A Bright Future Starts with Chifundo

Below are some words from Eric a member of the Chifundo Foundation. This year Eric will become our 2nd studet to advance to Third Level Education. We hope to have an update on that shortly. In the meantime, please take a look below at what life with Chifundo has meant to Eric.

Located in Zomba, Malawi is a foundation that has raised a smart platform to my education. It further touches many souls every year. My school life has been so amazing since I joined Chifundo Foundation in 2008.

My name is Eric Phiri and I am 16 years old. I would really love to express my total feelings of gratitude Chifundo Foundation has positively impacted to my education. To begin with “It’s heaven to me”.

A flicker of hope began when I started my nursery school at Chirunga private school, located behind the Great Hall of University of Malawi. The foundation did all the best it could to make me excel. I was given a pair of black shoes, 2 pairs of school uniform, writing materials, school bag and plenty of food, and drinks to eat whilst at school during break times. A bright future was indeed cooked for me because hunger wouldn’t be a barrier to my education. If my memory serves me correctly I was on position 5 in the last of nursery.

In class 1, I was performing extremely nice until teachers decided to move to the next class 2 I still remained humbled because the foundation kept on with its Godly support. I maintained position 1 in all the three solid terms in class 2.class 3, 4 and 5 was so lit and marvellous because I still maintained position 1 and 2 only. Besides that the foundation kept on showering me.

In 2013 I was moved to Chesa private school to pursue class 6 and 7. I became so worried when I came on position 17 in a social studies test whilst in class 6. I urged myself to work hard until I attained position 3 in the first term. Bearing that worry in mind I worked hard all the time until I would be on position 1 and 2 only. Hard work really pays.

In the last term of class 7, I sat for the Malawi National Examination Board Exams. I was successfully selected to Loyola Jesuit Secondary School. Mathematics was downfall whilst at secondary school, but I still remained good in science subjects.

I learnt at Loyola Jesuit form 2015 to 2019. I also sat for the Malawi National Examination Board Exams from 18th June 2019 to 2nd July 2019. I have a distinction score of 11 points. The foundation was providing for my bus fare too for me to travel to Kasungu district because it’s far away from Zomba.

Well that’s my primary and secondary school life I now look forward to more greater love as I move to University. However I also hold a good vision and plan for the future Chifundo Foundation.

My vision after I have successfully finished my university with a master’s degree is to run any form of entrepreneurship activity besides working so that I direct 70 % of the gains to the foundation. Secondly, I would be happy to help teachers from Ireland by teaching my fellow friends while they are away in Ireland so that learning is done throughout the year and seasonally.

My plan is to visit Ireland at the age of 27 to represent the perfect team of Mr and Mrs Chilewani.

Lastly, thumbs up to John Cogavin and his massive tireless and hardworking team in Ireland, you really deserve Gods award and blessings. Thanks again to all those in Ireland who greatly support us but have never seen them before. To Mr and Mrs Chilewani team right here in Zomba God will never let you down.

Farm Developments

The Farm showed some great signs of progress this year. Not only had there been renewed efforts in terms of planning but also more and new produce had been grown and successfully sold at local markets.

As always, some of the nutritional farm produce is given to the children as part of their food packs & some of the produce is sold. This all the while helps foster a growing entreprenurial spirit, while also ensuring the nutritional well-being of the children.

A crop of Sugarcane thriving

One of the initiatives introduced this year was to involve parents more in the campus. An outcome of this saw some land set aside for the parents to grow some maize. Parents came to the centre to help grow & harvest the maize. They decided that these crops will be given out to families most in need should there be a poor harvest.

Tomatoes coming along nicely

It is a long-term goal of the foundation to have the campus and its running costs on the ground in Malawi become a self-sustaining exercise. Renewed efforts like this will continue to help us reach that goal, while also providing for the children and their families in times of need.

Chifundo Golf Classic 2019

Join us on Friday the 6th of September for the 10th Annual Chifundo Golf Classic.

Once again the wonderful Greystones Golf Club will play host to our biggest fundraiser of the year. This year the event has kindly been sponsored by Gerry McNamara.

We want to express our thanks to Gerry for this incredible gesture. This means that all entry fees & donations on the night will go directly to Malawi to help those most in need. The funds from this event will help pay for school fees, food packs, school clothes and many more things in between.

Fundraising In London

On Sunday 30th June, first time Chifundo volunteers, Laura and Josie, set up a stall at their school’s annual ‘Family Funday’ in Regent’s Park, London.

Having already received incredible support for this year’s trip from the pupils, staff and parents of their school, Ecole Jeannine Manuel, the event was a chance to continue to raise awareness about Chifundo as well as get a bit silly for a great cause!

Teachers from both the primary and secondary school gave up some of their Sunday to be at the mercy of the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ where kids could spin the wheel for a chance to sing karaoke with their teacher, challenge them to a hula-hoop competition or dress them up for a ridiculous selfie.

Congrats to Laura, Josie and all the staff for a fantastic day of family fun for the whole family!

Recent Workshops

In an effort to provide the children with valuable life skills, the Trust (the team of locals who run the day to day activities of the Foundation) recently held some workshops for the children to develop skills in two key areas; Tailoring & Carpentry. These are two important life skills to learn and the value in these week long workshops cannot be understated.

Some bags created in a recent tailoring workshop.

The Trust sought the involvement of a local tailor & carpenter as well as some parents proficient in both areas to impart their skills, knowledge and expeirence to the next generation. As always, the children were eager to learn and the outputs they created are amazing!

Some school desks made by the children.

The campus has been lacking desks and the carpentry workshop set out to fix this! Over the course of the workshop the children learned some valuable skills in this area, learning to use a saw, hammer & nails and other tools.

Initiatives like these are incredibly encouraging to see. It is vital that the children learn these valuable life skills. Similar to Ireland, not all children will be suited to, or chose to pursue higher education so the chance to gain experience and pick up some basic skills could help them get a job in these areas and ultimately allow them to provide for their families.

Perhaps the most encouraging thing is seeing the ideas for workshops being developed by the Trust and carried out with the larger Chifundo Community in Zomba. It is this sense of ownership and committment within the Chifundo Community on the ground in Zomba that will ensure the programmes untimate success – Make sure each child reaches their potential, whether that be in academia or learning a skill and advancing to the workplace.

Recent Campus Additions

We got some recent additions to the Chifundo Farm! And it looks like the new chicks are growing fast!!

In Malawi, a lot of care is required to successfully raise chicken as they can be quite susceptible to illness.

Most of these will go on to lay eggs, some of which will be set-aside to be included in the childrens food packs and the rest will be sold at the local market.

The revenue generated from the sale of all our farming outputs go right back into funding the running of the campus on the ground in Zomba

Fundraising in full swing!

Our teams of volunteers have been incredibly busy fundraising. Earlier this summer the first annual 5K park run was held in the Phoenix Park in Dublin!

Runners on the day includes past and present volunters as well as some friends! It is remarkable to see the comittment from everybody year-in-year-out and indeed the willingness of their friends to fundraise too! A sure sign that the Chifundo community is growing stronger each year.

Our runners all made it around in very respectable times and their fundrasing efforts have gone a long way in supporting the children in the Chifundo programme with payment of school fees, nutritional support as well as educational materials.

With the run being such a resounding success, we will be be making this an annual event. If you would like to help out in any way, or take part, please email chifundofoundation@gmail.com.