Support for William Alick & family

£2,740 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 89 people in 32 months

Welcome to the fundraising page for my old friend William Alick and his family who live in Blantrye, Malawi, where it is virtually impossible to make a living and the and the economy makes no sense for the ordinary person.

Ongoing projects
1. Keeping his grand children Natasha (15) and George (6) in school. All schools in Malawi are fee paying. Even the bus to school costs the average daily wage for an ordinary malawian worker.

2. Renovating his property so that the roof doesn't leak and it is comfortable for them to live in.

3. Making sure that the bills are paid and there is food on the table.

3. Purchasing solar lamps to allow the children to study during the long power cuts that are becoming increasingly frequent.

4. William is building a maize mill and a small grocery shop in the village where he was born in southern Malawi to bring development and jobs to the village, which has not had any outside aid except a small Oxfam funded primary school (now abandoned due to lack of teachers and sponsorship). The maize milling machine has been purchased and the buildings are now up to roof level. However, the project has now run out of funds because William and his family cannot earn enough money to complete it. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and work (if you can find it) only pays $1 or $2 per day.I want to help William to complete this project, to
a) help the people in this village (so that they do not have to walk for 5 miles to get their maize crop milled and buy local provisions).
b) give William and his family a sustainable business that will provide stability for them (they are currently in a very desperate situation in Blantyre with no work and no income).
c) allow William to fufill his dream of retiring to his home village and spending his evenings on the veranda of his maize mill and shop looking out over the mountain where his brother James used to live and hunt. James Alick lived his whole life in this village until he died last year at the age of 78 and William wants to complete this project in his memory.

Background story:
 William Alick was born in Childzulu, Malawi in 1947 and he moved to Zimbabwe when he was 7, living his life there until he came to the UK in 2005 to escape from the life threatening violence and persecution that was happening in Zimbabwe at the time. Just before he came to the UK he sold all of his possessions and sent his wife and children to live in Blantyre, Malawi, where he has relatives. Last year William rejoined his wife and children after 9 years in the UK because "he missed them too much".  He is now finding life very hard there due to the lack of work and the mistrust that Malawians have of the displaced Zimbabweans living there.

Last year William returned to his home village of Chiladzulu and many of the women (his cousins) fainted when they saw him because they believed that he was a ghost! He had been away so long that he was presumed to be dead and they had already held a funeral and wake for him! When William told the headman of the village, John Mwangu, about his idea for the project he gave him land next to his own house free of charge to build it on because "he has returned to the village of his birth and wants to bring development and jobs and we are very proud of him!".

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Here are some links to aid agencies that are currently working in Malawi in response to the current state of emergency due to food shortages and drought: www.marysmeals.org, www.irishaid.ie, http://m.wfp.org, www.soschildrenvillages.org.uk
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Hi everyone, William is well but still struggling to make a living. Ropa has gone to South Africa to join his brother and sister in Cape Town and try to find a job and build a new life. Natasha and George are still with William and I have paid the school fees and bus for next term. The country is in the grip of long power cuts and crop failure. This time I saw noticeable hunger in the countryside for the first time. A combination of drought and flooding over the last 2 years, caused by El Nino shifting (due to climate change) has meant that 6.4 million people are hungry. Food prices have rocketed and the government has declared an emergency and asked for international food aid. This is slow to arrive and I got an insight into the logistical complexity on the plane when I sat next to the director of Irish Aid who runs an 18 million euro budget distributing food aid in Africa. The government are playing down the numbers so he was there to assess the need on the ground .William has enough food but fuel and food are up taking all of his income. The solar lamps and chargers were gratefully recieved and I bought him the guitar that he has had his eye on for 6 months, for when the power comes on (generally in the evening for about 2 hours per day for 3 or 4 days a week). I used a lamp and charger. It was invaluable. So the need continues. The country is declining even further. I spent the week looking for sustainable businesses that I could start up for him and he could run, that pays more than £3 per day. We settled on growing maize and vegetables and keeping pigs and chickens. Small scale. After the sustainable aid model of "give a man a pig, give a child a chicken" that is currently being advocated in that region by the NGO agencies. So that is the plan. Wish me luck. I hope to have it running by Christmas in time to plug the December to March " hunger gap" in that region when food prices will rise even more.
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So here it is. Tomorrow I am taking 8 solar lanterns, 3 solar mobile phone chargers (big powerful ones), 7 pocket mobile power banks, 4 old phones plus chargers and a blue tooth headset (someone will like that I'm sure). I am also packing clothes, books, shoes, underwear, socks and toys. All to be distributed to the family and close friends. Thanks to your generosity and to Jude for making me have a big clear out. I also plan to buy him an electric guitar and amp next week. He had to sell all of his instruments a year ago. A guitarist with no guitar is too sad.
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Blackouts and the need for solar lamps

Hi all, everything is fairly stable and comfortable in the Alick household. The kids are in school (thanks to your generosity), the utility bills are paid and the van is back on the road, so that William can earn his £3 per day to cover food. However, they are now sitting in darkness most evenings having to cook outside in the yard on an open fire. Long power cuts have become more regular as Malawi's hydroelectric power network gradually grinds to a halt as levels in the Shire River get lower and lower. So, I had an idea - Solar lamps! This would enable George and Natasha to study in the evening and make the evenings a little less boring. I have found the perfect one on Amazon for £18 (rrp $29 USD). Made for blackouts, it also has a built in battery bank and USB charger, so that they can charge their phones (which are their lifeline for business and socialising) . I would like to take as many as I can next month and distribute any spare ones amongst his friends and neighbours. They live in a suburban area but like all local residential areas, it is last in line for power as big business and hotels take it first. Power cuts are now 1 or 2 days in duration with no end in sight. The current drought will break in January but the cylones will then bring storms and flooding, not sustained power. If anyone would like to chip in any amount to buy some lamps I would be most grateful. Anyone who buys a whole lamp can have their name on it so that the recipient knows who has generously given it (I will post a photo of the lamp, name tag and the proud new owners). Bye for now. John
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Read a Previous Update
Jessica Habel
19 months ago

Well done John give William my love and have a great time.

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Annie Woodward
32 months ago

We are more than happy to fund William in this very worthwhile project and wish him all the luck in the world, along with the strength and health to achieve it. I notice the size of William's hands..........clearly used to hard work!!

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£2,740 of £3,000 goal

Raised by 89 people in 32 months
Created October 18, 2015
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JO
£20
Joey Owen
19 months ago

Brilliant John :) have a good trip

£20
Anonymous
20 months ago
Jessica Habel
19 months ago

Well done John give William my love and have a great time.

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Annie Woodward
32 months ago

We are more than happy to fund William in this very worthwhile project and wish him all the luck in the world, along with the strength and health to achieve it. I notice the size of William's hands..........clearly used to hard work!!

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