KILLEARN Malawi Group received a visit from Rev Levi Nyondo and his wife Ruth who live and work near Mzuzu in Malawi.
For more than twenty years the Killearn group has supported projects in the African country and has forged strong links with the couple.
The most recent project has been the completion of the Women’s Centre at Hilltop just outside Mzuzu.
Speaking about the centre, Ruth said: “It is a place for women to come together to learn how to knit, sew and crochet. They can then earn a living to support themselves and their families.
“It is better to teach skills than to give handouts. Many of these women are widows and the children they raise are orphans.
“My ambition now is to build a hostel to provide accommodation for 15 women from more remote areas to attend craft classes and to learn computing skills. This will provide a small income to keep the centre going.”
Ruth is not short of ideas to generate income. Her plans include a retail outlet for the women’s craft products, a hairdressing salon and a photocopying service for schools which at present have no means of duplicating materials.
The aim, ultimately, is for the centre to be self supporting.
Rev Levi and Ruth work tirelessly to improve conditions for the people of Malawi.
The reverend, who is the general secretary of the Synod of Livingstonia as well as minister to several churches, said: “We need to bring Malawi into the 21st century.”
Killearn Malawi Group raises money through its annual jumble sale. It benefited this year from a generous bequest from the estate of Helen Jamieson.
Throughout the year the group collects goods which are then transported in containers by the Raven Trust (www.theraventrust.org.uk).
The containers are sent every two to three months to Malawi and Rev Levi distributes the content of his parcels to those most in need.
Clothes, shoes, equipment for schools and clinics, books, paper and pens are among some of the things sent in the last year. The group has also sent money to help finish the women’s centre. Building materials for windows, doors and shelves are cheaper in Malawi and not so easy to transport.
The next container will house, amongst many other things, sports equipment and clothing generously donated by one of Killearn’s Friends of Malawi and jumpers knitted by various members of the community.
There is a constant need for these and also for baby blankets. The Killearn Malawi connection grows with every pound raised and container sent.
The next appeal is linked to the Harvest Festival and is for all kinds of tools: gardening, painting, plastering, and joinery.
Ruth also needs materials for the craft centre to allow the teaching of skills to begin. She particularly needs knitting needles, wool, crochet hooks, sewing needles, thread, fabric and scissors. Knitting or sewing machines in good working order would also be extremely useful.
All donations can be taken to Killearn Kirk tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am to 4pm or to the Harvest Festival Service on Sunday at 10.30am.
Anyone who needs to have something collected can contact Jenifer Barrett on 01360 550 508. For further information contact Sue Kidd on 01360 550 164 or to receive the Killearn Friend of Malawi newsletter contact June Thomas via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org