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International update – Malawi and Ethiopia

News St Martin – Talking Points

Friday 4 December 2015

Malawi – St Luke’s Hospital

This Sunday (6 December) the C-Club are holding their annual advent stall to raise money for St Luke’s Hospital, where Susannah Woodd worked as a doctor for 5 years. The children (and a few parents) have been busy creating original and beautiful Christmas cards and gift tags and we’re expecting a fine selection of cakes – so do come along and support them.

St Luke’s Hospital, in rural Malawi, has suffered in recent years from devaluation of the Malawian currency and rapid turnover of senior hospital staff. However, one year ago a new Principal Administrator took over, joined in April by a doctor from Holland, and together they are building up the hospital again. They have strengthened the nutrition programme for HIV-positive patients and the health promotion clubs for local youth, they are making efforts to increase sustainable income from private patients, attract more nursing staff, and have recently arranged the first external audit in many years.

At St Martin’s, over the years, we have supported the training of various hospital staff including Esnart Bwinali who started in the hospital as a cleaner and recently graduated as a nurse-midwife and Timothy Phiri, who arrived as an intern clinical officer and is currently studying for a degree in Obstetrics.

Malawi Flood Appeal

floodThe Malawi Association for Christian Support (MACS) has passed on their grateful thanks to all at St Martins in the Fields for £806.51, raised during our Harvest Festival for the Flood relief in Malawi. Severe floods early this year killed 275 people and caused nearly quarter of a million to flee their homes. MACS sent £4000 immediately after the floods to help with humanitarian relief and a further £3000 was sent in March to help 578 displaced families in Chikwawa and Nsanje, the worst affected areas, to buy plastic sheeting and buy seeds. We were thrilled to learn that the seeds resulted in some of the families having a harvest this year, when they otherwise faced many hungry months. A further £10,000 was sent in September to enable families to start rebuilding their houses before the rains start again. However much more will need to be done over the next months as many families have no harvest at all, so help will be needed for many months. MACS will be waiting to hear from Malawi to see how best they can continue to help.

Special Needs Education Ethiopia (SENE)

Many thanks to everyone who supported SENE when they visited St Martin’s on Sunday 15th November. Their cake and Ethiopian gift stall raised nearly £400 towards their Talking Textbooks project – MP3 players that each contain an entire curriculum recorded on them for the benefit of visually impaired school children. This year SENE is part of the Big Give Campaign – if they can raise £6000 with donations through the Big Give website on the 4th and 5th December it will be matched by a ‘Champion’. The money raised at St Martin’s will go towards into this campaign, so may eventually double in value.

You can read more about the Talking Textbooks in SENE’s recent newsletter. And you can donate to their Big Give here.

Int group