GiftAid

Fantastic news. We can now claim GiftAid. If you want to donate in this way (it benefits us, and can be set against your tax liability too), please let us have your completed form.

Books galore!

One of our latest projects is a series of trial reading circles in primary schools, which is being been made possible with the generous help of The Book Bus (for the concept and training assistance), School-Aid (for container space) and The Book People (for books). We are sending 20 boxes of books to Malawi in October. Some of the books we have bought: others have been generously donated. It's been great fun selecting and collecting them, and we think the children will love them. I will be able to begin developing the project and training some of the young people we have identified to work with the children when I visit in October.
Selecting books at The Book People's offices

The first 11 boxes ready for despatch

Charity Commission recognition

We heard today that we have been registered by the Charity Commissio.

That's fantastic. It will mean, I hope, that we can obtain GiftAid for donations, and that larger charitable funding organisations will look favourably on us for grants. And of course it makes us properly accountable for the monies we raise and spend, and the way we conduct our operations.

I now have a board of 6 trustees, who will help keep me on the straight and narrow, and - I hope - spread the load. So it's full steam ahead for the Malawi Schools Project, CC registration number 1179434.

And for the primary schools.....

The construction of the 3rd block at Mwanazanga has been stalled by a shortage of bricks. I have just heard that 2 businessmen, now in the capital but originally from the Mpasa area, have offered to pay for the rest of the bricks we need. They have also offered help with fees for any children in the district who are clever enough to be selected for national secondary school. This is fantastic news. It's so good to be able to work with local donors in this way. The bricks should be ready for work to recommence by the end of the month.
The 3rd block underway

Future plans


I spent a lot of time on my last trip planning future activities, and we are starting to make progress on some of them.

For the Secondary School
  • We are now paying fees for about 85 children. I held a meeting with them, and with their parents, in May. We have now agreed the wording of a contract between the learner, his/her family and MSP, which will come into force in September. Also beginning September, we will provide them all with mathematical calculators and maths sets, which the school advises they can seldom afford.
  • We will continue to provide solar lamps for needy children from homes without access to light. 

The fundraising continues......

Well it hasn't all been paperwork!

I gave a fund raising talk to a London girls' school at the end of May (and kitted them all out with the lovely finger-less gloves made by my Malawi knitting ladies); ran a product stall in London at the end of June; and arranged to sell some of the Malawi products at the Worthing Art Trail at the beginning of July. I buy the products to support the local knitting and tailoring collectives when I'm in Malawi, and indirectly make profits for the schools programme too, so these selling opportunities are really useful. And of course the money earned by the knitters and tailors helps them feed their families and support their children's education. I call that win-win!

The jolly nice stall we had at Hilly Fields Summer Fayre


Charity Commission registration

I have bitten the bullet and applied for registration by the Charity Commission - and I'm pleased to say that they have indicated they will register, subject to a change in the way we have expressed the charity's objects in our new Declaration of Trust. We now have 6 trustees, including someone other than me to look after the money, and 5 people to share with me the responsibility of managing the funds we raise. I am incredibly grateful to them. I hope, of course, that we will be able to attract Gift Aid on donations going forward too. So now the paperwork is pretty well finished I can go back to other things!