Mayoka Village Beach Lodge is a small, community-based backpackers on Lake Malawi in Northern Malawi, Africa. We employ 31 people, all from the local area, Nkhata Bay. We rely almost entirely on international tourists and volunteers travelling and working in Malawi. Since mid-March 2020 we have had no guests at all, every one of our bookings between March and August of this year have cancelled and between August and December this year we currently only have 6 bookings in total when normally we would have up to 100. We have been forced to close the lodge due to restrictions on social contact in place to prevent the spread of Covid – 19. We do not yet know when the restrictions will be lifted or when the tourism industry will start to recover. However, we are determined not to give up and to be ready to open our doors as soon as possible. It costs us £2800.00 a month to pay all our wages and utilities while the business is closed. It is not a huge amount of money in the U.K. but it is everything when we have no income and the livelihoods of 31 families depend on it.
Right now the everyday people of Malawi are facing so much struggle in their daily lives, there is so much extreme poverty in the country, the public healthcare system is desperately underfunded, under equipped and unprepared to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic. There have been restrictions put in place to try and prevent the spread of the virus but this has only resulted in the reduction of employment or the potential to earn an income from informal business and what we call in Malawi "piece work"which is where people earn tiny amounts of cash, to survive, on a daily basis by getting paid to carry luggage or clean someones garden.
Mayoka is not the only lodge in Malawi that has been forced to close. However, we do not wish our staff to suffer, they support such a huge number of people on their salaries, not just their extended families but also all the economic support they provide within the community by still being able to carry on purchasing from local vendors etc.
Our plan is to survive these difficult times, carry on paying our staff their salaries, so that when we can reopen and the tourism industry finally starts to pick up, we are here, ready to start again, stronger than ever, having done the right thing. We need your support to do that while we are closed and have no income. We want to see you again and welcome you back to Mayoka to enjoy this magical place in this beautiful and friendly country. Please plan a holiday with us and buy a voucher for accommodation that you can redeem at any time in the future, we can not wait to see you!
Crowdfunder are offering up their platform to allow all UK small businesses to pre-sell their meals, events, hotel bookings etc. for cash now on a promise to redeem these at a later date.