We wanted to tell you about some of the work happening at Tidzuke Orphan Care, the large multi-purpose centre we built a few years ago in a rural area of Malawi. Work that just goes on quietly, week after week, with no fanfare, but which we believe is making a real difference to many lives.
On two evenings a week and at the weekends, the centre hosts a “girls club”, aimed at building self-esteem and helping girls to see that their future might hold more than early marriage and child-bearing. Among other initiatives, they run a girls’ football team, which we think Nick would thoroughly approve of! Recently it was possible to gather five teams for an all-girls tournament, in which “our” team came off victorious, which caused much celebration.
When Pauline visited recently, the hall was alive with the sounds of a large group of young women practising a song and dance of their own composition about “resisting” (their word) early marriage, which they planned to present to some expected visitors.
Currently we are fundraising to build a basic hostel for those girls who have done well enough to win a place at the local secondary school (itself largely constructed by the Nick Webber Trust), but cannot afford the boarding fees. Only about 20% of students win such a place so it is too precious to waste. Many girls do what is called ‘self-boarding’, which means they rent somewhere to sleep in the local villages. Sadly this is very often unsafe, and certainly not conducive to successful studies. A simple hostel, for which they could pay the same very low rent of about £5 a term, would give them safety and privacy, and it will also pay for someone to open the library we have included in the centre so that homework could be done with electric light. The local chiefs and councillors have come together to request this building from us – it will cost around £12,000. Our aim is to be able to start work on it in time for the next school year. Your support is already helping us towards that, but if you’d like to support this particular project further, you can donate via our Justgiving page and mark it ‘hostel’.
There are many other exciting developments within that centre and elsewhere. To catch up with them all, come along to our annual Garden Party on June 15th!
Thank you, as always, for your interest and support, without which none of this would be happening.