Malawians living in UK have warmly welcomed the start of Umunthu Funeral Scheme (UFS)-a funeral contribution scheme which is aimed at providing financial support to member families in the event of death.
After an announcement was made about the pending launch of the scheme, several Malawians took to social media to welcome the idea and asking for more details of how they can be involved. Named Umunthu Funeral Scheme (UFS), the scheme will enable members give dignified send-off to the departed while easing the financial stress and burden on the family thereby allowing them to grieve and bid farewell in a proper manner
According to a statement from the scheme founders, plans are underway to virtually launch live on Facebook and Zoom on the 5th Sept 2020. The Malawi High Commissioner to the UK, Kena Mphonda is expected to be the main guest of honour.
In confirmation of the introduction of the scheme Dr Boniface Chimpango, the legal advisor of the scheme said that that UFS has been registered with Companies House as a company limited by guarantee (as a charity) and, as such, it is subject to company law under England and Wales.
“This will give comfort to our members that we are a genuine, legally constituted organisation that will abide by the law and be governed by necessary legislation,” said Chimpango.
The statement from the scheme highlights that the sole aim of UFS is to provide financial support to member families in the event of death. They aim to ensure that the remains of loved ones are laid to rest in a dignified manner, as such, ease the financial stress and burden on the family thereby allowing them to grieve and bid farewell in a dignified manner
Speaking to 247Malawi, Edith Parker, an advisor and one of the founding members of the group highlighted that the scheme has been named Umunthu as it operates under the concept and notion of “Umunthu” or “Ubunthu” (humanity towards others). She went to highlight the benefits that members will get by being part of the scheme such as prompt and guaranteed pay-outs, open to all Malawians in UK and Europe , guaranteed privacy and confidentiality and easy to join with affordable fees “UFS has a wide cover of up to 6 beneficiaries in the UK and 2 in Malawi for each member, and it is very easy to join with no medical check-ups required,” said Parker.
Malawi High Commissioner Mphonda has since praised the team for this initiative and highlighted that he is looking forward to being a guest when the scheme launches on 5th September .“This is an excellent initiative that is long overdue in the Malawian community. It has come at the right time when the community has grown and there are incidents that need to be addressed,” he said.
Coordinator of the launch event, Hannah Chasowa, bemoaned the fact that the momentous occasion will have to be launched virtually due to the Covid-19 restrictions. She urged those that want to be part of the launch even to register on the scheme website.MC Chijota is scheduled to be the director of ceremony at the launch.
The list of the founders of the scheme and its central committee include Abdul Chazolokela Chirwa who is the Chairperson, Hanna Chasowa as the vice. Ruth Maganga Ali is the secretary, seconded by Janine Sankhani, Lucy Unyolo is the Treasurer and Mtisunge Gunde Katimba as Vice. These are Supported by a team of advisors namely Yendamo Kapalamula, Edith Parker, Saidi Lumanza Phiri, Rhodrick Kalumpha, Emily Phillips Kasakula, Edgar Chibaka , Dr Boniface Chimpango, Joyce Juma Phiri, Charles Kapalamula and Tine Bowazi
More details about the scheme can be accessed on its official website Website: www.umunthufuneralscheme.com
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