We have committed ourselves to an exciting new project: a drop-in law centre and refuge for women and children affected by domestic abuse. After careful investigation, we have accepted a request from the Women Lawyers of Malawi to provide £20,000 to purchase land in the capital, Lilongwe, and construct a basic facility where women can access free legal advice and, if necessary, be offered a safe place to stay until a longer-term option is found. Knowing as you do the background from which our Trust developed, we are sure you will understand our enthusiasm for and commitment to such an ambitious project and we are proud to be associated with these dedicated female lawyers, led by the recipient of our very first law scholarship. Obviously this is a long-term project…..you’ll be hearing more from us soon! Any suggestions you may have for helping us to raise this money will be very helpful.
First of all, we’d like to express an enormous thank you for your continued support during these very difficult times, when there are so many other needs and worries on our minds. One thing is certain: the needs of Malawi and the projects we (you) support will not go away. Exact figures are hard to come by, but the virus is spreading and the worst is probably yet to come.
To update you a little on the plight of the “street children” whose schooling we support through Tikondane: the schools did not re-open in July, as had previously been announced, and the assumption is that they will not do so before the new school year in late September. This long period without structure has been deeply unsettling for the kind of children we support, and many have drifted back onto the streets – supporting themselves by begging, stealing or piece-meal bits of work. Tikondane staff have been doing a marvelous job in daily street outreach visits, taking children into the transit shelter, encouraging them to return to their villages, raising awareness about the reality of the pandemic to counter-act some of the many myths around (and utilising radio and TV programmes to do so), helping children access medical help or intervening with the police if necessary. While other organisations have closed down, Tikondane remains the only reliable organisation working with children on the streets. We are proud to be supporting them.