Mags Riordan and Billy’s Malawi Project with continuing the dream while expanding opportunities as available. Thanks to the kindness of the Friends of Billy across the world, not only has the clinic been built, but also an inpatient facility has been constructed, preventative mosquito nets are distributed, integral medicines are obtained and a school is also in progress. Every penny counts towards survival. What may seem insignificant to some may be the difference of a life to another.
The Billy Riordan Memorial Trust and Billy's Malawi Project USA works to improve the overall health status of the village of Cape Maclear (Chembe Village) through the provision of a medical clinic and health center. The Trust provides educational opportunities and support. It is the objective of the Trust to provide relief of suffering and deprivation in this community.