On behalf of the Community Overseas Aid Project (COAP) committee I would like to thank all who supported us last year either by attending our fund raising events or by direct donatons. This is to provide you with some feedback on where your money went.
During 2011 COAP donated £3,450 towards construction of a new accommodation block at the Smile Malawi orphanage and £315 to a Salvation Army run pre-school in the deprived outskirts of the capital Lilongwe.
Smile Malawi orphange is run by Sittingbourne civil engineer Elspeth Baecke who has devoted her spare time, energy and money over the last few years to establish and manage it. She has been very successful in this enterprise which looks after a growing number of children, 33 currently. In 2009/10 COAP funded the construction of an outdoor kitchen shelter when the kitchen in the existing building was no longer able to cope. With continuing pressure to house more children, Elspeth has embarked on the construction of a new accommodation block that will become the bedroom and study area for 19 boys. In August COAP provided £650 for the 31,000 clay bricks required. At 2p each these are 25 times cheaper than Wickes so you can see that a little money can go a long way in Malawi. A further £2,800 was provided in the autumn to fund the construction of the roof. This was personally supervised by Elspeth and was in place before the start of the rainy season. She reported this progress and expressed her gratitude in person at the COAP coffee morning held in November. She is now looking for funds for windows, plumbing, electrics and general fitting out. COAP is hoping to provide further assistance but you can do so directly at http://www.justgiving.com/buildingchallenge.
Some members of the COAP committee visited Lilongwe pre-school during our visit of 2007 when we pledged our support to it. At the time the pre-school had next to no resources by way of books, stationery, teaching aids or even chairs to sit on. It is located in a poor area and there are a significant number of orphans and vulnerable children amongst the attendees. There is no free state education and the school is dependent on extremely modest fees and whatever funds it can secure from elsewhere. 2011 saw our third donation which was used for repairs to outdoor play equipment: swing, see-saw, roundabout and climbing frame. We hope that this put a smile on the children’s faces.
Our next fund raising event will be a Quiz Night on Saturday, 28th April. To be held in Doddington Village Hall.
Finally, we are always looking for new faces willing bring some fresh ideas and enthusiasm to the committee or to help out at events. If you would like to get involved, please do contact me.
Bruce Leckie, COAP Chairman
890550 bruce.leckie @ live.co.uk