Lots of activity at the background…

The building of the different buildings of the school complex is going well.
This is largely down to the good collaboration of all those involved and to the availability of funds.

Procurement of materials for the building process is done at the Mzuzu office of the Eva Demaya Centre. In Mzuzu most of the materials are readily available in bulk compared to Rumphi, the town nearest to where the project is being carried out.
Mr Lameck Munthali is the procurement manager and he goes around town to different shops to collect quotations for the requested needed. Thereafter the 4-person procurement committee sits down to compare prices and selects the best mix of affordable prices and good quality materials; the materials order is then placed. The collection of building materials is done by the procurement officer together with one member of the procurement committee. After collecting the materials from the suppliers, they are transported to the project site which is about 100 km from Mzuzu City. The materials are kept at the stores on the building site after being delivered, and are supervised by the Stores Clerk.

The photos here show the latest progress on the buiding site: the first school building is roofed with iron sheets, while the second school block is at beam level.

Sport competition 2018 succesfull

The line was even higher in this year’s sport competition in Norther Malawai.
Hundreds of players – male and female – competed to end up as winner. The competition is quite a phenomenon, the matches usually are like a party for the village people.

For many years now the sport competition is organized under the supervision of the Eva Demaya Centre. The actual organization is in the hands of a chosen committee, the members of the committee are all volunteers.

The competition is played in the ‘quiet season’ for the Northern Malawians who mostly live from agriculture and farming.
Teams from the catchment area of Eva Demaya can enroll, the area is divided in 4 zones. Each zone has an independent competition.
The best teams in each zone play in the finals. Those matches are very exciting and many supporters come around to see the match and celebrate with the winning teams.

This year a total of 123 teams where admitted in the competition, of which 86 football and 37 netball teams. All teams were eager to win and played with technical skills and enthusiastically. The coaching by the trainers adds a lot to the success of each team. And last but not least the supporters and public contribute a lot to the lively days of the matches.

The competition was lively, exciting and successful, and organizers, players and supporters already look forward to next year’s competition.

As for the statistics, the winning teams for each zone are:

– Hewe lies at 40 km distance to the west of the Centre. There were 20 football teams and 8 netball teams. The winners of foot ball were Katowo Rangers and Katowo also won the netball competition with Katowo Sisters Youth.
– Mwazisi is at 25 km south west of the Centre. The local competition counted for 21 football teams and 8 netball teams. The winners were GAM Football Club and GAM Netball team.
– Luviri is the central zone in which the Centre is located.There were 18 football teams and 8 netball teams in this competition. The winners were Bembe Football Club and CDC Nkhozo won with netball.
– Finally, the largest competition was in Bolero, at about 20 km east from the Centre. Here competed in total 27 football teams and 13 netball teams. The winners were Kawaza Football Club and JB Sisters netball team.

School takes form

In the meantime it’s October and the building activities show great progress. The outlines of some of the buildings can already been seen. The first house for teaching staff has been roofed with iron sheets. For another staff house the windows has been put in place. For one of the school buildings the slabs (footing level) are ready, for another one the floor has been prepared and builders have started with building the corners.

The moulding of the Stabilized breeze blocks is an ongoing activity which is very labour- intensive. It starts with the carrying of water by some local women to the area where the clay is prepared.
After mixing the water, clay and some other ingredients, the substance is moulded in the forms and from then the sun does its work. It’s an impressive sight, this large field of bricks side by side.
Transporting of breeze-blocks from one point to another within the site is a real challenge. The project management team is investigating whether hiring a lorry would be more effective and can be done within the budget.

Kick-off for the Luviri secondary school building project

Preparation of the building site

For the building of Luviri Secondary School 8 hectares of land were donated by the owner, a local farmer, Mr Kanyerere Gondwe. The parcel is located at about 3 kilometres east of the Centre in a remote and uncultivated area with almost no houses. It is a good and quiet surrounding for a new school.

In May building activities for the Luviri secondary school officially started when the constructor Mr Bosco Zgambo signed a contract with the centre.
Also crucial to the building project was the installation of a water tap by Nkhamanga water users. And community members kicked off the project by clearing the land.
Storage room and builders house

Because the out-of-the-way location offers no existing place for the accomodation of the builders and storage of building materials, the first thing to do was to build a temporary, simple structure as housing for the builders and storage of equipment and materials.

The storage place and workers’ house are being built with bricks donated by the community. The roof is made of recycled iron sheets. To further keep the cost as low as possible, the building of these temporary structures is being carried out by local bricklayers and the Centre’s carpenter. Meekness Mfune has been employed as stores clerk and is responsible for the material management.
Kicking off building of school structures
The preparation of the building of the school structures started with the production of the Stabilised Soil Blocks (SSB) by some specially selected stabilised soil block makers and is now in progress.
For transportation of bricks and sand a ten-ton truck has been commissioned.

As of this writing (end of June 2018) the first foundations – those of the teachers’ houses – can be seen as the first result of hard work!

Sharp rise in malaria cases keeps Eva Demaya clinic busy

In the last few weeks there has been an enormous increase in the number of malaria cases in Malawi. The Eva Demaya Centre’s clinic has a reputation for always having good stocks of the necessary test kits and medicines to treat malaria, and people have been coming in large numbers, by bicycle, on foot, in oxcarts, or carried by a family member, from all parts of Northern Malawi to get treatment. Often they come to the Centre after finding that there are no test kits or medicines available at their local hospital.
As a result, the dedicated medical staff has had to work flat-out, often till late in the day. On some days they treat more than 100 patients, many of them young children.

The support the Centre gets from her donor base allows them to be well prepared for such emergencies and thereby to save many lives. They We have efficient systems for ordering and supplying of medicines, and a dedicated team of medical personnel in place at the Centre doing their best to reduce the misery caused by malaria.

The populations we are able to help in this way are grateful, and we in our turn are most grateful to our donors for making our work possible!

Vocational training responds to needs of communities

For the 12th year in a row ten young men and women followed the vocational training at the Eva Demaya Centre. In 3 to 6 months these young people are trained to become an independent professional tailor, tinsmith, bicycle repairman and carpenter.

The students are selected by the people in their own community. After the training they will return to their village to practice their new learned profession. This way a win-win situation is created: the young people have a good perspective to become economically independent as a professional worker and the community can profit from the services they offer.
After delivering their ‘masterpiece’ as proof of fitness, this year’s training was closed in November with an festive activity at the Centre. All participants receive a certificate which indicates they successfully followed the vocational programme at The Centre.
All students receive the coveted starters kit, which contains a basis set of tools and materials for their own discipline. This makes it possible to directly start their small business without the need for investing in inventory first.

The vocational program at the Centre ran its 12th year so up till now 120 young people has a solid foundation to develop themselves to become economically productive and independent but also to grow as a person. All these years the vocational program has been very succesfull and is very much appreciated by both the young people and the communities.
Expanding the program to train more people is not possible because the centre is limited to offer the young people housing during the program.
For next year’s vocational training a small change will be made in the selection and assignment criteria: the young men and women can freely choose the profession they feel fits them best, the traditional division in men’s and women’s jobs will be abandoned so Eva Demaya hopes to welcome the first female carpenter!

And the winners are …

The grand finals of this year’s sport competitions of Eva Demaya were held on October 29.
This year a total of 158 teams took part. The competition is very popular, with the netball tournament in particular enjoying a huge increase in popularity, the number of participating teams reaching an all-time high with 63 teams this year compared to 50 last year.
The teams are drawn from the whole catchment area of the Centre, which for the competition is divided in 4 zones, namely Hewe, Mwazisi, Luviri and Bolero. The teams in each zone play their own mini-league for both netball and football. Each league culminates in a zone final, with the zone winners then going on to contest the grand final.

The sport competition has grown so much over the years that it now takes serious organization and management to ensure its smooth operation.
Each zone has its own organizing committee and overall coordination is under the supervision of the Eva Demaya Centre. All participating teams pay a small contribution towards organizing costs. The remaining costs are provided by the Centre with the support of its sponsors.

This year again, the organisers, players, trainers and coaches together contributed to the excellent progress of the games. Trainers and coaches help their teams to improve their performance. Players put aside potential disagreements or solve them in a sporting way.
Great enthusiasm and fun was shown during the games. The matches and in particular the finals always attract a large number of spectators who are very involved in the games and the players and contribute greatly to the festivities with singing and dancing.

This year’s winners of respectively football and netball competitions are:
Hewe: Manchester Football Club and Katowo Rangers Sisters
Mwazisi: Chitanga Football Club and Galang’anda Sisters
Luviri: Fyolonga Football Club and Nkhozo Sisters
Bolero: Mwachilinda Football Club and JB Sisters

Extension secondary school

Extensive work is presently being carried out to expand the secondary school in the community of Kamphenda.
Until now, this school consists of only one building with two classrooms, which means the students have to leave and find another school after two years of education. Most of the young people are unable to attend a secondary school further away, so they do not take their education any further.

The building of this new school block is proceeding very well. The head builder, Bosco Zgambo, is very experienced and hard-working. He lived in Lilongwe for a long time but after the death of his wife he returned to his native village, Mwazisi, which is within the catchment area of the Centre.

The school building will have two attractive and spacious classrooms, with good windows, a ceiling, a small storage room and will be equipped with electricity. Craftsmen are now working on the plastering, painting, and laying of cables. The blackboard is quite remarkable because it is made entirely from brickwork.

Now that the Kamphenda school is almost ready, the students in Kamphenda will soon be able to complete their secondary schooling, which will improve their chances on the labour market. They are very happy with this promising perspective!

Remote community welcomes basic health care

On the Nyika Plateau, which belongs to the area of activities of the Eva Demaya Centre, live around 500 people. The main part of the plateau lies in the Nyika National Park, an area with a protected status. The park has a diverse wild life and a unique landscape with a specific flora, under which a large variety of orchids.
Only workers of the park are allowed to live on the plateau, together with their families.

A few years ago the Centre was asked if they could help to give the people of the Nyika Plateau acces to basic healthcare. Because the plateau lies very remote, the health care workers of the government refused to work there.
During several years the Centre has educated health care workers. In 2014 one of the volunteers, who were trained to be a community health care workers, came from the Nyika Park, his name was Bannet Kaonga.
Bannet lived on the Nyika Plateau and was part of the small community there. He took great interest in being a health care worker and he turned out to be a very good student. On the picture showing the succesful candidates from 2014, Bannet is in the middle, with the red shirt.

As from September 2014 Bannet is working on Nyika as a health care worker and in is treating diseases and disorders like malaria, diarrhoea and vomiting, stomachache, bronchitis, injuries and skin diseases, backache and so on.

Recently a German foreign aid organisation decided to build a new, small clinic for the community on the Nyika plateau, which was recently officially openend.
With this new clinic and the services of Bannet, people in the remote area of Nyika at last have access to basic health care nearby, which is of great value to all of them.

Sports competition 2017: finals coming up

The yearly sports competition in the northern region of Malawi has evolved into a tradition and is looked forward to by many people. Sport is welcomed as a diversion for all people in the villages, for the younger ones to participate in a team and for others to watch the matches and support the players.
Men play in the football competition and the women have a competition in netball. This year’s event is larger than ever: 98 teams have enrolled for football and 67 teams are playing netball. The teams all pay a small fee to contribute to the organizational costs.

The completion is spread over the whole district of Rumphi West. The district is divided into 4 zones , in which the teams of each zone play each other. Each zone winner qualifies for the finals, which are a great event each year.

Organizing the competition takes a lot of effort and communication. Each zone has its own committee that is responsible for the teams in their zone. The chairmen of the four commissions together form the main committee, which has its own overall chairman, Ackim Ndove. The main committee works closely with the management team of the Eva Demaya Centre, in order to coordinate and supervise all matches. The photo’s show a meeting of one of the zone commissions and a budget meeting with the main committee at the Centre. Also a part of a playing scheme from one of the zones is shown.
Besides all organizational preparations it is of course of great importance to come up with a good team and to train hard as a team. The teams are selected anew each season, and it is evident that everyone wants to have the best players from the community in the team in order to keep the honours of the village high. The photos show training activities and on one of them the teams are seen getting instructions from the referee just before the match.
Most participating teams find support in their own community to buy materials like shirts, shoes and balls. Some teams are lucky to have a specific sponsor, like the Eva Demaya football and netball teams, which receive funding from the Centre. As sports grow in popularity, it is easier for the teams to find support, inclusing financial sponsoring.
The competition is in progress now, with matches each weekend. Slowly the winner of each zone will reveal itself. So everybody is looking forward to the finals!