About Focus on Malawi (The Raven Trust)

Eye care work

Our objective is to share God’s love by supporting the development of eye healthcare in northern Malawi, mainly at Ekwendeni, Livingstonia and Embangweni mission hospitals, through providing resources, sharing expertise, and funding clinical training. These hospitals are part of the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP).

Led by a core of eye health professionals in the UK, we provide support in consultation with, and as required by, hospital managers. We also provide help to other hospitals in the region, where co-operation in clinical services provides additional benefit to the population.

While we give this support, the responsibility to deliver local clinical services (including policies, employment, management and payment of staff), is entirely the responsibility of the hospitals.

An eye examination at Embangweni Mission Hospital

Our activities include:

  • the provision of equipment and clinical supplies
  • informal sharing of clinical expertise and experience
  • providing sponsorship for clinical training (in Malawi colleges)
  • mentoring of local eye-care staff when requested
  • organising clinical visits from the UK
  • identifying, with CCAP hospital management, future needs and helping support new clinical and community health services
  • encouraging supporters, volunteers and donors in Scotland and England, while inspiring colleagues, friends and others to to get involved this Jesus-inspired mission.

Our e-news bulletin Newslink is sent bi-annually. Go to our Newslink page to see previous editions and to subscribe. And if you’d like any more info or would like to help, please go to our Contact us page.

The Raven Trust has no staff or buildings, being operated entirely by volunteers, clinical and lay, working in their own time. It’s funded by donations and gifts from individuals, church congregations etc. The work is not underwritten by any organisation; it is faith at work. The Trust undertakes to provide the legal framework to enable us to receive grants and process tax relief on funds.

For information about Malawi – “the warm heart of Africa” – go to the country’s entry at Wikipedia. For more about the Livingstonia Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), go to their website.
(Note: The Raven Trust is not responsible for the content or security of external websites.)

View of Lake Malawi, with beach and hills and mountains

A changed focus

Many people associated The Raven Trust in the past with sending containers of equipment to Malawi, and the wide range of projects led by John Challis OBE, the director. Since his retirement 2017, The Raven Trust has concentrated entirely on its support for eye care work in Malawi. The eye care work started in 2005 as just one activity of the Trust, initiated and led by Sue Kevan.

The aims and objectives of the Trust however – the prevention or relief of poverty, the advancement of education, the advancement of health and the advancement of the Gospel – remain unchanged. The trustee board consists of Sue Challis, Emma Hewson, Sue Kevan, John Kevan and Dr Caroline Sheldrick.

Why ‘The Raven Trust’ name?

humorous illustration of a raven wearing glasses – 'the intelligent scavenger'
The ’intelligent scavenger

There’s a story in the Old Testament where “The ravens brought (Elijah) bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening and he drank from the brook” (1 Kings 17:6). The ravens (- we call them intelligent scavengers) supplied all that Elijah needed at that time.

This is a story about God’s loving provision in creation, pointing forward ultimately to his coming to Earth as Jesus to set things to rights. Following the example of these feathery creatures, The Raven Trust aims to do a similar job for needy communities in Malawi, focusing on developing eye care.

We are constantly supported by the many ‘intelligent scavengers’ around the UK who are finding, donating and refurbishing essential examination and medical equipment. If you’d like to help as an intelligent scavenger, do let us know. We can give you guidance on what is needed and what’s not (we only send stuff that’s in good condition and that can be of practical use in the current context).

Many of the clinics in Malawi are under-equipped, so we very much appreciate receiving examination and medical equipment – if it’s in good working order!