Dear Joshua Supporters
As we close up for the year, we are reflecting on the challenges and many successes Joshua in Malawi has had through 2016. Please take a few minutes to read on...
Our work is needed more than ever as the country moves from a food insecurity status of 'crisis' to 'emergency', which is just one official step from famine. The hungry season started early this year as two successive years of flooding, drought and unusual weather patterns have left most Malawians struggling to meet their household food supplies. In response, we will again be stepping up the Joshua feeding programmes that supply nutritious porridge to vulnerable children under-six and the monthly social meals to elderly carers. Our focus in 2017 will be:
To raise the standard of education in our childrens centres, through caregiver and staff training and investment in a range of learning resources using locally available and low cost materials.
Increase sustainability across all our programmes, with continued investment in village savings and loans schemes and introduction of GoGo Gardens, utilising spare land around the centres to grow medicinal herbs, vegetable and fruits to supplement nutrition
Keeping girls in school through increased mentoring and a focus on menstrual hygiene management
2016 has seen many staff changes at Joshua HQ in Malawi. We said fond farewells back in March to Chimwemwe and more recently to Lewis and Lusungu. We have since welcomed Robert as our new Finance Manager, and Gem has stepped up as Country Manager. We are currently appointing a new Programmes Manager and will start 2017 with new energy for our work.
A special thanks goes out to all the volunteers who visited Joshua in 2016 – you know who you are and just how great the impact of your efforts has been.
We would like to thank everyone for their generous support throughout the year. We are very grateful to you all and wish you every happiness and joy at Christmas and a successful year in 2017.
Training for Caregivers
Six of Joshua's volunteer caregivers completed a two-week residential course in Early Childhood Development in Blantyre as part of our plan to strengthen education across Joshua community childcare centres.
The course included lots of practical training on making toys and educational resources using locally available and low cost materials, including stitched dolls, soft balls, name registers using maize sacks and home-made glue from cassava cuttings! In addition, they learned how to jazz up Likuni Phala with seasonal vegetables to add nutritional value and variety to the children’s diet, including green vegetable phala, potato phala and cassava phala. They even learned to make soy milk from soy beans! We are so excited to have them head back to their respective rural centres to share this knowledge and inspiration with their fellow caregivers.