The Raven Trust provides practical, direct support to needy communities in Malawi, East Africa. Take a look around this site and find out how anyone can get involved in the struggle to fight poverty!
Dundee and Strachur Stores
1. Just a reminder that the Dundee store at 11 Peddie Street Dundee DD1 5LP is open every Saturday morning from 10 am – 12 noon. Container FCL 96 which was loaded at Dundee on 6th December 2014 arrived safely and was unloaded at Ekwendeni on 10th February. We hope that the next container to load at Dundee will load in April.
2. FCL 97 will load at Strachur on 4th March. The contents, as usual, are very varied and include educational books and supplies, specialist medical equipment, baby clothing and bedding. The container should arrive in Ekwendeni during John’s visit to Malawi in June
Malawi rains – Baula
These are pictures of the current position at Baula – about 10 miles west of Ekwendeni Hospital. There are many reports of serious flooding in the south of Malawi. The north is also being affected as at Baula. Recently planted crops of maize and sweet potatoes have been washed out or have rotted and what is left is not growing well. The situation looks bleak for people and families at Baula and elsewhere in the country for the coming months. We have also received reports of damage to housing and property. Goods from the Raven Trust containers such as clothing and bedding are being distributed by the CCAP (Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian) Synod to those who have been affected.
Strachur store re-opens
After a short break, the Strachur store is again open. This store is not manned full time, so if you want to deliver goods please get in touch, by email in the first instance (firstname.lastname@example.org), giving your name, contact details and a short description of quantity and type of goods to be delivered.
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
Container loaded in Dundee
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.
Water Quality Testing
John Littlejohn has just returned from Malawi. While there he was able to undertake the testing of water quality of boreholes, shallow wells and scrapes around the Ekwendeni area.
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.
This community built bridge has been completed and provides a very welcomed connection to the villages in the area. The old metal ‘vehicle chassis’ bridge is now relegated to a museum item and the people have a strong, safe bridge to cross over the river which is much appreciated.
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.
Dundee Depot Full
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.
The Great Barrhead High Knit Off
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.