The last month has seen the return of the clinic to both the Community Centre and as a mobile outreach programme together with The Malindima housing project, comprising of seven volunteers from Methven, New Zealand.
We have been lucky to have had 12 volunteers with us during the period and the results in the community speak for themselves. It has been an incredibly busy time with everyone working hard to achieve what are very tangible results. Several times this month I have been brought to tears by the scenes as people in the village receive either a new house for Agogo Ayaya, or a new roof for the Giblo family. These are people we live with and have seen struggle, especially with the weather this last year.
It’s difficult to put in one update all that has been happening, but I hope the following pictures will give those at home an idea of all that has been going on!
Early April saw the return of Dr Derek Allen, this being his second visit with us here in Mtubwi. Derek brought this time a midwife, Diana and their 4-year-old daughter Hilda, quickly settled back into the swing of things. He worked in the community centre and as a mobile clinic visiting remote communities. The mobile clinic has cost significantly more to run this year as we were only able to utilize the Landrover for the first few weeks and then needed to hire transport for the mobile clinics. Costs aside, Derek’s visits always have an enormous impact on many people, giving those in remote communities’ access to medical help.
Helping Derek and Diana in the clinic were two law students from Wellington, Alli and Sim who came to join us for two weeks. They adapted wonderfully to life here in Africa and did some amazing work helping with the clinics.
April also saw the arrival of our team from Methven consisting of the Fitzgerald Family, Matt, Sonja and Mark. The Malindima Village Project was entirely funded by people in the Methven community. They came to Malawi to address some of the housing issues we had in the village this year due to the rains. Climate change has meant significantly more and heavier rains this year damaging numerous houses and taking lives. The mission of this project was to completely replace one house, replace two roofs from thatch to iron and repair /plaster another house. All this in a two-week period!!!
This project went incredibly well thanks to the hard work this team put in despite the frustrations that only Africa can bring. Agogo’s house was completed fully with two other houses having their roofs replaced Kiwi style.
The impact on the community from this project was incredible with families brought to tears when their home was completed. As of the team’s departure we still have a small amount of brick work to finish on one house and the plastering of another which will be completed over the next few weeks. The Community Centre kitchen which was also ear-marked to be finished during this project will get completed later in the year.
Building Agogo Nyaya’s house and the completed building. Our biggest problem with Agogo’s house was her insistence to move in before the roof went on! Agogo is very much the mother of the village and three families will live here.
The whole team with Agogo at her finished home. Many people were involved in this project and a huge thankyou from us here in Mtubwi to the Methven community who made this happen. The help to these families is immeasurable and all going well we hope to continue with this project next year.
Megan was with us for just under 3 months doing her Masters. Megan has been very involved with the charity following a volunteer stint 2 years ago. Her work will be used to help establish the Market Garden at Mphatikizo giving us both a food supply and income for the local community. Long term this is very much a focus for Mphatikizo and in line with our sustainability and development ethos. In the photo Megan is training translators at Mphatikizo Library.
I will finish what has been for me the most difficult Update to write. So much has been happening at Mphatikizo this month it is difficult to condense it into one update. It has been an exciting time for us all, and we have been blessed to have some wonderful people coming to Malawi to help.
The results of the last month have been very much a collective effort from both those here in Malawi and our community back in New Zealand.
From the Smedley family, Mtubwi community and the team at Mphatikizo a huge thank you for your continued love and support.