As the 2020 draws to a close, I want to express my sincere gratitude to you for your wonderful support during this very difficult year.  In spite of COVID 19, much has happened over the year in Namwera, Happy’s village, which will warm your hearts.

Early in the new year it was necessary to rebuild the maize mill and Happy’s family house which had been destroyed by rain and winds in the rainy season, November/December 2019.    

In March, the government of Malawi closed schools across the country.  Happy could not continue teaching practice and so was at home.  We then decided to build a Health Centre and an indoor kitchen. Happy’s mother and grandmother had been cooking the children’s lunch outside on the ground.  We are now awaiting the assignment of a nurse to the Health Centre by the government. 

As a COVID 19 prevention measure, we provided funds for soap and masks for the villagers.  The women made the masks.   Then later in the year, the young men who operate the maize mill used funds from their profit to provide soap and additional masks for the community. Clearly, they understand the value of giving back!

As a result of all the construction and use by the villagers, the water in the well ran low and so a second and deeper bore well was constructed. Two additional toilets were also constructed. Happy’s grandmother’s house was repaired to be used as a nurse’s quarters or housing for Happy. Happy’s grandmother now has a new house on the other side of the road, close to the family house.

During the time that Malawi was taking COVID 19 measures, Happy did not attend Teachers College.  However, he used the time well and took driving lessons.  He passed the test and now has a driver’s license.

Because the pandemic had not increased dramatically in Malawi, in October the government issued an order to re-open schools.  Happy began his second term of teaching practice and children returned to our school.

I did not go to Malawi in April as planned, but if I get a vaccination and it is safe to travel, I hope to visit in the fall of 2021.  Happy and I discussed a number of projects for 2021, all focusing on education. One of the instructors, Janet, would like to attend Teacher Training College to become a qualified teacher.  She applied and is now awaiting the results.  Happy’s second sister, Esna, would like to go to secondary school and I am hoping that we can help with school fees.  Then I would like to purchase tablets for our students.  A British company has produced tablets in Chechewa – the language of Malawi – I hope that it will be possible for us to obtain some.

As you can see, in just over three years, your support has resulted in significant and positive outcomes for the rural community of Namwera (education, nutrition, health, water, employment, conservation, entrepreneurship and housing).  The 400 trees which were planted are doing well, some of which will soon produce fruits/food for the community.  A second book about the project should be ready shortly. The book will be a record of our work and be used as a fundraising initiative. 

Without your support much of this would not have been possible.  I have asked Happy to make a video for me to share with you, so that you can see the results of your kindness and generosity.

Again, a sincere thank you for partnering with me.

 

Kamala-Jean Gopie