Issue No 4 ~ July 2004
Once again I am starting our newsletter with thanks for all the donations we have received over the past six months. Without you we couldn't achieve as much as we do in Malawi.
The container arrived packed full of medical equipment for hospitals, books and educational items for schools, blankets for the elderly and many more items too numerous to mention. Ann Scarborough on her annual visit distributed all these and visited the many projects we support in Malawi. This year Margarita Lytle another of the Nchima Trust board members joined her for 3 weeks so between the two of them they were able to visit many more people.
Ann reports AIDS is probably the biggest factor to effect Malawi. Deaths occur daily and even the professional people such as lawyers; teachers and priests have not escaped. To quote one doctor in Malawi Aids is cruel, horrible, unfair, undignified, dreadful and very, very painful. The worst result of this appalling disease is the orphans. Their plight is heartbreaking, especially the ones who have no access to an orphanage or day care centre. Hospitals are desperately short of all medical equipment and drugs, doctors do their best in over crowded wards and often with out even the basic drugs.
Its not all bad. The Kangaroo Care ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre is working well, babies lives are saved and they go home quicker and healthier. At the moment the ward has room for ten mothers and babies. Dr. Elizabeth Molineux and Dr. Grace Malenga would like to double the size of the ward. A project we could keep in mind. Still on Queen Elizabeth Hospital we are at the moment re habilitating the children's ward play ground and providing a new fence to go round it. Pictures will be posted on the web once this is completed. The new medical students are settling in well Ann and Margarita met all the medical students we sponsor when they were out there.
Some donors ask for their money to go to specific causes, as quite a lot of people had given money to go to education we have increased the number of secondary school students we fund from 65 to 100. It costs approximately £25 to keep a secondary school student in school for a year.
Mary Matambe from Mikundi village asked if we could help her village dig a well. The area has 10,000 people and no access to a borehole. The cost of one well is £2000.00 but it is more economical to drill two wells in the same area. It was agreed at the last board meeting to drill two wells and this project is now under way by Concern Universal funded by The Nchima Trust. In turn our thanks go to the people of Bradford On Avon who have taken The Nchima Trust to their hearts and have raised enough money to get this well project under way. Again pictures will be posted on the web site when completed.
Mr. Salisbury is still running the TRF dispensary started many years ago by Ann Scarborough. This is a small clinic in the Thyolo area and takes care of thousands of people every year. We supply Mr Salisbury with basic drugs, which he dispenses to anyone in need of help.
In the last newsletter I mentioned The Zipatso Association who are a group of fruit growers down in the lower Shire area of Malawi. They badly needed help in marketing their crops and getting the whole project back on track. David Smith of BESO went to see them and came back with a report giving favourable indications that the association could be made profitable. Nchima Trust is hoping to put a package together to try and help these people which would give them a good source of income and help support up to 10,000 people.
All over Malawi orphanages and day care centres are starting up. Gay Russell who lives in Blantyre has contact with 16 day care centres in and around Blantyre. At these centres orphans can go on a daily basis and receive a meal and very basic education. None of these centres have any equipment and survive on a shoestring. The Dzabja La Chifundo Orphanage in Thyolo approached us for help. This is an orphanage with about 30 children all who have been abandoned. Ann Davidson and her helpers (Ann has lived in Malawi for many years) run it. Ann and Margarita reported the orphanage is very well run and the children are being cared for in a happy healthy atmosphere. They needed help to get the house they had managed buy into a habitable condition. We gave them £1700.00 which they used to repair the roof.
In addition to the books, which went out in the container, Ann spent an additional £150.00 on primary school books. St. Paul's primary school in Dorking had over the year raised money to send to Malawi so we thought it appropriate to buy schoolbooks. All schools in Malawi lack text books and it is not unusual for 10 pupils to share one book, and in some cases only one book per class is available. We have recently sent a further £250.00 to buy books for Mulanje Secondary School.
Thyolo community Centre is still going well the ladies still make cards, embroidery, beadwork and wire work. From the profits they have managed to pay for some school fees and distribute schoolbooks and footballs. The Youth Group (15-20 year olds) continues with enthusiasm. A young man called William is a great motivator and encourages all sort of activities. Men and women from all faiths attend, they train for social welfare, learn about preventing HIV, learn about women's issues and how to deal with domestic violence. William is 23 has had no formal education and is unpaid.
This winter has been very cold so the granny runs were very well received. By our standards blankets are still cheap a bale of 25 blankets cost £45 but even one blanket is well above the means of many people. Each elderly person receives a blanket, a chirundu for the ladies this is a piece of cloth which the women folk wrap around them selves and usually a bar of soap, a candle and a box of matches. The whole thing costs about £2.00 per head and usually a granny run covers 30-50 people.
You may like to know how we divide our spending each year it's split into 3 main groups. The first being Medical which accounts for 20% of spending. This covers Medical Students, Friends of Sick Children which is the paediatric ward at Queen Elizabeth hospital where we pay for 3 nurses and 2 cleaners and the TRF dispensary in Thyolo.
Education accounts for 18% and this covers Secondary School Fees, University Students, Tertiary students and Bush Teachers salaries in the Lower Shire. The 3rd group is Projects such as The Samaritan Trust which looks after street children we pay for their teachers, Granny Runs and the Container. The total cost of our admin both here and in Malawi is 5%. This is kept so low thanks to Board members who pay their own way when travelling. Also thanks are needed to our voluntary help in Malawi we couldn't operate without Twyla Tolstad and her helpers they take only the absolute minimum of expenses. The remaining 28% is used for projects which come along during the year such as doing up the children's ward play ground, the Kangaroo care unit, and digging wells.
We now have a CD, which has photographs of all our recent projects on it. This can be viewed either on a computer or a DVD player. There is an index sheet to go with it and a write up about each photograph. If anyone would like a copy please contact me. At the moment there are only 35 photos on it but I will add to the CD as I get new ones. I haven't put pictures in this newsletter as it creates too big a file to email. To see all the latest photographs please see the web site and follow the links.
For those of you who are tax payers and haven't filled in a Gift Aid form please consider doing so as it makes such a difference to our income. You don't have to donate regularly even a one off helps.
That I think is all The Nchima Trust news for now. Please contact us if you have news about Malawi and thank you once again for your support with especial thanks to all of you who have held fund raising events on our behalf.
Josie Quinn (Nchima Trust Secretary)