There have been many good developments during our last stay at Nazareth. In 10 weeks time we achieved a lot, received many guests and worked hard on several projects. The vegetable garden for women is ready now! We are ready to start building a secondary school for girls. Read about everything below.
In June 2017 the project proposal for the irrigation system for the vegetable garden was judged by Manos Unidas in Spain. During our first week at Nazareth, beginning of July 2017, we got the message that the proposal had been approved and that the money was to be transmitted to our account. After that we immediately began to prepare things. Mr. Maluza, the builder, started the job quickly and thoroughly. Our own people prepared the site for building. After one week the foundations of both water towers were ready and two weeks later the towers were standing proudly. In the second week of August we hired a little truck with Mr. Maluza and went to Lilongwe to buy two 5000 liter tanks with building materials and the parts for the pump and solar system. That very week the tanks were put on top of the towers and on the first of September the solar pump was installed. However, first we had to demolish the old hand pump, used by the village people. A water tap has been installed at a neighbor's place to replace this pump. There the people can fetch their water from the tap now. This water is coming from one of the new tanks. The other tank provides the vegetable garden with water through a number of taps that have been installed there. Just before we left Nazareth on the eighth of September this project was ready. The builder has done an excellent job. Many visitors confirmed the good quality. He showed himself a reliable and capable partner. Later on Ineke will take care of the financial settlement and discuss with Manos Unidas whether we will be allowed to use the leftover of the donation to build a decent fence.
From now on the women of Mganja can grow vegetables throughout the year for themselves and their families. Josefa will teach them how to do it in an organic way (without fertilizer).
Here they are
Amai Anaselika watches the construction of the tapping point on her yard where people from the village can get their water
The tapping point at amai Anaselika
The solar panels are placed on the roof
Josefa and Ineke sign the contract with Manos Unidas
Foundation for one of the water towers
The water towers with the moulds for the platforms where the tanks will be standing on
Buying tanks and accessories in Lilongwe
The tanks are raised on the platforms
15 of these taps are in the vegetable garden behind and next to the house
Last year the selling and installing of small solar systems in a number of homes in Mganja started. These systems proved to be unstable. That is why the American promoter, Robert van Buskirk, came back this year with better material. With a team of 4 American volunteers, he has taught a group of women from Mganja how to build the systems, install and sell them. In addition, Elias Moyo went to work with this new material. We have provided these volunteers with shelter and a place to work. Also a group of women from the region where June Walker lives, Mangochi, spent a week with us to see and learn how it all works. An American film crew that is going to make a documentary about the solar project came to visit. Robert and his people search for ways to make people from Malawi work with and extend the project. The organization of this is done separately from our own project. We only offer accommodation and a work area. It will become clear in the coming year how things will develop.
Orphans and visiting Misuku
On 20 August we picked up Jürgen Arimond from the airport and together with him we left for Misuku. There, in the far north of Malawi, lives Maria Chilale. She has ca. 20 orphans under her care, of whom 10 live at her place. The others live with families in the area. For several years, we have been supporting her, together with Jürgen and his partner Nicole. The house of Maria is now equipped with a solar system. This gives them power for lights and to charge phones. In addition, she has now also a solar pump for water instead of a hand pump. All this is funded and organised by Natalia, a Spanish woman whom Maria has met some years ago.
We have had an extensive reception by the people of her village. They danced, there were speeches and there was a football match. We have played music for them in return.
They have shown us their Nursery School under construction. This building is created thanks to cooperation between the villagers. They used self-made bricks and one metal sheet bought per three families for the roof. However, there is still much to be done before it can be used. To help them, they asked for a donation. A delegation, consisting of the chief, his assistant, and two others came to visit us with a budget. We have looked at this and decided that we could take a large part of the budget for our account. The money has been given to them in cash.
We were invited for a regional dance festival. The traditional dance of the region is called Malipenga. Several groups had made up new choreographs to compete with each other.
Dance Group at the festival
Maria Chilale and Sr. Josefa
(Foto: Benjamin Jordan)
Nazareth secondary school for girls
Last year, the idea to build a high school for girls in Mganja came from several sides. At the time we talked about it with Juliana Lunguzi, Member of Parliament (MP) for our region and with the local chiefs. Until now there was not yet an agreement on the best location for the school. We, together with Juliana, opted for an area near Nazareth. It is centrally located in the Mganja region. The chiefs, however, could not yet agree. That is why Josefa wrote a letter to the Traditional Authority (TA), to explain the problem. In our last week there was a meeting with all the chiefs and the TA. Unfortunately the TA herself could not come at the last minute, but she had her Secretary authorized to lead the meeting in her name and to take a decision. During the meeting everyone agreed that the place that we preferred was, indeed, the best place. So the decision was taken right then en there, that the school would be build near Nazareth.
In the meantime Markus Goeldner founded the GF Foundation, which aims to raise money for the building of this school. Before the end of this year there will be a fundraising. Markus is the father of Colin, one of the two young German volunteers who have been in Nazareth for nine months. He, Colin and relatives, were so enthusiastic about the idea of the school that they want to use their network and experience to help to build it.
As already mentioned last year, Juliana Lunguzi, Member of Parliament for our region, supports the plans where ever she can. The cooperation with the Dedza Diocese takes shape in the support of Mr. Pengapenga, the educational manager of the Diocese.
In order to get an idea what a high school for girls is all about, we went to Bakhita College in Balaka. Here we had an extensive tour. Bakhita is a boarding school where over 600 girls study and stay. It is huge, with very high costs. Despite a large percentage of paying students, the school remains dependent on donors, for example to pay the teachers. We have therefore decided to make our school a "grant-in-aid"-school. That means there will be a private Board of Governors. Nazareth will be the owner of the school, in close cooperation with the diocese, but the Government will provide and pay the teachers. In this way, we will be autonomous without remaining dependent on donors to pay salaries.
The huge kitchen
School of dreams and Paragliders
This year, paragliders visited Nazareth for the first time. Benjamin Jordan, who visited us 4 years ago, convinced them that it is a wonderful place. Spread over several months a dozen or so came to stay and fly at Nazareth, working with the children at the same time. They remained mostly for two to four weeks. This meant a lot of work for Josefa and the other employees, particularly Beta. But also a lot of fun together.
Matthews accompanies the paragliders. He collects them in Lilongwe at the airport, accompanies them to Mganja and there he goes with them everywhere. He introduces them in the village and shows them the way to the place where they can fly, and flies with them. He has a small income out of doing this.
Most of these visitors were in one way or another working with the School of Dreams. Some learned people to paraglide, others took some Malawians on a so-called tandem flight. Still others kept themselves busy with groups of children. All showed they were involved in the village, the people and the environment.
The sewing workshop of the School of Dreams is doing well. Mrs. Moyo makes bags of paraglider cloth. These are sent to Benjamin Jordan in America where they are sold. Of the proceeds Mrs. Moyo gets her share. Matthews is also handy on the sewing machine. He helps her regularly.
Matthews in the air
Children in the School of Dreams
(Foto: Benjamin Jordan)
Amai Moyo and Vodya at work in de School of Dreams
Foto: Benjamin Jordan
Because of all the visitors and activity in Nazareth we needed to employ more staff. Beta has worked from early in the morning until late in the evening for months in a row, cooking and caring for the guests. To help him we now have a new cook, who is still on trial.
Also, we have employed Veridiana, a single mother with 3 children, to do cleaning work in both houses and to do the laundry. She was a few weeks on trial and proved to be very reliable.
We have also employed two new watchmen, whom we already knew from our time in Mua. One of them seems to be a good choice. The other one we had taken on because we wanted to help him. We know him as a very friendly, honest man, who with his family (with small Ineke one of his grandchildren), has a very poor existence. He had a badly paid job and therefore we wanted to offer him something better. But it turned out he is, because of his old age, no longer able to work. In addition, when staying with us he is far from his family and his wife is often ill. That's why we have sent him back home and we will see how we can help his family in other ways.
Davy, the skilled carpenter from Mganja, who has made some new furniture and exterior doors
Work on the houses
We made some improvements on the guesthouse. New exterior doors with good locks, a fence of chicken wire, a beautiful natural stone terrace at the rear where the sun shines in the mornings and where it is shady in the afternoon.
The first House now also has a solar shower. Made by Mr. Maluza, who also installed the shower in the guesthouse.
The new solar installation for the shower
In November the cacti bloom on the veranda
Of course we visited June Walker's place several times. She is still an important friend of us and of the project. She is doing well. With her 84 she has even flown as a passenger with a paraglider.
We have also visited Mrs. Gubuduza, the mother of Richard and also the grandmother of Nicoline, our godchild. Like every year we have given her money for the orphans Evi and Embe.
We have been to the wedding mass of the daughter of Josef and Ruth Gama. Ruth was one of the informers of Ineke during her research, and Josef is the assistant to Fr. Claude Boucher.
We also went to the memorial service of Fr. Andreas Edele. He was a German priest who has worked in Mua. He died in Germany in July. We have met him several times, in Malawi and in Germany.
A Dutch couple with two small children have visited us. They run a bakery in Bembeke.
Little Ineke, the granddaughter of Mr. and Mrs. Mbewe has stayed with us a couple of days. Just like last time she especially likes to help in the house. She began to wash the dishes before we had finished eating! And to think that they not even have a table at home, no water and no dishes!
Juliana Lunguzi, the MP for our region, has visited us with her adopted daughter of several months. With her we talked about the nursery schools in Mganja and about the plans for the secondary school for girls in Mganja.
After our visit in Misuku Maria came with us to Mganja, where she has had a week's holiday.
On 2 August we celebrated Ineke's birthday, together with Jennifer and Alan, two American paragliders, and Josefa. With Josefa we went in the afternoon to the Dedza Pottery.
Thomas finished his second year at the Bunda College successfully. It's been tough, but he made it and goes to the third year. During his holidays he has done some volunteer work in the village and Jürgen gave him some guitar lessons.
Chisomo had a great review for her first year at Andiamo College in Balaka. She is the best of her class.
Evelina: school results showed a wonderful report. She is of the 167 pupils number 2 or 3. She is still not completely satisfied. She has a laptop by Rob Pijpers and is very happy with it. In addition, she has made a so-called tandem flight with a paraglider. No fear at all! She was also with us on the journey to Misuku. She was a very nice and inquisitive travel companion.
We have given two other laptops to university students from Misuku, whom we have come to know through Maria.
Mary Chikadza is a new name among the students that we help. She goes to Malamula nursing college .
Finally, there is Francis, who lives in Misuku. He does well on a Secondary Boarding School.
In our last weeks we had two young German volunteers in the house. They got Chichewa lessons from Josefa. Benjamin and Tatjana have cheered up the house with their presence. After the course both left to do voluntary work in Malawi for a year. Tatjana in a street children project in Lilongwe and Benjamin as a teacher of English in Benga.
Women from Mganja, with (right) Sr. Josefa, who are going to learn how to build and install the solar systems.
Elias Moyo and Wufa at work.
Elias Moyo demonstrates the systems to the women from Mangochi.
Maria with her sister and a neighbor who both help her with the orphans
Jürgen and Maria with the village notables. Next to Jürgen is the chief.
Our assistance to the nursery school is sealed with a handshake.
The dancers of Misuku (top) and the spectators, including the soccer team (below)
Maria Chilale and Sr. Josefa with two orphans
(Foto: Benjamin Jordan)
The Deputy of the Traditional Authority
This the location for the school.
Meeting with the chiefs
Juliana Lunguzi with Josefa and a first aid kit given by Markus Goeldner for the local hospital
Second from right, Sr. Christine, who through her family in Malaysia trys to find funds for the new school. Through her we also got the tour on Bakhita School.
and a huge dining room
Lua from Brazil was active with the children from the village
Lua gives June Walker instructions for her tandem flight
Lua, Loretta from Mganja, Lorraine (US) Matthews, Sam (GB) and Gilbert from Mganja in the School of Dreams.
Mrs. Moyo at work
Lorraine takes the bags from the sewing workshop to the US
Matthews with the children
(Foto: Benjamin Jordan)
Computer lessons in the School of Dreams
Foto: Benjamin Jordan
Mr. and mrs. Moyo with "little" Joe
Abeta, Loretta and Josefa in the kitchen
Matthews the way he likes to travel
Ineke at work in the garden with Mr. Chisale
Achisale and Anthewa remove the tree where the water towers have to come
Powerful solar panel charges every day 6 to 9 power banks. A gift from Markus Goeldner.
Ineke and Achisale love to work together in the vegetable garden
Boat trip on the lake at the house of June
Josefa with Amai Gubuduza
Josefa with the baby boy of Flip and Anne
Little Ineke does her own laundry
At Dedza Pottery
Evelina and her school results.
Chisomo Chisoni with her results
Juliana Lunguzi, Ineke with Juliana's daughter Aphatsa (gift), Josefa and Jürgen
Josefa, Ineke and Nico send their warmest thanks to all, who in one way or another have contributed to the project:
Alda Janssen from Venlo, former midwife, for the material for Malawian midwives and for the money to transport it into Malawi. We handed it over to Juliana Lunguzi, who in turn will make sure it will be taken care of at the Mganja health center. Jan Peters once again for setting up the second hand laptops, which we could give to students in Malawi. Nelly Reivers, for cell phones and children's clothing. Our neighbors Barbra and Mark for children's clothing. Kim Thommassen, Rob Pijpers and Wilma and Jos Valkenburg for the laptops. Cindy, our hairdresser, who gave us a number of used mobile phones. Sabine, the mother of Colin, who ensures that Matthews can finish his education. Yvonne Kengen and Kim Thommassen who gave a lot of clothes that we could give to the orphans in Misuku and at the family Mbewe.
A special thanks to Benjamin Jordan. He took the initiative for the School of Dreams. He renovated the building, donated one of the sewing machines and the tablets for computer classes. He is promoting paragliding in Malawi, especially in the neighborhood of Mganja. This brings people from all over the world to Nazareth!
And of course, all the people who have donated money!!! That money is desperately needed for the further development of the project, paying school fees for our students and helping Maria and others with the orphans. Without all these people, without your help, Nazareth could not be what it is today.
Josefa, Maria, Jürgen, Ineke and Nico