Home page: news & more...
Val Symons is a PE teacher who has been visiting Malawi for a number of years with the Focus on Malawi team. She has built up a relationship with Teachers and pupils at Ekwendeni Srcondary School and sent them balls and equipment for netball with a Raven Trust container. However, they had no netball stands.
This year Val returned to Malawi and John Challis organised the manufacture of poles, bases and hoops by the local blacksmith. Paint, in Malawi, comes in 5 litre cans and is white, but John managed to find a small pot of blue paint for the stands. The school was delighted and we have just received a letter from Val saying
‘I have had a lovely email from Abel at Ekwendeni Secondary School – thanking me for the posts and kit and hoping to organise matches with another school – he was very complimentary about the quality of the posts so we shall have to thank your blacksmiths….’
We just never know what John will get involved with during his visits to Malawi, but well done to all !
The Raven Trust store at Peddie Street, Dundee will be closed on Saturday 27th December 2014 and Saturday 3rd January 2015
The three pedal – powered rice threshers were loaded onto a container at Dundee on Saturday 6th December along with around 1,000 boxes of goods of all descriptions. The container should reach Malawi within 3 months, in time for the next rice harvest and should be of great benefit to the small farmers around Kaporo near Karonga in the north of Malawi
Nigel and Vicky Milne assisted by Catherine Smith, have been busy undertaking dentistry again this year, particularly in the remote areas of Embangweni and along the coast. People came from far and wide to be seen by the team and over 850 teeth were safely extracted, including a three rooted molar which was a challenge. A great amount of pain relieved in many people.
Some, which are near housing, have contamination issues and the PHC (Primary Health Care Department) of the hospital will investigate further.
Many have a ‘salty taste’ due to wells being drilled into the deep aquifer laid down many years ago. John also examined the water in the Henga area and it has been decided that, due to surface contamination, it is unsafe to take water from a local stream and village boreholes will be used instead
Joyce Makwenderie runs the children’s Nutrition Unit at Ekwendeni Hospital. When they have recovered and are discharged from the unit the children go back into the community. Many have social issues and these are addressed by Joyce and her team. She is very grateful for the items of clothing and knitting sent to the department.
In Strachur, we receive requests from other charities to use our containers to transport items to Malawi. A recent approach from Just Trading Scotland (owned by the Balmore Trust) has resulted in the Dundee container shipping 3 pedal powered rice de-huskers. These will be used by the villagers at Kaporo near Karonga in Northern Malawi, a major rice growing area.
The team at the Dundee depot have been hard at work listing all the boxes of goods that the generous supporters of the Raven Trust and other charities have taken there. As a result, the depot is now full and cannot accept any boxes that have not been arranged to be taken in. A container will be loaded as soon as sufficient funds become available and thereafter the next container will leave from Strachur – probably in the spring.
Barrhead High School has been very much involved in making woollen blankets to send out to Malawi as part of their “Rights Respecting School”.
In Malawi, the night time temperatures can be very cold. Many newborn babies die during the first night due to exposure to the cold.
A presentation from Prof. Alan McGown was given to junior school pupils about the rights and responsibilities pupils have regarding global issues and what the pupils in Barrhead High can do to help. Following that, pupils, parents and staff have been knitting squares which have been joined up to make cosy woollen blankets.
A lunchtime “knitting club” was set up and organised in the Home Economics Department = Their mottos was “every little square helps”.
The school are now ready to send out the first batch of blankets to Malawi.
This is Mrs McFadden of Dunoon who will celebrate her 100th birthday in November. Far from sitting back and taking her ease, Mrs McFadden is rarely without her crochet hook, busy making beautiful baby blankets in pastel colours which she gives to the Raven Trust to send to Malawi. She was pictured at the hairdresser’s, busy with her hands as usual. Her friend, Mrs Hart, is equally busy with her knitting needles making baby clothing.
More knitting and craft work comes to us through Christine Harding from Strachur who volunteers every week with Maggie’s Centre at Gartnavel Hsopital, Glasgow. Maggie’s Centre offers practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families. One of their weekly sessions sees volunteers and clients getting together to chat while doing handcrafts which are sometimes sold to raise funds for the centre while some come back with Christine to be sent to Malawi.
The Raven Trust and the recipients of these gifts in Malawi are very grateful for all this beautiful work.
In May 2012 Audrey Kelly, a veterinary nurse, set out for 10 days in Malawi with a group of vets and vet nurses to help to set up and equip a veterinary clinic ( the Lilongwe Society for the Protection and Care of Animals) and train the staff. The clinic cares for pets, farm animals and wildlife and runs visiting clinics as well as the main one in Lilongwe.
While in Malawi, Audrey visited Mtsiliza village and orphanage and saw the needs of the widows and orphans there. So when she returned to the UK she set about organising some fundraising and collection of goods to help supply some of those needs. With the help of family and friends she collected 56 boxes of goods – veterinary equipment, clothing for the widows and children, knitting, school items, stationery, flip flops, books, toys and toiletries – and funds to send them. Richard Ssuna, principal vet at the clinic in Lilongwe, made the 500 mile round trip to collect the boxes from Ekwendeni and distribute them to the clinic and to Mtsiliza and passed on to Audrey the thanks of the clinic and of the Director of the orphanage.
LovesWorld is a cooperation between local people in Baula and supporters in the UK. It began with a nursery school held under a mango tree and has grown to feed, care for and teach orphans, widows, the elderly and others in need in the local community. With income generation schemes including necklace and basket making and UK support they have built a community centre in which they run schools and support groups and have tilled the ground around to produce food for the local community in times of shortage. They run a food bank and clothes bank.
Recently they received boxes of clothing and books from a Raven Trust container. Their only transport consisted of a bicycle – so that was used to bring the boxes the 35kms from Ekwendeni. We are told by Martha Lowole – a volunteer with LovesWorld – that the delight on the faces of the people who were given new clothes made all the effort worthwhile. We send our best wishes to all involved in this work.