Eva Demaya Centre coordinates food distribution

In the catchment area of The Eva Demaya Centre a food shortage was unavoidable after last year’s crop failures in some regions. Malnutrition gives high risks on diseases and infections to occur, especially for elderly and sick people and for children. It is a large challenge to break this negative loop.
From December 2018 the Eva Demaya Centre targeted hunger prone areas like the Nkhamanga Valley, some areas that are in boundary with Vwaza game reserve and Nyika National park. In these areas communities are mostly affected by elephants that destroy crops during and after harvesting season.
In addition to this the vulnerable households were targeted most in need due to drought.

Eva Demaya Centre works closely with local structures like Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Village Development Committees (VDCs) to select the targeted groups and the beneficiary, vulnerable households, including single parent or child headed households.
The exercise supported about 40 CBO’s and VDC’s, translating to almost 4600 people who received maize relief. Each CBO/VDC received 10 bags of maize. One bag of maize was shared among 3 people.
Maize relief distribution exercise was done in two phases in hunger months of January to March 2019. Project coordination was done by the Social Welfare Officer of the Eva Demaya Centre, Mr. Ephraim Kanyimbo.

The logistics to purchase and distribute the Maize , was a major operation. Firstly, staff members went to different communities with large(r) quantities of maize readily available to purchase some of their maize.
The Centre’s cars and motorcycles played a major role in transporting staff members to their meetings in both the providing and asking villages and also for transporting purchased maize to the stores at the Centre.
Due to poor roads, these cars and motor cycle have to undergo maintenance frequently, to keep them in good condition for continuous delivery of services in a safe way for drivers and passengers.
The actual distribution of maize from the stores of the Centre to the different CBO’s and VDC’s was done by lorries. The lorries were hired from a local transporter, and this distribution went well.

The Eva Demaya Centre sincerely thanks the Eva Demaya Foundation in the Netherlands for funding this important part of activity at the Centre. The assistance has gone a long way serving numerous lives of vulnerable people, particularly children who would have been malnourished and it has helped people to actively participate in developmental activities.

Vocational training students graduate

On Saturday December 1 the Eva Demaya Centre organised a graduation ceremony for the ten young people, six boys and four girls, who had completed their vocational training, which is a successful programme of the Eva Demaya Centre

This is the 13th successive year that the programme has been operating, with a total of 130 teenage boys and girls, all of them orphans, being helped since the start of the programme.
The program traditionally trains the young people in 4 very useful skills: tailoring, carpentry, bicycle repair and tin-smithing. For the tailoring (4) and carpentry (2) students the course lasts six months and for those learning bicycle repair (2) and tin-smithing (2) it was a three-month course. What was very special about this year’s training was that the Centre has trained the first female carpenter, Pyera Chisale. (At the picture top row, second from the left.)

The young people can secure their future with this training and with the starter packs of tools and materials they are each given at their graduation. They expressed their delight and gratitude to Eva Demaya and its donors with a joyful performance of dance, songs, speeches, drama and poetry, as is the custom.

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.

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!

Mwanda children benefit from new primary school

On the border between Malawi and Zambia, forty kilometres west of the Eva Demaya Centre, is a high mountain called Mwanda. In the traditional culture of the Tumbuka people Mwanda is a holy mountain and is afforded great respect. The Malawians living at the bottom of this mountain decided eleven years ago to start their own primary school as the nearest school was too far for the children to walk to. Because of the long distance children started their education at an older age, dropped out after a while or didn’t attend school at all. Therefore some simple structures were made and volunteers were found to teach the youngest children in the community in Standards one to three, the first three years of primary education.

The school grew bigger and the number of pupils kept increasing. The community then started looking for funds to build a permanent school with solid, brick structures. Eva Demaya Centre was also approaced for assistance. It was like a miracle to the community when funds were found and the Centre informed them that one school block with two classrooms, two teachers’ houses and four improved pit latrines would be built.

The construction of the school started in July 2016 and Mrs Maggie Nundwe, an employee of the Centre, acted as the contractor. Mrs Nundwe organised the builders, carpenters and all necessary labourers. She organised the procurement, transport, storage and dispensing of all building materials. She even managed to significantly reduce transport costs of the building materials by negotiating with a supplier of building materials in Mzuzu with a branch in Katowo, which is only 12 km from Mwanda. During construction Mrs Nundwe stayed permanently at Mwanda and supervised all activities.

The community was extremely excited by the construction of the school and every day a lot of people came to help and see the progress. The community had already made enough bricks for the construction of the school. They helped with carrying sand and water and offered labour where necessary. The relationship between Maggie, the workers and the community was excellent and work went on very well.

As work had been proceeding so well and circumstances made the construction less expensive than budgeted for, it was decided to build a school block with three classrooms, three teachers’ houses, six pit latrines and renovation to the school office. The classrooms are spacious, fully cemented and with solid breezeblocks windows, providing an attractive environment for learning. The teachers’ houses are also spacious and offer perfect accommodation for the teachers.

The main construction of the school was finished within six months, just before Christmas. In January two visitors from Holland stayed at the Centre and so it was decided to open the school officially in their presence. It was a very festive occasion and even the rain that fell that day could not dampen the enthusiasm and happiness of the people.

The District Education Manager was the guest of honour during the function and he was greatly impressed by the beautiful structures of the Mwanda School. He promised that his governmental department would appoint two qualified teachers for the school as there was only one qualified teacher so far, who acts as the head teacher. The extra teachers from government have indeed been appointed and recently started working at Mwanda.

Because of the new structures at the school, Mwanda has now been made into a Full Primary School, which means that all eight years, from Standard one to Standard eight, are being taught there. This will significantly increase the number of children receiving proper primary education.

The beautiful, solid structures of Mwanda School, especially the school block, will offer the community a place to gather. So besides teaching, the classrooms will also be used for community meetings, for women or chiefs gatherings, for choir practice and for church prayers on Sunday. The nicely laid out school ground will now also be the sports field. The newly built school really has become the centre of the Mwanda community and for this the people are very proud and extremely grateful!