In 2014, we sent our volunteers back to work at NAYO (Nancholi Youth Organisation) for a second year running. NAYO is a community-based project in the area of Nancholi in Southern Malawi. NAYO was established in 2004 and has 175 volunteers from the community who work in 16 villages in the Nancholi area. Their mission is to “promote and protect the living standards of the youth by equipping them with appropriate information and skills”. SKIP Glasgow worked alongside NAYO to help meet these aims. Our work included teaching health lessons to their Youth Group in a fun, interactive environment and working with their women’s empowerment group to teach them first aid and make great progress in getting their handmade products into different lodges! NAYO provided a great base for the volunteers and they were warmly welcomed by their staff.
Our mission is to improve the health and well being of children in impoverished communities by creating sustainable, measurable health interventions which can be embraced and developed by the community and collaborative organization. we will always strive to uphold the rights of the child while demonstrating cultural sensitivity and ethical awareness.
In the summer of 2014 we sent 3 teams of volunteers to work with NAYO from June to August. The teams all taught at two local primary schools in Nancholi on a wide variety of health topics to a positive response from students. NAYO groups provided us with an excellent way to offer more teaching. In particular the Youth Group and the Women’s empowerment group showed a genuine interest in learning basic first aid. As well as teaching and meeting with the Youth Group most afternoons, our volunteers also set up three new IGAs (income generating activity) These included an agriculture project where a club would be set up at Nancholi primary to grow produce to sell to the local woman with the idea that all the money made would be put back into the school. The second IGA was to expand the women’s group products such as laptop cases, bags and pillow cases into lodges around Blantyre. This year volunteers successfully composed a catalogue showcasing the women’s unique and homemade products and distributed them around popular lodges. Perhaps the most successful IGA that we are planning to continue into 2015 is our clinic IGA which involves selling produce from a stall in Mchokera that sells various produce so that local people do not have to walk for two hours for basic products. This IGA will be the key focus of next years volunteers.As well as all this, our volunteers realised the importance of a mental health intervention after speaking to NAYO about the needs of the community.
- Collecting monitoring and evaluation data about hand washing, mental health education and promotion in primary schools and youth groups on topics including HIV/AIDS, malaria and diarrhoeal disease
- Running a summer school in two local schools
- Teaching First Aid to teachers at Nancholi Primary/Youth Group/ Women’s Empowerment Group
In July 2006 a group of healthcare students from SKIP Glasgow embarked on a 3 week research trip to investigate the need for a SKIP project within different communities in Malawi. The group chose to establish a project in Area 25, Lilongwe, Malawi with a local NGO that runs Chikondi and Mphatso Orphan Care Centre. The Chikondi and Mphatso centre is a non-residential community centre supporting orphans and vulnerable children who cannot be cared for by families in the surrounding area. It also acts as the focal point and organiser for several community groups.
The pilot project in 2007 had 50 volunteers over a nine week project. In 2008 we expanded to run for 17 weeks from May to September with 43 volunteers. For 2009 we ran a 13 week project with 42 volunteers, and in 2010 we sent 32 volunteers for another 13 week project. In 2011 we sent out 36 volunteers as well as carrying out a needs assessment to identify any other potential projects SKIP Glasgow could become part of in the future Last year SKIP Glasgow began to wind down operations at Chikondi and Mphatso, with the focus being on making each and every one of our interventions as sustainable as possible so that we can concentrate on setting up an entirely new project. In 2013 we started a pilot project at NAYO and sent out 15 volunteers and then in 2014 sent out nearly twice that number with 27 volunteers. This year we are deciding to sent out three teams of eight to NAYO but feedback from previous volunteers has showed that SKIP Glasgow would benefit from expanding the project even further and teaching at Bvumbe prison
We have had a number of different fundraising events throughout the last few years, including:
- Street collections
- Bag Packing in our local supermarkets
- Comedy Nights at local comedy clubs
- Club nights in conjunction with Medsin
- Bake sales
- Carol singing
- Race Nights
- Selling Krispy Kreme donuts to students around University
- An annual ceilidh
- Bar/ Pub quizzes
In 2013/2014 we received the chancellors fund from Glasgow University for £3500 for volunteer costs..In 2015 unfortunately we will not be able to qualify for this fund as we have claimed it for the last six years although we are still looking in to various charities and services.
All of our volunteers loved their time in Malawi with NAYO. Here are some quotes form our volunteers about their positive experiences:
- “getting to meet new people”
- “gaining appreciation of the life we have here”
- “it was a life-changing experience”
- “gaining confidence in teaching healthcare topics”
- “the people at NAYO cared so much and were so organised”
- “appreciation of how difficult life is for Malawians”
- “feeling that in the end we had made a difference and set up a sustainable project”
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