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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!


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!


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

Malawi, Volunteers

Wild Earth helping to support local clinics

In November 2016 returning volunteer Hayley Crow kindly brought some haemoglobin meters to donate to Ruarwe and Khondowe government clinics. Community members walk up to 4 hours to attend the clinics for medical services, and Ruarwe clinic had been closed for over ten years when Hayley first volunteered with us.
The clinics were also lucky to receive a selection of Goal Zero solar products provided by Wild Earth. As well as the haemoglobin meters (which are essential for managing complications of anaemia in malaria, haemorrhage and various other scenarios), the solar equipment is also powering the sphygmomanometers (blood pressure monitors).

Wild Earth Product 1Wild Earth

The clinic staff would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone involved for helping to improve healthcare provisions in a big way!

Fundraising, Malawi, Volunteers

School uniforms for underprivileged children

A huge thank you to Mandy Fuchs, who has been raising funds to help provide school uniforms for needy children in Ruarwe. In April 2017, 27 lucky primary school students from Ruarwe FP were the first to receive their donated uniforms, made by local tailor Bea Beans.

Mandy first came to Ruarwe as a volunteer in April 2015 and has since set up a student sponsorship scheme in a nearby area. As well as securing long-term donors, she has also provided women’s sanitary products to female students in the catchment area and is continuing to raise funds for further donations of uniforms for underprivileged children at other nearby primary schools.

A huge thank you to Mandy for her continued efforts to support needy students in the area, and also to tailor Bea Beans for his welcome discounts with making the uniforms – yewo!! If you would like to donate to Mandy’s cause please go to:

Community, Malawi

NYM youth club hosts netball matches

NYM youth club members are extremely proud of the new netball bibs kindly donated by Netball UK. To celebrate these new bibs, NYM youth club hosted Banda Primary School for a small netball tournament. The celebration began with singing and dancing in the NYM youth centre. Youth club members had fundraised within the community to buy a goat for a wonderful lunch shared between community members, the youth club and their visitors. Everyone then climbed the hill to the community ’netball court’ under the giant Baobab tree. The Junior NYM team, wearing the new navy bibs, beat Banda Juniors 1-0. Meanwhile, Banda Seniors played an excellent game, beating the older NYM youth students, wearing the yellow bibs, 8-3. Thank you again to Netball UK for these wonderful gifts. Having these bibs has really boosted female engagement, both with sports and with youth club attendance in general, for which we are very grateful.


2016 Accounts

The 2016 accounts for Phunzira and Nyumba ya Masambiro are now out! To take a look at our income and expenditure over last year go to ‘The Trust‘ page or go straight to the Phunzira or NYM accounts. 2016 was the year of the separation of Phunzira and NYM so remaining funds were transferred and no active fundraising took place. Phunzira prides itself on being fully transparent – we want our donors to know exactly where their money is going! – and we welcome any advice, comments or criticisms.