End of Project Newsletter...
It has been a busy time for the team here in Malawi and we are very happy to announce the end of ABC’s Build Malawi Project in Chisala Village! The school is now up and running and was officially opened by our Guest of Honour, His Excellency, The British High Commissioner, Mr Richard Wildash on Friday 3rd October.
The ceremony was a tremendous success and we had many important people there from central and District government and from Malawi in general. We had children performing some wonderful pieces from four locals schools; Chisala, Chisasa, Kawalazi and Manoro. The celebration boasted a brilliant turnout from the local community as well and was in general a very happy occasion. Everyone was evidently very proud of what we’ve all achieved together. You can find some more pictures of the day on our website.
This last month we have been focused on getting the school buildings finished in time for the inauguration ceremony as any good builder will now, the ‘finishes’ are one of the hardest parts to finalise, such as flooring and painting.
Our contractors, Mangalasi Civil Contractors have been skilled and professional and have handled the pressure in good grace, so thank you for that.
They have steps and a ramp to cater for the disabled.
Teachers have to pay a small monthly rent which will go towards maintaining the houses.
It is also placed strategically close enough to the sanitary facilities so that the hand-wash tanks can be filled daily to promote good hygiene and sanitation practises amongst the children.
We experimented with Soil and cement Stabilised Bricks (SSB’s), which do not require burning and so protects trees and the environment. They are a slightly more expensive option, but the outcome is very attractive building.
We are now awaiting some books from a variety of sources and would love to receive some more! We are looking for simple children’s books, picture books, atlases, various language dictionaries, and old GCSE teaching and learners guides.
Please email Tanya at email@example.com if you have any news for us on this and we can arrangements for transportation.
Chisala also now has a fruit tree orchard, indigenous tree orchard, and a seedling/vegetable patch to promote tree re-plantation and also provide a sustainable income for the school. We have three compost pits and the teachers and children are responsible for caring for the orchards. We are growing tangerines, oranges, paw-paw, guava and mangos. The vegetables that grow in the seedling patch will be transported to the small garden that aims to promote awareness in the children about gardening and irrigation techniques. These orchards are also strategically placed near the borehole for easy management and watering, which is one of the children’s jobs. The School Management Committee (SMC) will be responsible for the funds, putting them in a bank account set up for them in the nearby town, Nkhata Bay.
ABC and the project team will be setting up a ‘school maintenance and support’ account and any extra funds remaining will be channelled towards helping the school in the future. We are very happy to report to you that we have spent within our budget, even with the additional cost of building the library, which was largely due to buying many expensive items tax free since we are a Malawian charity. Our expenditure overview for this phase, and the whole project, will be up on the website in the next two weeks.
The project has got great coverage in the press this last month thanks to our high profile Guest of Honour, and we have put up the various articles on the website. We were interviewed by TV Malawi and we had a mention on the national news and well. Hardly any NGO is building whole schools and although it has been a major undertaking, we have accomplished it in time and within budget!
So finally, our thank you’s.
Tanya and her UK team worked tirelessly for many months to raise the funds for the project and a special mention should go out to Alice Boff, Angus Kerr and Guy Slade in particular, who have all been there from the very beginning. Thank you to all of our friends who did street collections and supported our campaigns, played gigs for us and spread news of our work to all kinds of people. And of course, Action for the Benefit of Children (ABC) in the UK and Malawi (Zaheer Kharodia, Delilah Kharodia, Dean Elias, Zainab and Albert Khan) have facilitated this project and allowed it to happen under their auspices, so thank you!
To our donors all over the world, you are amazing and we hope we have done you proud. In particular, I would like to mention John Travers who sadly passed away last year and we have named the Administration block after him. Also, Charlie Watson, Christopher Little and to our own wonderful families, especially Paul, Norah and Tamsin Clarke and Francois Hudson, who have put up with a lot of madness and mayhem. Tanya’s partner in Malawi, ‘Happy’, has been a loyal and active friend and the project could not have been done without his help with the community. Also to our volunteers Howard Brewer, Simon Tanner and Maggy Keet for helping in various projects and adding to each others work out in Malawi.
To all the UK trusts who have donated to our cause. These are The Jephcott Trust, The Bryan Guinness Charitable Trust, The Sylvia Adams Trust, Trusthouse Charitable Foundation, The Toy Trust, The Beloe Trust, The International Cultural Exchange Trust, The Madeline Mabey Trust, The Allan & Nesta Ferguson Charitable Settlement. Also, thank you to Milton Keynes Rotary Club for their contribution towards the Borehole and to 'Somethin' Else Production Company'.
James Allen's Girls School and Chiddingstone Primary School for their support, James Allen's Lower School for contribution of books and Alleyns Junior School for books too. Also, Alex Lee and The Synergy Project for allowing us to publicise our endeavours. And to Andrew Smith for his tireless help with our website and newsletters, which I'm sure you will agree is FABULOUS!
Thank you to Kawalazi Tea Plantation for their immense support and in providing the house for us and transport for the project. We hope to work with you again in the near future. Central and District Governments have been such a support and thank you for endorsing the project back in 2006.
We will be sending out quarterly reports on the success of Chisala Full Primary School over the next year and we hope you will be excited to hear of the children’s progress.
Tanya hopes to do some more projects next year so we will keep you posted.
Personal Message from Tanya
'It has been an emotional time for all of us involved in this project and we really are so proud of what we have achieved here. This originally started as a very personal project for me and was meant to be a relatively small one which ended up getting more and more ambitious! Luckily, we have managed it and I have made some incredible mates through it. Malawi is lucky enough to have many amazing people doing great work out here, so definitely think about coming here if you want to get involved in development projects. The country and people need your help and it’s a safe and fun environment to work in.'
'So, this is it for this project that has taken two and a half years from the very start to the very finish. As we have mentioned, I will be keeping you updated on the school’s development and feel free to contact me if any one would like to come and visit us. I’d be happy to show anyone around the school. Thank you to everyone who has supported me and believed in me as it’s not an easy thing to do for such an ambitious project'.
The website will still be functional at www.buildmalawi.org and future news will be posted on it.
As always, thank you all for your continued support and feel free to forward this newsletter on to anyone who may be interested in our endeavours out in Malawi.
Good bye for now!
The Build Malawi Project Team