Nina’s visit Dec ’16

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Another year, another amazing trip to all our projects in Malawi. A short trip compared to normal with starting work, however very grateful I managed to sneak in a visit in December before the end of 2016.

My first stop was Chembe Village at the lake, where I visited Chembe Child day care centre and the Chembe Water Project. The children are all doing very well and were so excited to each have a new set of clothes and games as early Christmas presents! The water project tour with Mike highlighted some key issues of where we can do some work in 2017. Usually we try to maintain 2 water tanks storing water for all the village and the water runs through the infrared centre to ensure water from the tap centres is clean for the whole village, however with some rough weather we lost a water tank this year and the current one has a leak. This is what we will be aiming to replace in the early new year as this tank supplies a huge number of people. We will also be looking into possible options to prevent damage to the tanks from bad weather, or another possible storage route to improve sustainability; a key motto to our charity.  We will be planning to replace the fence around the children’s centre as well. Thanks again to Mike Chandiona for all your hard work in 2016!

The next stop was to STEKA in Blantyre. I was so excited to see Godknows, Hellen, and all the children, especially the new family members since my last visit. It was lovely to meet Baby Benjamin, the newest arrival. It is safe to say he is settling into the family perfectly, playing endlessly with his new brothers and sisters. I am happy to report that all the children are doing great in school, continuing to strive high in their education and their behaviour. The children all received early Christmas presents, and lots of new games to share with each other. I enjoyed several days at STEKA playing endlessly with the children! Godknows and Hellen continue to raise their 60 children with nothing but kindness and love every day. As well as support from us and several other donors, Godknows and Hellen continue to bring in what they can to run the house and support all the children ensuring they all attend school and have food on the table. Godknows in continuing to bring in income for his big family. They are continuing to grow vegetables in the garden, however this has been difficult in the recent dry season. Godknows is continuing his tailoring, making school uniforms and t-shirts to sell in batches. The chickens are still around at the back of the house producing eggs that are sold to locals. Godknows also recently started hiring out 2 cars and a minivan which gains profit to support the children. Godknows is continuously thinking of new ways to bring in profit to support his family to be an addition to the support from the fundraisers. During my visit, the two new solar panels that Kenyawi Kids bought recently were being put up. This is a small project we have been planning for a while with the huge power cuts in Malawi recently it has been difficult for the children to do their homework in the evenings. These solar panels will not only allow activity to be done in the evenings but will also massively reduce the costs of electricity in the house allowing this money to be spent on school fees/food or other essentials. The land that we purchased last year for the vocational skills centre; the building foundations are still in planning with big costs; this is a slow process to fundraise the costs but a work in progress. Thank you to Godknows and Hellen for being the best parents a child could as for.

I look forward to planning a crazy sports challenge or two in 2017 to raise funds for the water project and all the kenyawi kids children… and also very much look forward to planning my next annual visit before the end of 2017!! Tionana (see you later) and Zikomo Kwamibiri (thank you very much) for all your support to Kenyawi Kids over the past year, we couldn’t have done it without you all.

Nina Dickson

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