Malawi is one of the world's least developed countries. Around 85% of the population live in rural areas. The economy is based on agriculture, and more than one-third of GDP and 90% of export revenues come from this. In the past, the economy has been dependent on substantial economic aid from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and other countries. Eighty-five percent of children attend school through Standard 5, and only 25% of students go on to secondary school. Literacy rates are high, considering, at 61%, but our experience in-country suggests this is not an accurate rate and is likely much lower.
Our work in the country is primarily to serve the community in Baluti Village, Blantyre. We will be working with various organizations (including the Blantyre public schools, specifically Namasimba Primary School, and the Chimwewe Community Center) to provide literacy teaching and coaching for children in the local village school.
Last year we used the money gathered from our GoFundMe page and donated a multitude of different organizations and programs across Malawi. We donated to the AIDS/HIV group that is listed below. This group didn't use the money on themselves, rather, they used it to support a group of girls that were orphaned by AIDS/HIV. They used this money to buy uniforms, school materials, and paid for their school fees.
We also donated to the Kusamala Institute which works to provide education and support for sustainable farming.
We provided school fees, school materials, and uniforms to send fifty children from our program to school this entire year. This means that children whose families that couldn't afford these things can attend school for another year. It also allowed those families who can send their children to school to spend that money on things to support their family like food, etc.
Finally, we donated to the Chimwewe Children's Center. They work with children in the Baluti village and their families to support school attendance and fund children's school fees. They also work with mothers and young children on early childhood education.
Read below for more information about each individual organization. If you feel connected to a specific cause, please specify which organization your donation should be allocated to. We appreciate any and all donations!
*Important Note: Please make all donations by December 31, 2017 so we are able to access these donations before leaving the country.
Over the course our trip, we will have a general need to purchase the following:
-- School supplies such as pencils, paper, and books. We have budgeted to bring the materials we need for our work there, but donating books and school supplies is very helpful. These supplies are quite expensive because they must be imported which is difficult given the infrastructure and development in the country. These supplies will be donated to Namasimba Primary School and Chimwewe Children's Centre.
-- Snacks for the children. During our literacy program we provide the children with a snack. We have budgeted enough to provide them with some basic calories (usually bread rolls) and a drink; but with additional support we could provide additional nutrition in the form of protein and/ or fresh produce, which is a rare treat. Most Malawiian children eat only twice per day; food insecurity is ubiquitous.
-- Legos, Coding Toys, art supplies, etc. This year, we are expanding our program to include high-quality inquiry-based play. In order to do that we are also trying to gather Legos, Coding Toys, art supplies, etc.
Chimwewe Children's Centre:
This centre was set up to provide support for children and their families who have been affected and infected by HIV/AIDS. It's ultimate goal is to provide relief and education in order to break the cycle of poverty. During our trip, we will be directly working with the children from this organization. We are also creating a library named after Elon with this group.
Never Ending Food:
This organization is dedicated to Permaculture and nutrition in Malawi. Permaculture is a universal agricultural ecosystem that is designed to be sustainable. The fundamental ideas of permaculture include working with nature, thoughtfully observing the environment, ensuring that all elements perform multiple functions, and everything is connected. This style uses existing community resources and strives to care for the earth, the people, and share all resources equally. This particular organization was started by a family who are currently working to spread this sustainable style of agriculture throughout the country.
This non-profit is located in the Kungoni Centre near Lake Malawi. This is a center that invites vistors to reflect on and explore Malawi's traditions, culture, and art. Their funding comes primarily from donations. A museum presents the cultures of Chewa, Ngoni, and Yao people as well as cultural artifacts and the history of the Mu'a Mission. They also host different cultural dances to further share the culture with visitors.
Sinthana Community Learning Centre:
This project believes that education and opportunity are the keys to successful community development. With this belief, they create learning and development opportunities for community members who either left school early, or never had a chance to attend. The basic philosophy is that giving community members an opportunity to meet and exchange skills is as important as classroom activites focused on traditional curriculum.
Chembe Community Project:
This project works with health related issues in the area of Lake Malawi. Some of these issues include safe drinking water, Malaria prevention, hunger relief, and caring for orphans. They provide individuals with the supplies necessary to access water, medication, food, and education all in a sustainable way using donated funds.
Cape Maclear Paper of the People:
Through this project, orphans and women in a village near Cape Maclear are given access to recycled paper to make books, cards, and other art products.
Likomo AIDS HIV Support Group:
This group was founded to provide support for people with AIDS/HIV in Malawi. To achieve these goals, they have ten focus areas that touch upon issues like prevention, children, advocacy, research, business issues, and more.
Thank you for your support!
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