Archive for February, 2015

Planning for next season at Mphizi

February 26th, 2015

School at Mphizi

A key part of our project at Mphizi is to try to support the local school here, where 400 children are pupils. And we recently used it ourselves for a Tuesday Trust planning session.

Meeting in School

First thing dividing up the 4 hectare plot for the dry season starting in March 2015

The Plot

It beats PowerPoint. Lots of homework to do.


Thanks to Lynn for coming along too and giving us nothing but excellent, practical advice as ever.

Lynn back at school and paying more attention than when she was a messer down the back…

Thuma Reserve volunteers help Mphizi women

February 24th, 2015

We’ve been so very, very lucky with some amazing support stories.

And we’re so appreciative of all the help we can get. Recently, the hard-working Scouts from Thuma Reserve generously donated a couple of hours and their expertise to help the women from Mphizi by putting up fencing and a sign. These guys are tough and quick, and in no time they’ve sectioned off 4 hectares with a four-tiered wire fence. Our mothers then start filling it in with thorns to keep goats out. The erection of the TT sign brings on spontaneous singing and clapping - it gives everyone a real sense of ownership of their project and makes us all feel proud.

So enormous thanks again to the team from the Reserve for being so generous, practical and helpful. Without this type of support - the crops would really have no chance. Goats are great, of course, but they can be real buggers.

Thumb Reserve Scouts
Volunteers put up fences
Tuesday Trust sign

Surviving in Malawi: a little goes a long way

February 23rd, 2015

Anne-Louise on Surviving in Malawi.

We have 15 women in Mphizi with 59 dependent children depending on our crops and 20 members of the patient support group with approx 50 children dependent on this season’s crops. All are suffering from chronic malnutrition and are being treated with palliative care.

Like Aleen Josphat and her mother. I brought them down to hospital from Mphizi this morning. Aleen is suffering from TB , heart failure and possible liver problems. She has got progressively worse over the last 2 months. There are no buses, taxis or ambulance where our members live. Aleen is an important member of the TT.

Although our work is directly concentrated in the field we keep an eye on all of the women involved. Your help means we can do this. Essential supplies if you are a patient. Bag of Maise, oil, tomatoes , plate, pot and firewood.

Malawi, Feb 2015




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Thanks for the beans and fertiliser from anonymous supporter

February 23rd, 2015

A generous Malawian farmer outside Lilongwe heard of our project and kindly donated soya beans and fertiliser to our women’s group - and did not wish to be named. So on behalf of Mphizi - a sincere thank you.


Chancy’s Story: the cruel reach of poverty

February 4th, 2015

We got this moving note from our great friend and supporter, Brendan Cairney, after receiving some very sad news about a little boy called Chancy he had met whilst volunteering with TT in Malawi.

Chancy with Brendan

I’m a bit stumped as to what to say about Chancy.
I left it till today to let it mull over.
I met Chancy with his mother, Fanny, and sister Jacqueline when his mother came for treatment at Ndi Moyo.
Lucy asked me to play with him as they were trying to distract his mother.
Both children were shockingly malnourished.
In hindsight Fanny was mentally exhausted and completely unable to look after either of her children. There was no sign of any husband/father.
She was admitted to Salima general hospital with Jacqueline .
And I couldn’t just do nothing. I went to visit her the next day, and well you know how it is in that hospital.
Everyone’s focus was on Jacqueline as her malnutrition and constant crying grabbed your attention.
Fanny had no idea where Chancy was. Long story short, I eventually found him.
He was at home with his older 12 year old brother. He was filthy. He’d soiled himself and stank.
I stripped him, washed him and dressed him in clean clothes .Fed both of them.
I got involved with Chancy because I just couldn’t leave it.
His mother died a couple of months later. Jacqueline responded well to emergency feeding and thrived.
Chancy unfortunately was  classified as stunted, HIV positive, malaria and no one wanted to take him on.
I suspect he became a better package when Mathias, his wife and I offered to fund his care .
2 years later and the last photo that Peter sent me I didn’t recognise him. Kathryn would fill me in on his progress.
I had asked the gardeners to look out for him and they did.
I got an email from Peter on Monday at lunchtime to say Chancy had been ill for the previous month, was admitted to
hospital on Friday and died on Sunday (January 11th, 2015 ) He had TB. I can only hope that someone was with him when he died.
We tried. We tried for him. We tried because it was the human thing to do.


January 15th, 2015. Dublin.