Margaret Lewis our Head of Education in Malawi has been doing fantastic work in Malawi over the last year. She is a key member of the team. One of her roles has been to regularly visit the schools we work with in Malawi to facilitate their communication and joint projects with their link schools in England. Margaret also assists with our sponsorship programme in Malawi which currently supports over 130 students through secondary school. She has been keen to encourage schools and the nurseries at Glad Tidings to not only grow their own vegetables to improve the nutritional content of pupils’ diet but to adopt sustainable framing practices. Margaret has helped implement the Michael Jackson Legacy Orchard which will further help improve the diets of children in the Glad Tidings area.
In December, she planned to come home for some rest at Christmas, but before she had a chance to prepare, she had a minor stroke and lost feeling in her right arm. This was a shock to her and to all the team in Malawi and the UK. She was rushed to hospital in Liliongwe for tests and then flown to Nairobi, Kenya where she stayed for 10 days and she was diagnosed with a blood disorder. There was much prayer for Margaret and we praise God that she safely returned to the UK just before Christmas. She is on medication and is resting. Since being back in the UK, she has improved massively and now has most of the feeling back in her arm. We thank God that she was seen in Nairobi and the condition diagnosed and that she was able to get back to the UK safely. Please pray that Margaret will have a full and lasting recovery.
The Starfish Malawi team in the UK and Malawi thank you for your support and wish you a very happy and joyous Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Please click here to read our December 2017 Newsletter.
Great news. Our container is full to the gunnels, in fact 62.2 cubic metres (a record amount!) of equipment, vocational training tools, knitted blankets and jumpers, goods for our linked schools and much more items for our projects in Malawi.
We are also pleased to be able to assist other charities working in Malawi with transport for their work as well. A big "WELL DONE" to Chris and the team of volunteers who have worked very hard over the last two weeks to fill the container so expertly, so as not to lose any space.
Here are two photos, one of Chris with the load behind him and one of two of our stalwart helpers, Martin and Steve. The door is closing for the last time before being opened in Malawi after a very long journey of 5000 miles. (I hope Chris got out in time!)
It is now well on its way to Malawi!
In September, Rachel Ormrod, joined the Starfish team in Malawi. Rachel is a primary school teacher who is here for 7 months to pilot a project designed to improve the fluency of Malawian teachers and support them in exploring effective ways to teach English as a foreign language. This will enable them to improve the English language skills and understanding of their pupils. From Standard 5, all lessons, apart from Chichewa, are taught in English so it is vital that pupils can understand English. Rachel is working with a group of 15 teachers from 5 schools.
Rachel recently posted "Things are going well with the project: the Literacy Leaders have bonded well as a cross-school team. They have become increasingly confident and creative with trying out new things in their classrooms and the learners have really enjoyed the new activities.
The Literacy Leaders have shown great keenness to improve their own fluency and are keeping me on my toes with their questions! We have also just finished devising a unique bi-lingual letter-sound sheet with accompanying actions and a song, which we are excited to introduce to the learners.
I have been busy conducting lots of surveys and assessments to really get a clear picture of the needs in these schools. We have much to achieve, and would love it so much if anyone can offer support financially for resources to help with this long-term challenge.
Thanks for reading! Rach."
I am very pleased to announce that we have two new Bible Explorer presenters in the Salima area - Malinga Kasoliphetsa and Naomi Chibisa, as pictured below.
On Friday, the 22nd of September, 2017, Naomi received her new bicycle from Wiseman Mussa (in the grey jacket) as Atanazio Katambika (in the red jacket) looks on, at Thugulu School with the help of starfish Malawi. She will be teaching Bible Explorer in the following Schools: Thugulu, Napache, Chimsolo and Chitipi.
On the same day, Malinga (in black trousers) also received his bicycle from Wiseman Mussa at Chipoka 2 School. He will be teaching Bible Explorer in the following Schools: Mtiya, Chipoka 1 and Chipoka 2. Another school will soon be found so that he will operate in four schools.
This school season, we will be covering seven schools in Chipoka and Ngodzi and in Salima, 28 schools. To God be the glory.
As part of us making a difference, Starfish has some partnerships with organisations that share the same aims to ensure that we are working in a harmonised way and are able to leverage each others strengths for the benefit of the people of Malawi and the Kingdom of God.
To this end, I am pleased to announce that we have recently joined the Global Connections network.
Global Connections is a growing network of over 300 UK churches and agencies with a passion for mission. Their members include organisations of all sizes working in countries all over the world. As you can imagine, there is a wealth of experience available, which can be shared for the benefit of all.
The first leg of the long, long journey to Malawi for our consignment of tools for the Ngolowindo vocational training centre was completed recently, when they were transported to the depot awaiting shipping in our container in October. They have been given to Starfish through, Tools With A Mission in Ipswich, to whom we are so grateful.
These tools will enable school children to be taught skills in carpentry, construction and electrical work, allowing them to have very useful skills for the future.
Below is a photo of a sweet young man (14 years) who has been given the beautiful blanket from Teston Church. He has hydrocephaly and has been 'adopted' by the new female pastor of A of G church at Ngolowindo. He was apparently being neglected by his parents.
He looked so happy with his gift - thank you Teston Church for making a massive difference.
Desks 4 Classrooms is an initiative aimed at providing children in Malawi with a desk for their school. Many schools in Malawi do not have a lot of equipment and having a desk facilitates a student's study, by giving them somewhere comfortable to sit and to organise their books.
So far, we have raised over £1,200, which means we will be able to afford desks for more than 100 children.
Please click here to read more about this exciting project.
Our annual London Beach fundraising meal is approaching. Please see our invitation below:
Although Malawi is predominantly a hot country, people need warm clothes and blankets for the cooler times. These photos show people in Malawi receiving gifts sent by Starfish knitted by some of our wonderful supporters.
You may or may not be aware that, as part of our education programme, we offer nursery education material on Malawi to support our Nurseries Together project. Please click here to see the July / August newsletter - an example of the material provided, which makes children aware of some of the facets of life in Malawi.