Shine UK and New Zealand trip 2017
What can we say but WOW!
Two weeks in Malawi with beautiful, friendly, joyful and creative people – working together to see Gods glory revealed in so many different ways.
Shine Village Early Years team – such a blessing to us! We were able to bless them with an incredible amount of resources and the amazing, Janine, who smiled the whole day- every day has well and truly left her mark. Wonderful training and encouragement!
Shine Assembly Church filled with children and young people, all singing and dancing, overawed us! During the service, we were incredibly blessed to hear Pastor Dawn, from Connect Church in Timaru, speak about the story of Ruth, following a wonderful message on God’s grace and blessing, from Pastor Lino – what a team preaching Gods word!
Shine Village Children’s Home Grand Opening, with church leaders from the community and Village heads, followed the service with speech making and cutting the official red ribbon led by Group Village Headwoman Kumbarani. The District Commissioner thanked Shine Relief’s supporters, in particular, both the Beit Trust and Saga Trust, whose plaques had been placed above the entrance to the home. A tour around the home revealed the newly installed LED lighting donated by UKLED Lighting and an outdoor area to the rear which has been built to accommodate the two new showers, flushing toilets, and basins- something which the people living in the village of Chilambe are not used to seeing! Water flowing into the home, supplied through our bore hole and pumped by our a solar water pump, was donated by Paul Fenwicks family from Hull.
With visits to hospitals, schools, churches, the CBO nursery groups which Shine supports and other local groups working with children – such as Sparkle Malawi and Stephano’s Foundation – we met so many wonderful people and learned so much! Time at Shine Village with the Early Years and After-schools groups was very encouraging as we gave out resources to improve the education of children across our region and listened to stories of those whom we support.
Time spent at Foundation for Farming & the Maluwa Project ( fruit jams, juice, and Moringa sampling), at Mebezza to see the Stove Project, and later visits to milling projects across the region gave us great insight into the next planned phase being developed at Shine land.
The highlight of the trip – Shine Zomba Mountain Walk!
As part of our “Shine a light campaign” this year, the walk aimed to raise funds to support the growing work at Shine Village. It was the 2nd event, this time walking to the top of Zomba Mountain with staff and children from two primary schools aged between 8-12, joined by the New Zealand team and Chilambe Chief too!
The day was a great success. Some of the children walked over 5KM to be picked up by the minibus from Shine Village early in the morning; it was a very special day for them they didn’t want to miss out. It was a great opportunity for the team to chat with the children, some of whom we have cared for, for over seven years.
The children really enjoyed time chatting with their friends, singing and skipping. As we walked together through the higher paths we entered into a clearing made by teams of wood cutters. The sound of saws echoed for miles around. The site being cleared was filled with young families preparing the wood for sale. We watched in amazement as young girls raised their heavy bundles onto their heads and proceeded to walk down the steep mountain road keeping the load perfectly balanced. It transpired that this work helped them to pay their school fees and some were as young as 12 years. Our efforts to walk Zomba Mountain truly paled into insignificance after talking to these children living in the region. Barefooted and probably with little sustenance, the task was grueling and yet it is obviously an important way for these families to earn a living.
Pure Renewables in Hull kindly sponsored the event, providing funds for the t-shirts which each child took home with them. The Chief wore his t-shirt to the Children’s home opening ceremony!
Back in the UK and NZ our volunteer teams are now eager to develop new ways to help sustain the work of Shine Relief Trust. Having spent their annual leave in Malawi and now back to work in diverse areas; from church leadership and ministry, Early Years and student tutoring, farming and student life, time quickly passes by, so please do pray as we work together with supporters and trustees to bring about the next stages needed. If you are interested in the plans to develop the work in Malawi and have some time to give in New Zealand or in the UK please do get in touch -we are always on the look out for fundraisers!
Many thanks to all who purchased mats from our ladies who worked so hard to get them all finished in time. We hope you like them!
Finally, we must say an enormous thank you to all who ventured out this year to Malawi and who gave so much, in many ways, to the project. Dawn and Ben did a wonderful job helping Janine and Andrew to settle into life in Malawi! Items carried from donors both in UK and NZ were so gratefully received and will continue to impact many peoples lives. The children at Shine Village are so happy knowing they are thought about by people living so far away and they do appreciate each pencil, balloon, and pair of socks!