The Raven Trust provides practical, direct support to needy communities in Malawi, East Africa.
The Tale of the visit that grew (and grew)
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.
The Tale of LovesWorld
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.
The Tale of the Kwenderana Partnership
The Church of Scotland congregations had supported and helped the folk in Ekwendeni for over 20 years. The connection became even closer when neighbouring churches Busby, Giffnock South, Greenbank and Williamwood joined together to form the Kwenderana Partnership 9 years ago. (Kwenderana means Walking Together) In November 2009 a covenant was signed between those churches and Ekwendeni CCAP church to confirm a Partnership, the main purpose of which is to support each other in prayer and by sending help in material ways. They also involve the local community and schools in their work
Since the partnership was set up there have been several exchange visits and they have sent hundreds of boxes of clothing, bedding, household goods, stationery, educational materials, medical equipment and tools to Ekwendeni and these are distributed by the Kwenderana Committee in Malawi, not only in Ekwendeni, but also in the villages and through Prayer Houses in the outlying area. They have also sponsored children through secondary education and raised money to repair boreholes and help with building school classrooms
Early in 2013 an unusual delivery arrived at the Strachur store. It included 2 elephants, a horse, 2 motorbikes and a fire engine – all part of a complete set of playground equipment sent from Ballymena in Northern Ireland on its way to a school at Msongwe, just outside Mzuzu, Malawi.
On loading day Trustee Alan Laverock undertook to test some of the equipment – namely an orange elephant! The whole lot, including swings, see-saws and slides were loaded into the container.
Scroll forward 15 months, and Alan was reunited with his little orange friend in its new home in Malawi where it gives much enjoyment to the local children – and, we suspect, to Alan!!!