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Community, Donations, Healthcare, Malawi

Ambulance boat back on the water

The beautiful Ruarwe ambulance boat is happily living in the village again after its full maintenance and repainting made possible by our wonderful donors. We would like to extend a huge ‘thank you!’ on behalf of the community to Richard Gray for his very generous donation and repeat volunteer Leah Desmond for her very successful fundraising. These funds allowed a complete overhaul maintenance of the Ruarwe Ambulance Boat, completed by the boat builder Zero in Usisya. The maintenance was carried out between September and December 2017, and the repainting completed at the end of February 2018.
Since its maintenance it has carried critically ill patients to Usisya for life-saving treatment and it has been deployed in a large scale public health program to treat an outbreak of scabies in our catchment area lakeshore villages.

A huge thank you to the donors that have made this maintenance possible and kept this life-saving transport afloat.

Community, Malawi

Maize mill income generation scheme underway!

The staff at Nyumba ya Masambiro have begun – in January 2018 they purchased a maize mill and husk remover, as well as constructed a separate kiosk to run the business from. The mill will be up and running by the end of February, and has already become the talk of the whole community.

The aim is to provide a vital service to villagers, who rely heavily on maize as a primary staple and currently have to travel extreme distances to the nearest operational mill. The profits are expected to fully sustain the costs at the centre (project materials, staffing, maintenance of buildings, etc.) and any surplus funds will be re-directed to existing health/education projects in the catchment area.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed towards this scheme! If you wish to make a donation it is not too late – please go to www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/ruarwemaizemill

 

 

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!

Fundraising, Malawi

Maize mill income generation project

We are raising funds for a maize mill income generation project in Ruarwe, to be run and managed by Nyumba ya Masambiro. The initiative will provide a vital service for villagers, who rely heavily on maize as a primary staple and currently have to walk nearly six hours to the nearest operational mill. The income generating activity will be fully owned and managed by NYM and will be used as a means of ensuring its long-term financial sustainability.

All funds raised will go directly towards funding this initiative. We have zero administration costs. For full details of the project proposal (including budget) click here,  or to make a contribution please click here.

 

Healthcare, Malawi, Volunteers

Student nurse electives continue in Ruarwe

The nursing student elective program in Ruarwe has continued with 4 student nurses from King’s College London. The nurses spent a month in Ruarwe working at Ruarwe Health Centre alongside the Malawian medical staff.

During their stay they assisted with the delivery of a baby, provided daily wound care and dressing changes to a patient who injured his knee, assisted in an emergency situation, and assisted Paul with the day-to-day jobs in the clinic such as; malaria testing, dispensing medication, dressing wounds, giving IM injections, anti- and pre-natal check-ups, family planning, healthcare education, and assisted with HIV testing and counselling.

Speaking of their time in Malawi: “We had an amazing time!! We found the work in the clinic really interesting and so different from UK healthcare, it was great to experience nursing in a clinic that has few resources and little equipment, and how resourceful the staff are. It was also really interesting as adult nurses to get some experience with children and pregnant women, which the UK doesn’t offer. Paul was a fantastic teacher and so knowledgeable, he made sure we all got good hands-on experience.”

We are so glad that they enjoyed their stay and we look forward to continuing to work with student nurses on their elective placements!

Community, Malawi, Volunteers

Shahar brings back power to NYM

A huge thank you to Shahar Lakritz, a voluntary engineer from Israel who came to Ruarwe in August 2017 to volunteer his services at NYM community centre.

As well as solving NYM’s ongoing power problems (there is now electricity in all of the rooms!), he made the time to get to know the staff at the centre and nearby lodge, as well as make a trip to Khondowe for the malipenga dance festival. He was also kind enough to donate some electrical supplies to NYM, as well as share his precious knowledge with a selection of the staff.

Shahar – thank you – you will be very missed!

Volunteers

Ross & Lily assist with staff training at NYM

Many thanks to Ross Auld and Lily Allport, two wonderful volunteers who just left Ruarwe. They were keen to help out in any department that needed assistance, took the time to get to know everyone at NYM before providing training and suggestions, and managed to share some wonderful ideas and strategies with the staff in an incredibly short amount of time.

They provided business support training at the community centre in terms of evaluating current IGA’s (battery box rentals, eggs etc.), as well as looking forwards towards new business ideas that could be implemented for future sustainability.

Ross and Lily 2

They assisted the staff with techniques on how to write project proposals and grant proposals, and before leaving managed to clean up all of the virus-ridden computers as well as train all the staff on PowerPoint (using a series of lesson plans that can in turn be used to teach the wider community).

Ross and Lily were hard working, passionate and friendly, and will be sorely missed by all in Ruarwe!

Volunteers

Gloria helps out with clinic support

Many thanks to Gloria Ferenando, a UK-trained nurse who has been assisting with community health initiatives in Ruarwe and is now on her way to Zimbabwe to visit her family after two months volunteering with Phunzira.

Gloria was extremely dedicated and worked very well with local clinic staff during her time in the village. She was able to draw on her TB research experience in the UK to provide some extremely useful advice. Gloria also managed to find the time to help out at the Antenatal clinic twice a week.

Many thanks Gloria for joining our projects. You will be missed and we hope to see you again next time!

Fundraising, Malawi

Raising funds for Ruarwe Ambulance Boat

The Ruarwe Ambulance Boat, built by Phunzira in 2013/14 and donated to the Ministry of Health in Malawi in 2015, has unfortunately been off the waters for the last 8 months. The boat was originally constructed in order to facilitate patient referrals from the clinics in Ruarwe and Khondowe to nearby Usisya, as well as to assist with patient emergencies.

Since the boat handover ceremony in May 2015, the Ministry of Health has supplied all necessary provisions for the boat to run at least once a week to Usisya and back; this has proved to be an invaluable asset for people living in such a remote part of the country.

However the boat has sadly stopped running in recent months: the hope is that the increased annual health budget proposed in Malawi this year will help to get the boat back on track again, but in the meantime ex-volunteer Leah Desmond is working hard to raise funds for this worthy cause.

Many thanks to Leah for her continued support for so many of our health projects – from coming to join us as a voluntary doctor, to raising money to build a shelter at the nearby clinic, to helping get the ambulance boat get back on the water… Tawonga! To make a donation to any health projects please click here: Donate Now