Happy New Year Everybody.
Thank you for following, and reading my blog. Wordpress sends you a ‘report’ at the end of the Year and the traffic to my blog has been really great. People as far as Panama, Macao, Belize, the US have all seen our work and hope you will continue to check in on us 🙂
Every year I try to go down to visit my Grandma at least twice. She lives 5 hours away from me – with work, business, school I don’t get to go see her as much as I would like. My Gran has been a big influence in my life. She is a strong woman who encouraged my love for travel. She will be turning 88 years this year and I hope I still have her in my life a couple of more years.
I also think because I would go to my Grandma every long holiday when I was at secondary school and college, my heart belongs there. The girls at my Grandmas village (as is elsewhere in this country), rarely finish primary school. Once they hit puberty they drop out of school, get pregnant and become child mothers. I can count the number of cousins and nieces with my fingers who did not become child / young mothers – myself included. I was a mother at 18 myself – but the difference was I never dropped out of school, by the time I had Amanda I had already done 4 years of college and was able to get a paying job.
There are more girls than boys at my Grandma’s village (as is in my family too!) and I want to help keep these girls in school. But the school they have – Matawale F P School – has no school desks, only 8 toilets for 943 girls and 940 boys, school blocks that look that they will collapse and only 17 teachers.
Last year Dianne Dimick from Boise, ID raised just over US$4, 000 and we were able to buy chairs for the teacher staff room, First Aid Kits, sports kits for the football & netball teams, 1, 500 cups and plates for the school feeding program and much more. This year Dianne & I contributed to the building of 2 extra toilet blocks for the girls. Most of the older girls who have reached puberty skip classes or indeed drop out as they are not comfortable going to school when they are on their period.
So when I went to handover the toilet blocks there was the Group Village Headman, 10 Cheifs, the school PTA and all the teachers. It is heart warming to see they also are trying their best to improve the school with the little resources they have. They are not just waiting with their palms out waiting for someone to come and change their lives, they are part of the change making process too.
SO – Looking forward to 2015 – JARDS has a couple of New Year Resolutions I hope we shall stick to
1. Create a JARDS website
2. Lobby with the Malawi Government to make exports for Small & Medium Entrepreneurs easier
3. Have 0% reject again this year
5. Sign up 2 big corporate clients
Fingers crossed 2015 will be another magical year, not only for us but you too xo