From Malawi to Buckingham Palace

dscn1665124It was all a bit of a rush! John Challis left it as late as possible to leave Malawi, so that he could almost finish the building of the bridge at Shonga. He finally flew into Glasgow airport on Sunday with just time to get home, change his luggage and pick up Sue before flying down to London on Monday for his appointment at Buckingham Palace on Tuesday morning!

The OBE which he had been awarded was presented by Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. An hour and a half later, an excited John was back outside the palace having photos taken before enjoying a celebratory lunch with the family.

Well done John (and Sue). I think we will award you a wee rest of at least a couple of days!

FCL 104 loaded at Dundee

14212019_1310219552351341_8147730509510847961_nThe latest Raven Trust container – FCL 104 – was loaded at the Dundee store on Saturday 3rd September. It is now at the container terminal in Grangemouth waiting to be loaded onto a ship for Antwerp thanks to our lovely driver Allan. Thank you to all who helped in the loading (and the feeding and watering of the loaders!).

This means that the store at Peddie Street, Dundee is now open again every Saturday morning from 10 am until noon to accept delivery of goods.

Meanwhile, FCL 103 has arrived at Beira, Mozambique and is on its way by road to Lilongwe. We hope it will quickly clear customs and be delivered to Ekwendeni for unloading as there are parts for the Shonga Bridge on board which John will need to finish the bridge before the rainy season arrives.

A story to tell…..

open-book-0cWHjg-clipartIt is almost 20 years since the first stirring of what was to become the Raven Trust were felt and 16 years since the Trust became a Scottish Registered Charity. Now a friend of the Raven Trust has begun to write a book about the Trust.

Over the years, all kinds of people have become involved in the work of the Raven Trust in all sorts of ways. How did YOU become involved? From those who knit garments to keep small babies warm, to specialists in beekeeping, building, supply of clean water, education and electronics, many of you have interesting, unusual or even funny stories to tell of how you became involved. In my case, a retired minister friend wanted me to set up a photo display of the work of the Trust in a local church and that led on to……. well that’s another story!

If you have a story to tell, we would love to hear about it – so please email your story to us at Thank you.

Dundee Depot Full

IMG_0001The depot is now full and cannot accept any boxes that have not already been arranged to be received. A container will be loaded as soon as sufficient funds become available. . We would, therefore,  ask that you delay deliveries until after FCL 104 has been loaded on 3rd September. Thank you.

Tools Maintenance Manual


Tools manualSome time ago, Donald Manson, a retired teacher of technical subjects, wrote and illustrated a manual to help students of woodwork maintain their tools – chisels, saws, etc. – in good and safe condition. In conversation with John Challis about skills training in Malawi, he offered the manual to the Raven Trust. At the beginning of the year 140 copies of the students’ manual and 15 copies of the teachers’ manual were loaded onto a container and transported to Malawi where John retrieved them during his May visit. He took enough copies to Livingstonia Technical College, Ekwendeni Lay Training College and St John of God Training Workshop in Mzuzu to give every student a copy and every teacher got the teaching manual. The students and teachers were pleased to have these useful booklets – they had had no such resource available to them. Above – students and trainer, Oswald Mhango, at St John of God Training Workshop.