For many years Nives and Eric Johnson, friends of John and Elaine who live in Luxembourg have been amazing supporters of the Chifundo Foundation.
They support not only personally but have over time introduced their family, friends, and colleagues both in Ireland and Luxembourg to Chifundo and it’s ideal ‘to educate the poorest of the poor in Malawi’.
For about the last 10 years they have brought several teams to play in the Chifundo Golf Outing in Greystones Golf Club and also supplied all of the raffle prizes and some of the golf prizes.
Just last year, realizing how difficult it had become to run events during Covid lockdowns, they took on the challenge of running their own Golf Event with their golfing friends in their home club in Luxembourg. This was a huge success and came at the time that scholarships were required for some Chifundo students entering university.
Nives and Eric committed with their Chifundo supporters to fund a scholarship. Davie Katungwe has been the beneficiary of this scholarship which culminates this year when he becomes the first Chifundo student to graduate from university with a degree in Business and Accounting.
This is another major step in the growth of Chifundo. This scholarship has been mainly funded through their Golf Events in Luxembourg. The photos show some of the players, helpers, and donors on the day which Nives and Eric tell us was enjoyed by all who participated.
Earlier this week we received an update on all the recent educational endeavors by our amazing young learners.
“Great things are now happening in the Chifundo foundation. With happiness, we bring to your attention that all the 6 children who sat for the Malawi School Certificate of Education have passed” with 5 of the children likely in a position to advance to University to continue their studies.
A huge congratulations go out to everybody on passing their exams. It is an incredible achievement. A special note of congratulations to Salomy, who amassed an incredible 8 distinctions (The highest mark possible) out of her 9 exams.
To add to that – Out of the 9 children who sat the State Exams (hoping to advance to secondary school), all 9 were successful in advancing to secondary school and will attend a variety of government & private schools. Congratulations again to all!!
Both Vincent & Precious (pictured above) are starting a carpentry apprenticeship with local carpenters after showing a keen interest & natural talent at the carpentry workshops they attended on campus last year. It’s incredibly encouraging to see these young men take this big step and we have no doubt they will continue to do us all proud and will develop into fine carpenters. We look forward to seeing them both back on campus soon to pass on some of their learnings to their peers.
On the University front, both Chifundo college students are successfully advancing too, with Eric Phiri and Davie Katung having started their 2nd & 4th years respectively last week. We wish them both the best of luck as they continue their studies.
Finally, we extend a warm Chifundo welcome to our newest Junior enrolees. Welcome; Emmanuel, Connex, Eliza, and Shantero – They all join the programme at Standard 1.
Unforutunately in a similar fashion to last year, the decision was taken not to travel to Malawi this summer for our annual summer school. We hope that 2022 will see our return to our friends in the villages of Zomba.
The current pandemic didn’t stop the team in Malawi, Ireland & the UK dreaming again of how a summer school could go ahead. As was the case last year, everybody was determined to provide another incredible learning experience to the children. We are happy to report from Malawi that the 2021 summer school was a fantastic success.
Preparations for this years summer school started all the way back in March, with our directors & volunteers in the Northern Hemisphere coming together to brainstorm ideas on how things might go ahead.
Everybody worked very hard to create educational booklets for all age groups & capabilities. As is tradition by now, we also gathered some educational resources like laptops & books which together were posted out. There was a sigh of relief 2-weeks before the summer school was due to commence when we received an email confirming that the resources had arrived safely & that the summer school would be going ahead. Thank you to all involved.
At the same time in Malawi, the Trust began to reach out to some local teachers to gauge their interest in becoming involved & leading lessons in our absence. Their outreach was met with a great deal of positivity & excitement from local teachers, who over the years have heard of the success of Chifundo & wanted to be involved.
Skills workshops were also held on the campus allowing children to continue to develop their skills in I.T, Carpentry & Tailoring. These elements have become a key fixture in the Chifundo calendar with workshops now being held 3-4 times per year.
As is tradition by now, the children love to get together for a group photo to end the summer school. It’s great to see them all growing up so fast!!
A huge word of thanks has to go to the Trust in Malawi. Once again they have shown incredible skill & vision in carrying out such a great summer school in these challenging times.
Peter Cogavin recently represented Chifundo Foundation as part of a live audience with the Malawian Presient & Minister for Education.
He reported that “It was inspiring to see such well-founded optimism regarding economic development in the country, and especially to see how education is considered to be the bedrock of their 2063 vision for a more prosperous ‘Warm Heart of Africa’.”
Most discussion on education, including a question from Peter on the upcoming reforms, are from 43 minutes in.
We are delighted to confirm that our amazing students & Trust members maintain good health at this time. We pray for their continued safety & well-being.
Over the last number of months, while having to deal with school closures & teacher strikes to begin the year, the Trust have maintained efforts to ensure the success of the Foundation.
The current school term came to an end on May 7th & the children are now enjoying a well-deserved 2-week break. During this holiday, the Trust have planned to have some gatherings at the campus where tailoring and carpentry lessons will be conducted. This will be a great opportunity for children to further develop skills learned in previous workshops. These workshops might ignite a spark for some children to chase a profession or a livelihood in these areas.
We are delighted to announce that the following children will soon enroll in the Chifundo Foundation;
Promise Mbewe, who will attend The Learning Centre
Patricia Nkhoma, who will attend The Learning Centre
Chrissy Dambo, who will attend The Learning Centre
Chisomo Chimimba who will attend Chesa School
We hope you can all join us in extending our best wishes to our newest members. Chifundo will now provide school fees, nutritional meals, educational supplies, school uniforms & much more to its newest members.
Over the last couple of months, our friends in Malawi have been reporting a very good rain season with bumper harvests in some areas. The fact that Malawi has produced some excess crops this year should bode well for food security over the coming year.
At the start of February families visited the green grass at the Chifundo Campus to collect their monthly covid support packages.
The packages contain a mix of both nutritional & hygiene products to help them through this tough time. We thank you all for your continued support which has been identified by The Trust in Zomba as a key aspect contributing to the health & nutrition of our children & their families at this time.
With your support & a good rain season just behind us there is continued hope for our families & young students for the year ahead.
2020 was a testing year for us all, but even moreso for our friends in Malawi. But when times were tough, we were once again left amazed with the resolve & unrelenting support from you, our donors.
Though a tough year, there have been some incredibly positive strides made by our students. Of particular note is the progression of Eric to University. Such an amazing achievement in this current time & one sure to provide further inspiration to the students looking to emulate his success.
This year we also introduced a new scholarship opportunity to support students like Eric who advance to 3rd level and students who might progress towards Polytechnical skills. If you would like further information on this please get in touch!
We can only express our sincere gratitude for your continued support, a gratitute which is shared & expaned upon so wonderfully by the children in the centre of our 2020 Newsletter below.
Thank you so much for your continued support to the Chifundo programme & send you all our best wishes for a brighter 2021 for us all.
Hopefully, at some point in 2021 we may be able to visit our friends in Zomba, Malawi again!
Thank you once again for supporting our Chifundo Golf outing this year. It was a great success and the picture below shows the joy, opportunity and change you are bringing to the 75 Chifundo students in Zomba, Malawi
Thanks also to everyone at Greystones Golf Club & everyone who generously gave up their time in order to ensure the event could be run in an efficient & safe manner. Given these challenging times we face not only here but in Malawi too, we can only express our gratitude for your unwaivering support.
On the day 32 teams played, with the results below. Congratulations to all involved.
First (50.67) – Hugh Gray & John Flaherty (Beechpark), Stephen Gunning & Michael Clarke (Corrstown)
Second (51.50) – Pat Raftery, Joe Coleman, Frank Looby & Pat O’Regan – All from Greystone.
Third (52.83) – Fiontain McKenna, Darren Quigley (Elm Green), Larry O’Reilly, Brian Quigley (Woodbrook)
Fourth (53.40) – Seamus Clancy Team.
Mixed Teams shared with 55.84; Ray and Mags Hogan (Greystones) with Tom and Olwyn Ryan (Elm Park). Dan and Jackie Shanahan with John and Susan O’Dwyer (all Woodbrook)
Thank you all so much for your fantastic support. These funds raised on the day will go to ensuring we can continue to support our young Chifundo members on their educational journey as clasess start to resume in Malawi over the coming days & weeks ahead.
Always a highlight in the Chifundo, our annual Golf Clasic is back, with a Covid-friendly format. Your continued support is welcomed. As you are all aware, now more than ever the children need our renewed support. Every effort on the day will be made to facilitate social distancing & all other relevant guidelines to best ensure the health & safety of all involved.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for reservations as it is a limited field and can only be reserved through John. Or, you can text 087 2360622.