February 2019

Welcome to another update for Mphatikizo and I hope   you all had a safe and restful New Year with family and friends.

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This year in Malawi, Mphatikizo will be busier than ever with volunteers working with us from early April until late in the year. This is both an enormous leap forward for the charity and a very exciting time. Malawi has seen heavier than expected rains this year with many people losing both crops and homes. The effects of this weather will not be felt now, but will do later in the dry when the crops harvested after the rains both feed families and any surplus provides some income. Within Malindima village and with the help of our volunteers, Mphatikizo has the potential to give some long term and very effective assistance to the people in our community.

Dr Derrek will be returning in early April, we hope for another three months, but the length of his stay has yet to be confirmed. This means both the clinic and outreach programme will restart, both of which were incredibly successful last year. Derrek treated over 1,000 people last visit and we all enjoyed his stay immensely. It will be great to have him back.

The picture below shows one of the houses damaged in the rains and is part of the driver for the housing project, which will be by far our largest project to date.         

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 Organised by Richard in New Zealand, a team consisting of volunteers and people from the community will completely replace one home, re-roof two houses, complete the kitchen at the orphanage and, should there be time remaining, complete minor repairs to two more houses. All this in a three-week period!!!!

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The importance of this project has been highlighted in the last month especially, and, should this project go well, we hope to target another three houses in the village next year.

Community involvement is crucial, and we hope that by slowly improving the living conditions in Malindima village, we can improve both the health and well-being of the community. It is pointless giving people work if conditions at home mean we are constantly fighting illness. To repair substandard housing is a far more sustainable solution.

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The feeding centre reopened this week with some 45 children attending, but we expect these numbers to slowly increase. With the reopening of the centre, we also saw the education programme started by Phoebe last year recommence. It was great to visit the orphanage yesterday with all the noise that accompanies young children happy and having fun. We hope to expand this programme this year with the Landrover becoming a mobile library each Friday, supplying new material to the communities who attended the Phonics Training given by the team last year. The programme this year will be managed by a local Malawian, Esther, who showed an incredible amount of promise when training with Phoebe last year. For us this is the perfect scenario with volunteers imparting skills to local Malawians who then continue with the programme. Thankyou to Phoebe and Rosa, we now have the library functioning and a structured educational programme in place for the kids.

I will finish this here with, as usual a big thanks for your continued love and support. As is usual, we always require more of the illusive funding, but Mphatikizo continues to go from strength to strength here in Malawi. None of this would be possible without your support and the help of volunteers.

Love and hugs the Smedley Family.

Megan Fitzgerald