John and Elaine have returned from their adventure in Malawi and are over the moon with the progress that is being made on both the education project, and the rapidly developing Chifundo Learning Centre project!
The trip which lasted ten days including travel incorporated several planning sessions in
relation to the next stages of the Learning Centre project as well as visits to the current Chifundo students at their homes and schools. Each year it becomes more and more challenging to try to meet all the children during the trip, John and Elaine managed to meet and spend time with 39 of the forty children currently enrolled in the programme which is a great result.
Enthusiasm for the project and activity on the ground in Zomba is at an all-time high, with two resources – Lucy and Zinnenani – now employed to ensure that the Chifundo kids are getting the most out of their education. In parallel, the Chifundo Trust in Zomba, having successfully completed the initial project steps of acquiring a piece of land, clearing it, and erecting a wall to secure the perimeter, are now busy finalizing the design of the Learning Centre building and fit-out.
A large part of the land that the Center is being built on is made up of excellent quality, well-irrigated soil. Earlier this year, three parents of Chifundo students attended a five week crop farming programme kindly hosted by Wells for Zoe. These volunteers have already begun working the land at the Chifundo Centre and crops are already growing aplenty. (To read more about this programme please read the previous blog post here). Additionally, some chickens are now resident in the Chifundo Centre and it is projected that they should yield enough eggs to supply all of the Chifundo kids’ school lunches in future!
Elaine’s first Trip to Malawi
While this excursion marked John’s fifth trip to Malawi, this was Elaine’s very first journey there. An experienced world traveler, Elaine is a founder member of Chifundo and has been deeply involved in the Foundation’s development. Elaine relished the opportunity to see the development for herself and while she had already met some of the key members of the Chifundo Trust, she had never met any of the children or seen the schools.