It's always nice when friends from far away come and visit! This past month, Dan Hayhoe and John Rule, travelled to Malawi for 10 days. Their time in Malawi was spent visiting the homes of FVM workers and volunteers, as well as those of bereaved families, the sick and the needy. They also participated in local events, such as the official handover of the new kitchen built at the child care centre.
FVM has been very instrumental in empowering the community in various ways towards self-reliance and sustainability of developmental programs. For a few years now, FVM has been imparting knowledge about farming and providing the community with resources aimed to assist in producing food for the children. Currently, the soybeans and cow peas seed multiplication initiative involves members of the community working in the fields to get a yield of the crop. A small portion is given back to the children's feeding program, while the rest remains with them to use to feed their households. The last two growing seasons have not been profitable due to floods and drought, devastating for both families and community. This year, however, the villagers will plant cow peas and soybeans to try to avert shortage of food due to adverse rain patters. Close to 300 families have received the starter seeds in this initiative.
- Preschool feeding program has been ongoing since the beginning of the new school year. The number of children benefitting from this program has increased in the last month to 500! Volunteers from the community facilitate this program with support from community leaders and FVM.
- FVM has been instrumental in making sure communities have clean and safe water. This is being done by training the community members on how to take care of boreholes (wells) that are in their area. FVM has also been repairing and rehabilitating some boreholes. Two of the boreholes were sunk by FVM six years ago and are well cared for by the users themselves.
- Weekly Radio Broadcasts of the Gospel on TWR in local languages of ChiTumbuka and Chichewa continue with encouraging testimonials being received consistently. Rev. Hamilton Yassin Gama is the speaker on "Time of Reflection" Chichewa program which is broadcast on Mondays and Wednesday. Newton presents a Tumbuka program on Sundays.
- For the first time, 89% (16 out of 18) of the students under FVM education assistance have passed their Junior Certificate of education in their secondary education. This is a milestone, especially in the Taulo community where only less than 60% have been successful at this level of examination.
- FVM has been proactive in providing sociological, psychological and physical support to people with albinism through involvement of these individuals in it's activities without any discrimination. This past month, 8 people with albinism were given the gift of sun screen lotion - a product that is rare in Malawi- and they were very grateful.
- The Seed Multiplication Initiative and its success
- Continue to pray for the plight of people with albinism
Newton Sunday Sindo