News from Malawi
This month construction has greatly advanced and the first double classroom block is at roof level. It’s been made out of local community bricks that have been made by 5 of the surrounding villages that will benefit directly from the school/centre. Pictures showing the progress of the block at every stage have been taken from different angles and are up on the website at www.buildmalawi.org. So check them out!
The foundation for the second block has been dug and the quarry and concrete is being laid at the moment ready for the brickwork to start very soon. Our contractor has also increased his labour force, as we are under pressure to avoid the rains that begin in December and Phase 1 will end.
The site for the first teacher’s house has been chosen and is currently being cleared. The teachers housing tends to be very close to the schools as it helps on site security and better teacher attendance. Our teachers have been promised by District and Central government and the Permanent Secretary of Education, Mr. Livuza, has officially recognised the government’s duties in this respect in an official letter to ABC. Thus, ‘Chisala Primary School’ will be recognised as such early next year.
Despite some challenges in this area, we are now happy to say that we have to full cooperation of the principal village chiefs in making bricks for the whole project. The communities themselves have been much more supportive in general and sing and holler throughout the day. It is a rare opportunity for them to all get together and gossip or discuss issues. The women are equally as involved as the men and there is a very special vibe in the air when the various villages engage in this activity. There are currently 3 brick making sites and although some are more active than others, they are all starting to make their own ovens which can contain up to 20,000 bricks.
Trainees and labour
The labour force has been excellent so far and they are working hard and to time. Since we are training local trainees in construction, the initial stage was always going to be a bit slower. However, the trainees are picking up things very quickly and are starting to get more confident in their abilities. ABC provided them with some blue work suits that they are very proud to wear, despite the scorching heat that is typical of the coming months. They have been using their toolboxes regularly now as they are now on the bricklaying module, a skill that requires specific tools.
TEVET’s representative, Lucy, came at the end of the month to conduct her first evaluation of the scheme’s progress and she was very pleased with the results. We are moving quite quickly and the trainees already have knowledge in a range of activities, from site planning to mixing cement to laying bricks. 'Teveta' is a national Malawian technical training college that also organises ‘On-the-Job’ Training schemes in rural areas of Malawi that allow for poorer youths to learn vocational skills. See our website for more information.
We have many skilled carpenters and builders in the area who lack tools. It would be great if some of you ‘handy’ men and women in the UK could donate a variety of hand tools (ie. no power tools!) to us so we can distribute them amongst some of the worthy people here in the area (hammers, screwdrivers, chisels and such). Please send them by post to our UK HQ at:
201 East Dulwich Grove, London, SE22 8SY
We will make sure they get there!
So many exciting things have happened this month, but we are particularly happy to report the arrival of our water pump. Although it came a little later than expected (as most things in Africa), we did finally get it and Jim and his team at the CCAP (Presbyterian Church) have been very supportive. See the website for more pictures; the drilling really is a special sight to see!
This water pump was partly supported by Milton Keynes Rotary Club and President Gibbs from Rotary Mzuzu will be coming this month to see the results to report back.
Thanks to those of you who have donated specifically towards secondary school fees for youths here. Tanya will be getting back to you within the next month or so as to who has benefited from your donation. We will also try and put up a picture of them all up on the website in a special link on our Gallery page. We will keep you updated on this. Please do keep the donations coming.
News in the UK
Congratulations and thanks to Daniel Barrett, James Chapman and Jack Bowen who successfully completed a sponsored 150 mile bike ride in 14 hours, raising £150 for the project.
We are always looking to enthusiastic volunteers to help out at promoting awareness about the project at events or street collections. Please contact us if you are interested in joining us at any of these events in and around London.
The Build Malawi Project will be at the Synergy Project in London 23rd November. Come and meet us there!
If anyone wants to volunteer with the project in UK or Malawi, then please contact Alice Boff in the UK at firstname.lastname@example.org and Tanya at email@example.com. We love fundraising events! Please contact Alice for more information on this.
Tanya’s good friend, Simon Tanner, came out for 2 weeks help out and used his specialist expertise of mapping to map the general area and the distances between the surrounding villages and the school. This map will be extremely useful not only for the primary school, but also for the nearby health clinic, the chiefs and village headmen and future NGO’s that go to the area.
Our team in the UK
All the team, whether UK or Malawi, can be accessed on firstname.lastname@example.org, so just specify who your email is for in the heading and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
ABC and the Build Malawi Project would like to thank everyone who has helped raise funds for this project in the UK and abroad. Although you are too numerous to name individually, you know who you are. Grass roots level organisations such as ours do rely on people like yourselves who actively participate, and often for free, to help get something great started. So, thanks again!
The Build Malawi Project Team
NB. If anyone would like to get in touch with Tanya by post, the address in Malawi is:
ABC, c/o Kawalazi Tea Plantation, PoBox 237, Mzuzu, Malawi
By phone: +265 (0)9 600 734/ +265 (8) 152 020