Who we are......
The William Stewart Foundation, in Ibuluma, Chitipa, rural Northern Malawi is only three years old but has achieved, on a shoestring of donations, great things in a community which had so little. It has a Resource Centre which now looks after the wellbeing of 700+ children, the majority of whom are in dire poverty. We have brought hope where there was none.
We are its sister charity in the UK, raising funds for and awareness of the work of the Foundation.
The story so far ......
The Foundation grows crops and vegetables, has a herd of goats and a flock of chickens and it has electricity. The Centre feeds the children what may be their only square meal of the week; it teaches them life skills. It also looks after the elderly – again, the majority of the elderly folk live in poverty and a gift of some maize, soap and sugar lifts them up.The morale of the community and the self-esteem and educational levels of the children have been raised enormously. This has been particularly evident in the 200+ orphans whose self-worth was at rock bottom.
Why we need your help .......
We’re crowdfunding for a borehole which is now an urgent next step, because the community borehole currently used, which is over half a mile away, meaning that water has to be lugged to the Centre in quantity, is drying up. It’s not been drilled deep enough to provide water when the water table drops in the dry season, from August to December.
This means that water must be obtained from the river. This in turn means that even though we would chlorine treat our COVID-19 handwashing stations, the children will also get their water from the river, running risks of typhoid, dysentery and, now, coronavirus.
Schools have been closed for the past few months due to covid-19 risks. In other parts of Malawi there are many reports of teenage pregnancies. Thankfully, the children we support have been coming to our centre and sewing, working in the fields, helping with the younger children and reading books from our library, so they have had purpose.
The government want to reopen schools but lack of clean water and soap is one of the biggest barriers to this, so a new borehole for the Ibuluma community is vital for health, wellbeing and for the children's education.
We want to raise enough money to drill a borehole to proper depth, with a submersible pump connected to the mains which would produce an excellent rate of water per second. If we were lucky enough to raise more money, a solar powered pump able also to be connected to the mains, and with water tanks would make make crop and vegetable irrigation much easier too, increasing yield.
An efficient borehole will not only help to keep the Foundation children safe, it will have such a profound influence on the wellbeing of, and quality of life in, the whole community and to achieve this, we ask for crowdfunding help.
William Stewart, 93, one of our Founders, is cycling halfway round the world to raise money for clean water. His story is on the video link and below is from a local newspaper. Levison Mlambya, our other cofounder, is pictured on the motorbike, gratefully received as he previously only had a push bike. He can now visit more people.
In the Centre’s Skills Shed we have numerous names of those people who donated to enable our buildings to be erected or our projects to be completed, painted in different colours by the children themselves. We would like to do the same for the borehole. If you wish your name to go on the wall, please let us know.