Hello again folks, I continue to stare through the same window, drinking my de-caf tea and munching the ‘ginger nut’ biscuits, idly drifting back to Chinthowa village. The first time we visited Malawi back in 2007, things were a fair bit different, Margaret and I were talking just the other day about how awkward and difficult even the most basic tasks could be. One thing that immediately sprang to mind was the problem of trying to read by candlelight, we both struggled and could only read comfortably for a very short period of time; this worthless tit-bit of information only serves to bring me to the thing I would really like to talk about.
Most of you will be aware that when the IT block for the village school was built, we were able to install solar panels and batteries to provide electricity, this enabled us to run 30 computers and provide the facility to charge mobile phones, this phone charging function is not as inconsequential as it may seem, there are no land line facilities for telephones within 30 miles of the village, mobiles are invaluable in this region.
More recently thanks to the generosity of Steve, one of the friends and supporters of the Trust, individual solar lamps have been donated and distributed to all of our secondary school pupils, these have been enthusiastically received and are enabling them to cope more readily with their homework and to prepare for the following day, again no small matter as they had been at quite a disadvantage not being able to work at home.
In 2020, despite all of the difficulties everyone has experienced we were able to provide and install solar power to all of the teachers houses, this was made possible by the discounts offered to charities working in developing countries by the government of Taiwan, again this enables the recipients to work at home and charge their laptops and mobiles.
During 2021 we hope to start our program of changing the roofs of the houses from grass to metal sheeting, finances permitting I would like to fit solar lights to each of the houses as we do the renovations, this would make an incredible difference to the villagers , especially to the children who will be able to take books home from the school library. My apologies to the Chairman and Trustees, I may not yet have told them I had seen the ‘light’.
Well, the mug is empty, the biscuits are gone and a refill is calling, so I will bid you all farewell, stay safe, as always thank you so much for your support, hope to drop you a line again soon. Brian