Launch of football and netball competitions 2014

Every year, Eva Demaya organizes a sport competition for the young people in her district.
In the dry period from May to October, there is not much employ for the young people in the villages. Sport a good way to keep them active. Sports also contributes to the social community because it attracts large groups of spectators. Each team has an extensive, well organized group of supporters en sport is an important part of life in the villages.

Eva Demaya organizes two competitions, netball for the females and a football competition for man.
Recently, another form of sport for ladies is in place in Malawi, namely ladies ball, but Eva Demaya has not given in to this trend yet.
Participating teams netbal
This year 86 teams are registered for the football competition and 52 teams for the netball competition, which makes netball very popular this year (last year there were 40 teams).
To take part of the competitions the teams pay a small fee for registration and prices. The winners will receive an attractive price but there is also a consolation price for the team that ends last.

On behalf of all participants of the football and netball competition thanks to all sponsors for their financial support of this competition.

More pictures of the sport events are shown in the album.

Blankets for the cold season

Uitreiken van de dekens
Uitreiken van de dekens

In the months of June, July and August temperatures drop significantly here, Our annual distribution of blankets to the most needy orphans throughout the area we cover is greatly appreciated by both the children and their families; being able to sleep under a blanket at night greatly reduces the risk of pneumonia or burns from sleeping too near an open fire.
Blije kinderen met hun ouders
Blije kinderen met hun ouders

Ministry of Health very happy with our work

Certificate of Excellence 2012
Certificate of Excellence 2012
The Malawian Ministry of Health regularly carries out inspections at the clinic of the Eva Demaya Centre and of the various medical services which it provides.

For the third time in a row the Centre’s AIDS clinic has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence in recognition of the way in which the clinic is run and the AIDS patients are treated.

The AIDS clinic is open every Tuesday and over a hundred patients come there for treatment. In addition to getting the medicine they need, patients are supported by counselling and advice.

Goodbye to our co-founder

At our reception of March 16, 2013 we have said farewell to a wonderful woman: Jose Batist. She has been involved with Eva Demaya from the very first hour. Jacqueline Kouwenhoven was present at this goodbye.

Together with her sister Jacqueline, José was the one who was already active for Eva Demaya in 1996. Together they looked for possibilities to set up a development centre in Malawi. Afterwards, Jacqueline continued her development work in Malawi, José focussed on activities in the Netherlands. In this first two years, the main job was putting the right people together to start and expand fundraising. Together with Dick Boutkan in 1998 José founded the Eva Demaya Foundation. José took a position in the board.

In 2005 she left her position at the board. However, she remained very active for the Eva Demaya Foundation. As one of our most active members, she took the lead in a lot of fund raising activities, like presentations and fairs, and she increased the awareness of our Foundation. In addition, she is one of the co-organisers of our yearly hiking tour. While the first tour in 2008 was only locally know, currently our hiking tour gains national fame.

José Batist is offered a beautiful painting by Joop van Dijk for farewell
José Batist is offered a beautiful painting by Joop van Dijk for farewell

Despite all the activities she (helped) organising; José has been an inspiration to members of the Eva Demaya Foundation. José always kept the aim of the Eva Demaya Centre in mind: maintaining a development centre in one of the poorest and neediest regions of the world: the north of Malawi.

The farewell of José as an active member is now final. But José promised to keep in touch and to remain being active as a volunteer. We thank José for her dedication in all those years and of course we hope to keep in touch.

Peter van Rossum
Chairman Eva Demaya Foundation

Bicycles for healthworkers in the villages

Eight of our health workers recently received bicycles to help them to do their work in the villages.

The health workers received a six-year-long training in first aid assistance so that they can serve their own communities. The main elements of this training are hygiene, nutrition, basic anatomy, the fundamentals of pathology, wound care, HIV prevention and AIDS care as well as homeopathic first aid.

Our health workers are active in their own communities and treat an average of twenty to thirty patients per month. The patients come to them with complaints such as cough, fever, vomiting fits, diarrhoea, wounds, sprains, back pain, skin aliments and many other health problems. Where the health workers cannot treat the complaints themselves, the patients are referred to the nearest clinic.

Bicycles for Health Workers
Bicycles for Health Workers

During their six-year training the health workers worked on a purely voluntary basis. Now they are able to ask for a contribution from the patients they treat. In this way they are able to earn a modest income. In practice, however, the contributions from the patients they treat are so small that any such income is too insignificant to be of any practical advantage.

Now, with the bicycles they have been given, the health workers are able to visit the more remote villages to treat patients there. Having a bicycle will also allow them to travel much more easily to our Centre where they attend their monthly refresher training and collect their medicine stock and wound dressing materials.

Having locally placed health workers in the villages means that any health problems in these localities are treated swiftly and are not allowed to develop into serious or life-threatening issues. Every month on average some 250 patients are helped in this way.


Nursery children will lead

A little nursery can be found at the premises of the Eva Demaya centre. Children aged two to five can come here every morning to receive education and a nutritious meal. Especially the meal is very important, because many families do not take breakfast.
At the nursery children get an introduction to the English language, a necessary asset since the home language is the local dialect. Through a playful way the children learn basic English, which gives them an advantage when starting their primary education. When the children leave the nursery they know how to both read and write the alphabet and counting, and know the names of colors and shapes. They also learn some English songs and can introduce themselves in English.

Nursery children wearing school uniform
Nursery children wearing school uniform
The most important thing we want to teach them is to enjoy going to school and love studying. In Malawi this is not a normal way of teaching. Often teachers are not interested in teaching and this results in high dropout rates. Recently the parents and teachers came up with the idea to let the young students wear a school uniform. This is not only obligatory when they start primary school (due to the English system of teaching), but it is also a very colorful and cheerful sight!

Rainy season: always difficult

The first months in Malawi are important due to the long awaited rainy season. Everyone is busy planting products and the scenery is wonderful. However, now a days it is also a doubtfull period, because the rain is not self-evident anymore. When the rain comes later for only eleven days, as was the case in 2013, this does great damage to the crops. Crops which are necessary for their food security and income for the next year.
It is not only the future which is at stake these first three months of a new year. Food also becomes a scarcity when the old supplies are starting to run low and the harvesting is done in April. Almost nobody in the village has money at this time and people live day by day. Problems arise when a family member gets sick. For the family it is hard to find the money to get the family member to hospital, due to which weaker and sick people often do not survive.
During these months it is not uncommon that people come to the center to ask it for help. Many of these can be helped with corn, plastic to repair roofs, soap or blankets. If necessary people can be treated without charge in the clinic or the homeopathy room.
The end of February the Malawians start to make money buy harvesting tobacco and selling it. But this depends on the rains. Therefore the first three months of the new year it is a matter of survival till the rains start to fall.

Very special twins

Twins with their grandmother
Twins with their grandmother
The twins on this picture have a very special name; they are named after the founders of the Eva Demaya center. The children are 11 years old, are called Jacqueline and Johnfox and live approximately 8 kilometers from the center.
Jacqueline and Johnfox live with their grandmother. In Malawi it is normal that the grandparents look after the children, since children belong to the entire family. When the grandparents cannot or do not want to live by themselves, (a) family member(s) is selected to go live with them. The children can decide for themselves where they want to live, since the sisters and brothers of their parents are also seen as their mothers and fathers.
In Malawi everyone is one big family!

600 Trees and Esperanza stoves

Watering trees
Watering trees
The Eva Demaya Centre has planted 600 trees on the grounds the last couple of weeks.
These trees are meant as firewood, since firewood is used every day for cooking. Due to the amount of children born in Malawi is higher than the amount of trees being planted, deforestation is becoming a big problem. A problem which is clearly seen on the mountains surrounding the center where many trees have disappeared these last decades.
In cooperation with the heads of the surrounding villages and the community, Eva Demaya Centre started protecting the hills around the center. Right now no more trees are chopped down and the hills are protected during fires. The results are visible to everyone and is very much appreciated.
However, we cannot protect all the woods and deforestation is still happening on a rapid pace; People need firewood to cook their daily meals! Therefore Eva Demaya intends to plant many new trees every year. These last weeks that were 600 trees, but hopefully many will follow!

The interior chamber of the stove
The interior chamber of the stove
Another project to protect the trees are the stoves which are being built at the center. To cook food this stoves only need half of the trees which are normally used to cook food. This way only little branches are needed which fall from the trees instead of chopping complete trees which cannot regrow. Since the beginning of the project over 500 stoves are built at the Eva Demaya center.

By spreading the Esperanza stoves in Malawi, deforestation is reduced!