Kamusita Village 2009

 

Kamusita Village January 2009. ‘Our first ever project...’


3rd World Hope’s original aim was to supply simple but very necessary items to a completely unaided orphan centre. With malaria being one of the main killers in Africa, the first priority was to ensure each orphan had their own mosquito net to sleep under. Providing children with a mosquito net immediately increases their life expectancy by five years!


Shaun (Founder and Principal Trustee) and Howie (Co-Founder and Trustee) decided to keep their plans for Malawi simple, to help as many people as possible, using the money carefully. 3rd World Hope received an amazing response from friends, family and public support. Funds were raised through sponsored events organised locally; a triathlon, a car boot sale, a bag pack at a local supermarket and a party night at Havana’s. A total of £3,563 was raised, more money than ever anticipated! With this sum of money Shaun and Howie quickly realised they could expand on their initial plans and possibly provide access to permanent clean water and a constant supply of food offering children the chance of a healthy future.

Children with bags

 

Click here to view a video of our first project.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZrL_aArXQo

 

 

Shaun workingSchool lessonChildren with wheelbarrow
 

Shaun Williams Founder and Principal Trustee of 3rd World Hope wrote in February 2009 about that initial project in Kamusita:

 

‘I spent the first week working with the villagers in Kamusita feeding and caring for the seventy orphans. During this time I spoke to as many people as possible about what they considered the orphan centre needed. I visited other orphanages in the area to get ideas and learn where our money could be most effectively spent. Although I had preconceived ideas on what I wanted to do, I was immediately hit by the desperate poverty these people lived in. They were drinking from a stagnant river, only able to feed the orphans on a Wednesday and Friday with their limited funds and were sleeping on mud floors with torn clothes and no blankets.

I met with the three Chiefs of the area to discuss what we could do. The answers all appeared short term, for example buying sacks of maize. I told them I wanted to do things they could continue themselves enabling them to become self sufficient long term. Agreeing with this, they allocated me a plot of waste land the size of a football field. We employed local people to work the land and prepared it for growing our own maize and kasava.

I visited a nearby hospital where a cholera outbreak had occurred. After meeting some of the victims and finding out about the conditions they had been living in prior to their illness, I quickly realised that Kamusita was in imminent danger from cholera too, such were their living conditions. In response to this threat I organized a meeting with the Malaria Co-ordinator for the area. After informing her of my concerns about the village she made some enquiries. She had me signed up to the Malawian Government as an official distributor of mosquito nets. This meant we got the 300 nets free of charge, only having to pay £40 for the administration costs. This allowed the £1000 we had set aside for the nets to be spent on other things such as the water problem.

Armed with information and big ideas I left to pick up supplies from Mzuzu and meet up with another charity, ‘Wells for Zoe’ that supplied water pumps. The meeting proved very successful. Prior to this I had been quoted £4000 for a borehole or £2000 for a water pipe to be laid to the village. ‘Wells for Zoe’ quoted me just £200! The only costs that we would incur would be for the pump itself. Things seemed to be falling into place. My ideas were all becoming reality and the community were all helping me to make them happen.

Another problem was getting sick people to the hospital nine kilometres away. The only way until now was to carry them. We have now supplied the village with a mountain bike with a custom built trailer bed on the back which I designed with a local welder.

Other small projects we have undertaken include buying timber and making desks to seat 90 students at the local Primary School which the orphans attend. We also made benches for the orphans to sit on when eating their meals instead of on the mud floor.

Primary education is free to everyone in Malawi.  However, once they reach secondary school, they must pay fees. This means the orphans stop going to school from then on. This was something that really frustrated me, as I felt they weren’t getting a fair chance of a future. With this in mind we set about setting up a small business that could generate an income to pay these fees. After meeting with the Agricultural Minister I decided a chicken farm would be a perfect option. Easy to maintain and run, the eggs from 100 chickens would cover the costs of the school fees. I also met with local campsites and businesses and had them agree to buy the eggs on a daily basis from the orphan centre. All of this will now allow the orphan centre to be self-sufficient. They have access to clean water, guaranteed food all year round, and an income to finance their outgoings.

As I left at the end of my month they arranged a ceremony to say goodbye. At this ceremony the chiefs and locals asked me to pass on their thanks to everyone involved back home. I cannot put into words what all of this has meant to these people. I sat in tears as one of the orphans spoke on behalf of the orphan centre, expressing the gratitude and heartfelt thanks they all felt. They truly believe they have a future now.  This has only been made possible as a result of your help.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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