We have made it to Malawi! It is extremely hot (over 35 degrees!) with 85% humidity so it’s a slight change from chilly London…

we_see_hope_six_degrees_malawi_trip_2016_panoToday was a rather wild, but really positive day. Our morning began with a two hour drive to visit a project that WeSeeHope has supported for three years. We met a combined group of two “Kids Clubs”, the purpose of which is to encourage, educate and empower children across different communities with games, music and social activity, whilst allowing guardians who run the clubs to identify vulnerable and needy children.we_see_hope_six_degrees_malawi_trip_2016_potrait

The groups presented their activities to us, including some poetry, dance, song and drama – a very uplifting way to start the day in the heat! We were given the opportunity to ask some questions, and the children told us about their favourite school subjects – maths, science, and agriculture.

As well as a way for the children to have some fun, the Kids Clubs are also a core method to educate them about their rights and to ensure they know how to protect themselves. We were lucky enough to observe a few of the educational classes where groups, aged 10 – 15 years, were discussing the impact of child abuse and HIV/Aids, and how to prevent both. They talked very openly about the impact of the disease and how to report abuse, which demonstrated clearly the support structure that has been put in place by WeSeeHope and their project partner.

We then shared the stickers, frisbees and balls that we had all brought along which resulted in Meg being swamped by 40 children desperate to have a sticker put on their face!

After the chaos had subsided, we were invited to sit in on a Village Investors Programme (VIP) meeting, a key part of WeSeeHope’s work. We learnt that this grassroots savings and loans initiative allows group members to borrow and return money, in the interest of growing and maintaining their local businesses. In addition, the group also put aside money for welfare projects for villagers and orphans who are in more need. There is a real sense of how continued investment and improvement is pushing a community forward by its own means. The ladies involved had managed to put aside enough money we_see_hope_six_degrees_malawi_trip_2016from their ventures to build a house, purchase goats and pigs, and improve on their existing buildings.

Disaster then struck… We set off to visit a small community garden but unfortunately our car got stuck for two hours! Children laughed at us whilst their parents attempted to dig us out of the ditch in a maize field. Finally, with the help of a 4×4, many bricks, and a lot of pushing a pulling, we were free!

As you can probably tell, there is a lot going on, and a lot to miss, but we hope we have captured the day. To witness the incredible progress that can be made in justwe_see_hope_six_degrees_malawi_trip_2016_hills three years is truly inspirational and really does show the dramatic effect that WeSeeHope can have on a community.

Bring on tomorrow!