Donations, Education, Malawi, Nursery, Volunteers, Youth

The redecoration of the Youth Hall at NYM

October and November saw great changes for our Youth Hall at Nyumba ya Masambiro. Returning volunteer Cara Marsh had a great vision for the redecoration of the Youth Hall walls supported by a generous donation from NYM visitor Sabina Trojanova. The walls had originally been painted with some small images when the hall was constructed in 2010. These small murals had become faded over time and Cara had a vision of using new images that would allow for interactive teaching for the nursery and youth club.

After the initial whitewashing of all the walls, the plan was mapped out and painting took 5 weeks in total. Cara enthusiastically encouraged guests from nearby Zulunkhuni River Lodge to come and join in as well as staff from NYM, children in the Youth Club and community members passing through. It really was a whole community activity and the nursery and youth club members really benefit from these murals every day, both as they are so bright and cheery and also from an interactive learning point of view. Cara – we thank you and all your volunteers for your vision and wonderful energy throughout this project – you have given the Youth Hall a new lease of life!

Education, Nursery, Testimonial, Volunteers, Youth

Volunteer Testimonial – Sanne Westera

Volunteer Sanne joined Phunzira in Ruarwe in June. She got involved with many youth projects during her time in the village including youth club sessions, nursery school and she also organised an educational quiz for members of the youth club with pens, pencils, notebooks and maths books given out as prizes. Below is a testimonial from her time volunteering with Phunzira.

“I really enjoyed my stay in Ruarwe, the community is very welcoming and the kids are so eager to learn and fun to play with. I wish I could have been more involved in the clinic but, as I’m now studying medicine, I might be able to come back to Ruarwe for an internship in the future! I would like to thank Phunzira, NYM, the community and Zulunkhuni river lodge for making my stay a memorable one and I’m hoping to be back very soon.  [It] would have been more enjoyable if my travel plans had allowed me to stay longer!”

Thank you Sanne for your time and we very much look forward to welcoming you back!

Healthcare, Malawi, Testimonial, Volunteers

Volunteer Testimonial – Ana Estevao

Ruarwe Health Centre was very lucky to host volunteer Ana Estevao for 6 weeks in September and October. Ana is a qualified nurse from Portugal who has been recently working in the NHS in the UK. Ana said of her time in Ruarwe;

“halfway through this adventure, it is amazing to see how with so little resources, staff and equipment, everyone that goes there gets the best treatment possible. Also the effort to make a better and healthier community each day is remarkable. Malawi is one of the countries most affected by malaria, so most of our patients are tested and treated for that but also we get a few emergencies. I’ve been able to see a few deep injuries and treat them, as also I’m improving my paediatric skills by looking after sick babies and providing them treatment.

As for myself, I’m more than grateful for being here and to be part of this community, even for so little time.”

Both staff, community members and volunteers really benefit from the volunteers’ time in Ruarwe – for moral support in the clinic, for information sharing and learning, and because volunteers are always really made to feel so welcome by the community.

Medicine and nursing in Ruarwe is very different from in big teaching hospitals in the West and so we find that to volunteers coming with a sense of openness and adventure really do get so much out of being here. Ana, thank you so much for your wonderful contribution of time and expertise to the community! Yewo Chomene!

Community, Education, Malawi, Sports, Volunteers, Youth

Volunteers join Phunzira from France

We were lucky enough to host three volunteers from France for a period of one month. Leo Berger, Aurelien Lluis and Kartik Sharma arrived in Ruarwe towards the end of May and immediately got stuck in with a great number of activities at the education centre Nyumba ya Masambiro. During their time with Phunzira they rebuilt the bridge across the stream into the NYM land after it had been washed away by the rains, they completed a data analysis plan for the maize mill, they got involved with tutorials and youth club sessions, they rewrote the guide to NYM which is available in the library for any visitors to read, they got involved with community activities such as football games at the village football field at the top of the hill and in their spare time they walked down to Usisya and back to get to see a bit of the surrounding area!

The staff at the education centre was delighted with their energy, joy and enthusiasm and it was wonderful to see how much could be achieved in such a short space of time. Thank you to all three for their hard work during their time in Ruarwe!

Donations, Healthcare, Malawi, Volunteers

Donation of supplies for the Ruarwe Health Centre

The Ruarwe health centre has received a wonderful donation of much needed medical supplies. Volunteers Kartik, Leo and Aurelien have brought with them a box of fifty pregnancy tests and a new battery operated sphygmomanometer (blood pressure meter). These will help with vital diagnostics and blood pressure management for the communities served by the clinic.

The realities of rural healthcare are that often even the most basic supplies are lacking and a government strapped for cash is not able to supply such items to rural health facilities. While it is important that Phunzira does not take over the role of the government in providing supplies for the clinic, it is a delight when one-off donations such as this can make a real difference on the ground in diagnostics and treatment. With such a large part of the population visiting the clinic being women of child-bearing age pregnancy tests are vital in quickly establishing whether a patient is expectant and therefore being able to provide antenatal care. We are also seeing a rapid increase in hypertension within the community, and so the sphygmomanometer will allow for easier management of this condition at hypertension assessments.

Thank you so much for the kind donation!

Medical Supplies Ruarwe

Community, Healthcare, Malawi, Volunteers

Student nurse joins Ruarwe Clinic team

Student nurse Emily has been with the team at Ruarwe Health Centre for 4 weeks undertaking her elective placement. Learning all about healthcare challenges in such rural communities, the different medical conditions encountered in Malawi and treatment with very limited drugs and resources.

Nursing electives are a great opportunity for students to really experience a completely different working environment and health system from the western systems they are training in. The staff at Ruarwe Clinic also absolutely revel in the opportunity to both share their knowledge and learn in return. This exchange of knowledge is absolutely key to any elective placement.

Student nurse Emily

Emily was a wonderful student, who really got stuck into Malawian life. it was a pleasure having you with us Emily, we really look forward to hosting you again soon!

Malawi, Nursery, Volunteers, Youth

Nursery and Youth Volunteers Assist at NYM

We were very pleased to have two nursery and youth volunteers joining the Nyumba ya Masambiro team at the end of March. Cara Marsh and Sabina Trojanova cleared out the youth and nursery cupboard to make it easier for staff to make use of the wonderful equipment we have there, worked on teaching the alphabet to the children at nursery, and played musical chairs, hoola hooping, and sang and danced with the kids at the centre. Cara has already expressed a desire to return to NYM and the staff and kids would be absolutely delighted to welcome her back any time!

Volunteers with both qualifications and no qualifications are great additions to the team at Nyumba ya Masambiro, coming with fresh ideas, new motivation and injecting some drive into the staff. We all really value the effort that volunteers put in when they come out to Malawi and the kids, the staff, and the wider community absolutely love having volunteers around.

Donations, Malawi, Sports, Volunteers, Youth

Donation of Footballs and Netballs To NYM Youth Club

We would like to extend a huge thank you to former volunteer Phillip Zheng, who donated three footballs and two netballs to the NYM Youth Club. Having made the long journey from the UK out to Ruarwe, we now very much look forward to setting up some youth sports tournaments using these new balls, and we are sure that the Ruarwe Youth will very much enjoy these generous gifts. Yewo Phillip!

Sport is such an important part of Nyumba ya Masambiro’s activities, giving both younger and older youth members the opportunity to relax, keep fit, play and socialise with friends and for the older youth it helps to prevent the temptation of falling into excessive drinking as well as it keeps them entertained and motivated to keep fit. Football and Netball are hugely popular throughout Malawi and Ruarwe village has 2 teams alone who can regularly be found at the top of the hill either training or playing vibrant matches against surrounding village teams. The atmosphere is fantastic and it is great to be able to support the next generation of players through this fabulous donation!

footballs and netballs

Donations, Malawi, Volunteers

Donation towards the expansion of chicken business

Thank you so much to volunteers Emily Morris and Leo Bedford, who came to volunteer at Nyumba ya Masambiro to assist the staff with the micro businesses. During their time they analysed the existing businesses with the staff to look at financial sustainability at the centre, and provided some further training in order to use existing data collections to understand how the businesses may develop in the future.

They also very kindly donated some money to the centre for the expansion of the egg sale business. We look forward to the arrival of the new chickens and community members will have better access to fresh eggs. Thank you so much for your generous donation!

Donations, Malawi, Volunteers

Donation of youth and education equipment

We would like to extend a huge “Thank you!” to repeat volunteer Chris Spring and his friend and colleague Kai Gregus, who undertook some fundraising in Germany to provide equipment to Nyumba ya Masambiro. With the money raised they were able to buy footballs, netballs, ball pumps and pins for the youth club as well as exercise books, notepads, pens, pencils and chalks for the tutorials, nursery and youth club. In addition they brought out some much needed high quality toners for the media room, just in time for printing the school exams.

Thank you Chris and Kai for arranging the fundraising and bringing all the donations out, and to all the well-wishers in Germany who donated money to this wonderful endeavour – Yewo Chomene!