W. E. S. M. DONATES BIN

Wild Life and Environmental Society of Malawi (WESM) from Mulanje donated dust bin to FOMO Independent Secondary School on 27th May 2014. Memory Banda, Community Liason Officer, presented the bin to the principal on behalf of the crew of Wild Life and Environmental Society of Malawi as the leader of delegation.Bin 00

Receiving the bin, on behalf of FOMO Independent Secondary School, Mr. Ligomeka, the principal, thanked WESM for the gift. He said that the bin has come at the right time when the school is facing the problems in managing waste like sugarcane left overs since this is the season for sugarcane. Speaking during the presentation ceremony, Jessica Namadzunda, the monitoring and evaluation officer, said that the society has done this in order to promote waste management and reduce waste. She also said that FOMO is the only secondary school which has received the bin in Mulanje district. Other bins were given to health centres like Chambe, Kambenje and Namalowe CDSS in Phalombe district.. Other places were Chitakale and Lauderdale markets.

Bin 01The principal presenting dust bin to Evance Kanada– chairperson of Wild Life Club.

I would like to make a donation, how? Answer Click Here
 

Save the trees, catch the rain

 Water Harvesting: OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA few posts back we managed to install three 6,000 litre water tanks a FOMO Tambala, the final plan was to pipe the water into the building to the toilets and wash basins, also to have an outside tap that we could use to water in the vegetable garden. Well the FOMO Mulanje team has now completed the installation. Congratulations for a job well done.

DSCF6053aWe still retain the outside toilets, but the ability to wash one’s hands afterwards is a great step forward. The staff and children will still have a bit of a learning curve to go up to strike a balance between water usage and water collection, but time will tell over the next year.

There is enough rainfall averaged over the year to supply the centre, but 3 more tanks would help us with collection and security of supply throughout the year.

DSCF6039aWe also have 5 more centers and the Secondary School that would benefit greatly from installation of water collection tanks. It does make sense to install tanks and if we can add water solar heaters to the system, we can save a great deal on the scarce firewood.

Save the trees, catch the rain

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 Lives can be changed, but we do need YOU to help

That’s a great project, how can I Donate Here, Click Here

Even a small gift to help may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.

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Mulanje Wildlife Clubs Open Day

Wild Life Clubs of Malawi in Mulanje organized an open day on 8th March 2014 at Mulanje Park  where some of the activities included football, netball, egg- on– spoon race, three legged race, poems, drama and many others. FOMO Independent Secondary School was among four schools that attended the ceremony. The schools that attended were Mulanje Mission CDSS, Mulanje  Boma CDSS, Robert Private Secondary and FOMO Independent Secondary School. FOMO played with Robert in both football and netball. FOMO lost by one goal to nil in football and FISS  netball also lost 3 to 6 in favour of Robert and Mulanje Mission CDSS played with Mulanje Boma CDSS. Mulanje CDSS won by two goals to nil. In the finals, Robert played with Mulanje Boma and Mulanje Boma CDSS won the first position after beating Robert by two goals to zero. In netball, Robert Private won the first position after beating Mulanje Boma CDSS. FISS managed to grab second position in both three-legged race and egg-on-spoon race.

wildlife opendayaSpeaking on behalf of the staff of FOMO Independent Secondary School, Jimmy Makande thanked Wild Life Clubs of Malawi for organizing the open day. He said that this function would encourage members of Wild Life clubs in schools to work hard in order to conserve the environment.

Oscar Kanje, leader of delegation of the volunteers of Wild Life Clubs of Malawi, on behalf of the organizers thanked all the participants who took part in the function. Catherine and Timothy represented the prizes to the winning teams. FISS Football teamaThe first teams both football and netball  were given watering can, slasher and a hoe. Other teams got exercise books and pens for taking part in the function.

FOMO Independent Secondary School football team before the kick off with Robert Private Secondary School.

wildlife openday01aRobert Private netball team captain receiving prize for first position

 

 

 

wildlife openday02aGrivin Macheso, FISS student receiving prize for participating in the activities during the open day.

 

 

 

Lives can be changed, but we do need YOU to help

To Donate Click Here 

Even a small gift to help may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.Footer 

2014 AGM – Update

Tap the image to play the video, if it does not play change setting to HDON
 
The AGM held on the 7th March was an enjoyable night and we would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the evening. A special thanks to all the committee members and supporters, including the staff and volunteers in Mulanje, who have once again done a tremendous job over the last year to keep FOMO running and to expand our facilities in Mulanje.
Though there were bits and bobs of maintenance carried out in Mulanje, the major event was the opening on time, of the FOMO Independent Secondary School (FISS) which is a fantastic additional resource to increase the number of available secondary school places in Malawi. The commitment to education, health, food security and activities FOMO’s main focus, though we do a lot more, and your continued support over the next year will be vital to continuing FOMO’s programmes.
During the AGM thanks were given to the out going committee and a new committee was elected as follows:

  • Gillian Coxhead – Chair
  • Mary Woodworth – Finance
  • Keith Woodworth – Secretary
  • Audrey Toft – Minutes Secretary
  • Jean Smallwood – Member
  • Margaret Tipping – Member
  • Liz Henfield – New Member
  •  Neil Griffiths retained as co-opted Member
  •  Emma Whitlock as a new co-opted Member

 The challenges for 2014

  •  Essential Funding Items
    • Maintain Food, Health, Education & Activity Programmes
    • 400 Secondary School places (Fees)
  • Major Funding Items
    • School Girls Hostel Project (Additional Funding)
    • Replacement vehicles for FOMO Mulanje operation
    • Equipment of Laboratory in FOMO School
    • Send a Container
  • Funding Wish List
    •  Refurbishment of Tailoring School
    • 24 Seater School Bus
    • Additional School block with Lab and 3 classrooms
    • Extension of FOMO Gulumba Centre
    • Build a Maize Mill
    • Water Collection Project (5 Centres) (One completed 2013)
    • Build FOMO Centres at Chole, Sazola, Naluwadi, Chinyama

As tradition has grown over the years at the AGM, a video is shown of some of the activities and FOMO work carried out in the previous year. This video below, (26 minutes long) is also now available on DVD. If you wish a copy of the DVD for fund raising, for FOMO please contact us. 

Case Study

by Francis R. G. Ligomeka (Principal FOMO Independant Seconadry School)

LYDIA FUNALIFAMILY BACKGROUND: Lydia Funali was born on 17th May 1999 at Nsanjama village in Mkando area in the family of Mr. and Mrs. Funali. Lydia is the last born in the family of five children. She has three brothers and one sister. Her father was working as a primary teacher while her mother was a house wife. Her mother died when she was young that she cannot even remember her appearance. She declares that she has not seen her mother. Her father died a year later. Lydia was staying with her grandmother. Her grandmother also died in 2008. Then, Lydia is staying with her aunt, a sister to her father. Her elder sister and two brothers are staying in their mother’s house in Mkando taking care of them. Lydia and her younger brother, Eric are staying with their aunt at Bondo village, Mulanje.  Her aunt has seven children.  They have seven children in their family making a total of nine children together with Lydia and her brother. They are not employed but depend on subsistence farming.

 JOINING FOMO: Lydia joined FOMO in 2009 when she was 9 years old. She was in standard 4 at KabichiPrimary School by then. Due to financial status of Lydia’s aunt, she could not assist Lydia and her brother Eric together with her seven children, so she went to Chief Bondo and explained that she was supporting two orphans and seven children. Chief Bondo gave her a letter and took it to FOMO centre. Lydia and Eric were registered as FOMO beneficiaries. By then Eric was in standard seven, this time he is in form four at Kabichi CDSS. FOMO is assisting Lydia with school fees, clothes, shoes, food and school materials like exercise books, writing materials and uniform.

EFFECT OF FOMO: FOMO has changed the life of Lydia in different ways. It has changed her life educationally. FOMO encourages children to go to school. She likes education because of FOMO. At first, she had no clothes but this time, she has lots of clothes because of FOMO. She spends much of her time at FOMO centre. Without FOMO, Lydia said that she would have been involved in other immoral activities which would force her into early marriage. She could do this because of lack of financial assistance. Some of her age mates are mothers of fatherless children and others in families.

 FUTURE PLANS: Lydia wants to be a nurse. She wants to assist her fellow women and other people who will be in need of healthy assistance. She wishes to be a nurse because she likes science subjects like Physical Science, Biology and Mathematics. She also like other subjects like English, Business Studies and Agriculture.

 HER POINT OF VIEW: Lydia is very thankful to the directors and the entire management of FOMO for the assistance rendered to her. Without FOMO, she would not have gone far with her education. She said that she has benefited a lot from FOMO. She asks FOMO to render the same service to other people who are in need. Lydia promises to work with FOMO when she finishes her education

 PROBLEMS FACED: Lydia comes from Naluwade centre, Bondo village which is very far FOMOIndependentSecondary School. Because of that, she is at self boarding, renting the premises which are close to the school. Therefore she faces the problems of food and money for daily consumption. Her aunt is trying to assist her but her assistance is not enough due high cost of living.

Lives can be changed, but we do need YOU to help sponsor children like Lydia.

Donating to the hostel project will help Lydia and many other children that are finding it impossible to find safe and secure accomodation to attend school.

To Donate Click Here 

Even a small gift to help may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.

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Micro finance Women’s Support

 In 2013 FOMO embarked of a new micro finance support project. 

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The basic idea is to provide supported financial services to individuals within a MF05Group who have little or no other means of access to credit or other financial services. FOMO’s Micro finance targets women headed households in the rural areas of Malawi. More specifically Micro finance is the provision of small loans, to undertake business ventures.Read More Click Here

The first group of 100 women successfully paid back their individual loans well within the agreed time. The individual ventures mainly consist of buying and selling produce, personal and household items.

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Following the success of the first loans FOMO has now embarked on a rolling programme of small loans, increasing the amount loaned and increasing the number of participants to 120 or as funds allow. (More funds, more people)

 When individuals without capital are presented with the opportunity to borrow, they can start making personal choices that will potentially help to support their families , and taking advantage of FOMO’s micro finance loans can be a great start.

Even a small working loan can be enough to launch a small business in a Malawi that could help the benefactor pull themselves and their family out of poverty, improve their health and children’s education opportunities.

I wish to support this worthy enterprise to empower women in business. How ? Click Here. Even a small amount to the fund will make a difference.

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Water Harvesting, FOMO Tambala

Tambala Tanks 04Since the invention of the pot, water has been collected from the dripping cave walls, or the dwelling house.  The vessels may have changed and the introduction of the tin roof has made the water collection a little more efficient, but the capacity to store the collected water has always been limited to the size and numbers of the pots.

Water is at a premium in the rural areas, people have to walk long distances to wells and rivers. The provision of boreholes helps to bring clean water closer to the home, but still the task of collecting the water is time consuming and hard labour. Children mostly have the task of bringing back sufficient water for cooking and washing and traditionally the water is carried on their heads which may look sweet in the pictures, but can’t be good for their physical development and time lost from just being children.

Tambala Tanks 00Tambala like very many, is a small hamlet deep in the rural area with no access to electricity or mains water. FOMO a number of years ago installed a borehole and built a centre to serve both Tambala village and the surrounding area, but the need for more has always been at the back of our minds.

Tambala Tanks 03The surface area of the FOMO centre roof at Tambala is around 432 meter square ie the building is 36 meters (118 feet)  long and 12 meter (39.5 feet) wide, which we felt was large enough to collect sufficient water over the rainy season, (December to April) to allow it to be used during the dry season for vegetable production. Some rain does fall between May and November with October and November being the driest months.  

Tambala Tanks 01With the villagers limited means of collecting water, there is little or no water for the production of food during the dry season, It would be nice to provide everyone with a tank and guttering, but the cost really rules this out, but something can be done, and it was with great pleasure that the South Ribble Rotary Club had the vision and took on our proposal to fund a water harvesting project at the FOMO centre at Tambala village.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADue to the non standard overhang from the edge of the roof and the fascia board we had to make some modifications to the standard gutter brackets and with the enthusiastic help of the children at FOMO Kumwamba, we soon had a little production line going. The ground work was completed at Tambala and the three 6000 litre tanks installed. Due to the remoteness of the centre and the standard of the roads it was some days before the rains subsided long enough so we could go out and fit the guttering and pipe work. One thing about fitting the gutters in the pouring rain is that you know instantly that they are working, but we managed and within half an hour of connecting the down pipe into the tank, we already had a foot of water in the bottom.

Tambala Tanks 02This project will help to provide a daily supply of water and sufficient to grow vegetables in the dry season to help nourish the children, but this could not have been achieved without outside funding, we have six further buildings that are suitable for this project and if you would like to help, please contact me. Click Here

A further development of the water harvesting project is to add a solar heater; this would provide hot water for bathing and washing clothes etc and reduce the need for firewood.

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FOMO Under 14 Sports Bonanza

Untitled-1FOMO has for many years been running internal sports and activity bonanzas for many year, each of the 13 centres contributing to the football, netball, athletics, acrobatics, dance and singing, but this is the first year we have concentrated on the underfourteens and taking it to a bigger stage at Mulanje park.

The FOMO under 14 Bonanza held at Mulanje Park Sports ground signified what Malawi should be in future as the young girls and boys entertained the crowds that came to celebrate New Year in style with FOMO joined by members of Mulanje FA, Our Voice Our Future, Mulanje District Council, Police, in the company of chiefs from the surrounding villages. They made the Bonanza a great success. Watching the under 14 playing football and netball, the crowds were greatly inspired.

The bonanza was opened up to many new teams not connected directly to FOMO and allowed the event to truly represent the children of Mulanje.

Untitled-3The Principal of FOMO Independent Secondary School Mr. Francis Ligomeka speaking on behalf of the Director Mrs. Mary Woodworth assured the gathering that the Bonanza will continue with full participation of the communities.

The Under 14 Sports Bonanza brought people together regardless of their society or political affiliations. The occasion was the best for any peace loving Malawian would like to see more of such events for the youth in Malawi.

FOMO believes playing sports can give young people joy and desire to succeed in life but still urges young people to work hard at school and live in harmony.

Untitled-4FOMO has for the past many years since its opening changed and influenced living conditions of many orphans through sporting events. Sport gave young boys and girls motivation and opportunities to improve their life and health, while offering entertainment to many social groups in Mulanje.

FOMO WISHES TO THANK ALL WHO SUPPORTED THE UNDER 14 FOMO BONANZA IN MULANJE DISTRICT.

Untitled-6Director of FOMO, Mrs. Mary Woodworth popularly known as “Aunt Mary” together with her husband also popularly known as “Uncle Keith” shaking hands with the officials and players just be-fore kick off. FOMO has for the past many years since its opening changed living conditions of many orphans through its direct aid programme and sporting events. Sporting events have brought communities together while giving young boys and girls’ time to improve their education and well being. FOMO sponsored the Bonanza.

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Netball

  1. FOMO Sazola Sisters
  2. FOMO Sapitwa Sisters
  3. FOMO Kumwamba
  4. Njedza

 

FooballUntitled-5

  1. Super Eleven FC
  2. FOMO Mangani FC
  3. FOMO Kumwamba FC
  4. FOMO Kadewere FC

Container arrives in Malawi

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Last October  after collecting a shed full, (big shed) of various items to support the FOMO programme in Malawi, a spirited band of volunteers came together on a cool cloudy Friday morning to see how much we could pack into the 40ft container. A misspent youth playing Tetras, is a useful skill on such occasions, as we manoeuvred the numerous hospital beds, water tanks, boxes and bags of all shapes and sizes into the container.  Our job was done as we waved good bye to the container and surveyed what was left over, for next year’s container.

DSCF5448Late December, and the container makes land fall in Blantyre Malawi. With a bit of running about the container was cleared to come down to Mulanje. Transport was arranged and the storage in Mulanje had been previously cleared ready to take and sort the load. So all that was needed was to lift the container in Blantrye from the stack in the custom area and pop it onto a lorry so we could drive the 30 mile down to Mulanje. Now that sound simple, but the crane in the container port that moves the containers around, was not working as their generator/transformer was broken and so there was no electricity to the crane. Not to worry, and after waiting all day we had to standdown the driver of the truck and go back to Mulanje. Next day the electrical supply was still not working, (I can see a back log building up) the situation went on for almost a week, but finally the electricity was flowing again the container was loaded, but now its night time. We can’t unload the container in the dark as we have to wait for the MRA, (customs) people to observe the unloading. The nearest customs post to Mulanje is at the boarder about fifteen miles away. They don’t have any transport, so off we went early next morning to collect them, and finally the unloading started.

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Rotary_internationalWe had a number of large water tanks in the container which had been donated by South Ribble Rotary Club for a water collection project at FOMO Tambala Centre. The tanks are not heavy, but due to their size are a little awkward to handle and the plan was to slide the tanks from the container onto the back of the FOMO lorry, easy!.  Due to mechanical problems, (and if someone wants to help us out with funding for newer vehicles, Christmas will most definitely have come) the truck did not arrive until later, but you have to admire the teams ability to problem solve and though H & S may be shuddering in their steel capped boots, the three tanks were safely unloaded along with the hospital beds for Mulanje District Hospital and a multitude of things for the school, clinic and the children.

A job well done by everyone in the UK and Mulanje that made it possible to deliver the container safely to its destination i.e. the children.

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Voice of our future

Group Photo

LOGOJoe Mwandidya and Wise Chauluka accompanied by Jefferson Milanzie of Young Achievers for Development (YAD) and MIJ FM radio personality facilitated a youth empowerment debate that was warmly hosted at FOMO Independent Secondary School by FOMO’s Director Mrs Mary Woodworth.

The FOMO students and alumni were joined by students from Jacaranda Pvt. School in Blantyre. The participation was highly interactive, but more time and resources are needed to continue with the debates especially at a time when the country will be going to tripartite polls in May of 2014.

The guest of honour was Gabriel Hons-Olivier – Public Affairs Officer USA Embassy. With him was Mr. Limbani Chipembere. During the recorded debate Gabriel took sometime to interact with the youth who gathered for the occasion. Youth were reminded to take up responsibility to something about their future and that they should not always wait for someone to do anything for them. Getting started was very important. The youth were very enthusiastic and participated very well during the debate anchored by Rachel Mhango of MIJ FM.

The debate session which took place at FOMO centre in Mulanje was organized in order to engage the youth in determining their destiny. The young people came out very clearly to define what they could do differently if in public office. Among other things greed and self enrichment was seen as a cause for poor governance where interests of the people were ignored completely. Given the opportunity, OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE provides the best platform for young people to voice out their aspirations.

The Project “Our Voice, Our Future” aims to mobilize young people from all sectors of society across the country to assist them to get organized within youth associations / groups / cooperatives, assist them gain social, entrepreneurial and developmental skills. .

OUR VOICE, OUR FUTURE wish to thank the US Embassy in particular Mr. Gabriel and Mr. Limbani who joined the youth. Thanks go to FOMO Management and staff for the wonderful reception. coupled with renewed hope and optimism among a people. To the young people who came to the function we extend our sincere thanks for a job well done.

In the classroom

Gabriel took time to interact with the youth and encouraged them to be responsible and participate in development work. Without waiting for things to happen rather be part of the future they want to be.

Visitors bookMr. Gabriel took time to sign the visitors book at FOMO Independent Secondary School where the debate took place. Mrs Mary Woodworth (in the centre) witnessed the signing moment as she looked on flanked by Wise Chauluka. The experience was tremendous. This marked a memorable day to the school. Some prospects for the future were discussed and follow up actions will follow. The day was indeed great.

Helping does, has and will make a difference,

To Donate Click Here 

Your gift can save a child from a life of suffering, and open up a world of opportunities.

A small gift to help the children may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.

Mary & Keith Woodworth for FOMO……………………Aid Direct and Personal

www.fomo.co.uk………..with more, we can do more……….. Please pass on this email

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Connected ….. Teka’s Story

TekaThere is a phone advert on TV at the moment that tries to imply that we are all connected. I am married to my wife, my wife has met the president of Malawi who has met some of the world leaders like David Cameron, Barack Obama etc. Does this mean I am connected to David or Barack? Of course not. Do they know I exist, other than as a statistic? Of course not, but they have the power to change my life for good or ill.

I am linked to a little girl called Teka through a web of connections that have their origins in the distant past and individual decisions made along life’s way. To you at the moment she is just a little girl in the mass of humanity. The decision is yours to read her story and make a connection. What action or inaction you decide will affect her and maybe thousands of other children in similar circumstances.

The last image you see of Teka as a happy 12 year old will live forever, but she may have already slipped over the horizon and become just another statistic. The power to connect and make a change is in your hands.

Teka’s Story: Teka is now 12 and a survivor – thanks to FOMO.

TekaHer parents split up when she was very small and Teka lived with her dad. She was just five when he died. Rejected by her Mum, who had remarried, and by other relations, the future looked bleak for little Teka. Luckily her 9 year-old brother had the sense to ask FOMO for help. It was decided Tika should stay in the children’s house where a care assistant would protect and care for her. A happy Tika was soon top of her class at school.   One day she was involved in an accident on the way home from school, which left her battered and bruised. FOMO’s clinical staff visited her every day, but she lost some schooling and  it was decided she should board at the school to make up the lost time and avoid the perils of travelling .Again she bounced back and was soon at the top of her class once more.   Then in June this year FOMO had a call from the school to say she was very sick and had been like that for two weeks. FOMO immediately went to collect her and found she was so weak that she couldn’t even walk across the room. The FOMO ambulance was called and she was taken to Mulanje Mission  (a fee paying hospital) where she stayed for a couple of nights, Despite a diagnosis that she was just run down and would be better in a week, her condition didn’t improve. Again the FOMO ambulance was called. This time she was taken to Blantyre, and a hospital with a working X-ray machine. As our own clinician had suspected, Tika had TB. FOMO paid the bill and got medicine. Within a week (staying at the FOMO centre) she was up and about and looking a lot better, though still in some pain, 6 months later and she has completed the TB treament, Tika is now back to normal, and she is now back at school and doing well. But where should Tika live?   TekaEnter Sheila, who helped to care for Tika while she was ill and shared an obvious bond. A ‘FOMO child’ herself, Sheila  is now married with her own child, but her house was too small to take in an extra child. FOMO again stepped in and rented a house for Sheila. her family and Teka. Teka once again is doing well at school and has a family that she can settle down with. Now in her final year of primary school it is anticipated that she will pass to go on to Secondary school and with the right funding, will go even further.

 If FOMO hadn’t been there Teka would be begging on the streets.

Now she has a chance to be Teka.

 Helping does, has and will make a difference,

but we do need YOU to help sponsor children like Teka,

To Donate Click Here 

Your gift today can save a child from a life of suffering, and open up a world of opportunities.

Even a small gift to help the children may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.

Mary & Keith Woodworth for FOMO……………………….Aid Direct and Personal

www.fomo.co.uk………with more, we can do more………… Please pass on this emailTeka

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Jimmy’s journey through FOMO

by JIMMY MAKANDE

Family backgroundJimmy Makande was born in 1987 in Khoviwa village in one of the mountainous districts of Malawi, Mulanje. Jimmy is the third and last born in the family, now only he and one sister remain as another sister passed on before he was born. Since my parents were not good at keeping records it is very difficult for me to be exact on the date I was born, as such I chose 24th December to be my birthday for I consider it the day of hope. Both my father and mum were from the same district.

My father was a hard worker; he spent much of his time working as a Motor Vehicle Mechanic at one of the well known trading centers on the outskirts of our village and we all lived happily as a family. The death of my father in the early 1990s changed every aspect of my life; my family started living a miserable life as my mother could not afford to take care of us. Worse still, soon after my father’s death, his relatives grabbed everything leaving us desperate and helpless as we had nobody to turn to in times of trouble as he was the only bread winner.

Later on, my mother moved to Blantyre, one of the Malawi’s commercial cities where she secured a job before she died two years later. My mother’s death opened another chapter in my life; I was an orphan only five years of age who had to live with an old granny in the village. The most unfortunate part, I was left by my parents when I had not yet started primary school.

Things were not easy for me including my Sister. Thanks to my tender age, sometimes I could not understand what was really happening. However as I grew up I noticed that things were not the same. Coupled with old age of my grandmother, we really experience hard times. Sleeping on empty stomachs and spending nights on the floor without blankets to cover ourselves in cruel cold months in a dilapidated house. Usually, we dressed in torn and oversized clothes most of them given by well wishers. None of my father’s relatives paid attention to the miserable situation I and my sister were going through; instead they were busy enjoying whatever my father left.

In all the situations we went through, Life was really miserable and un bearable but we endured as my grandmother was there for us providing comfort and I remember her words and I quote “ my son, do not worry so much, there is a light at the end of tunnel and God will take care of us”

Education background – Despite all the challenges I was going through, my grandmother, though not educated sent me to school. I started my primary education at the age of seven at one of the nearby primary school in our village, Chisitu Primary School.

My life at school was still remained a misery. The situation was still unbearable. Pressure mounted on our grandmother to provide us with the required necessities but still her old age posed a challenge. She repeatedly reminded us that education is a key to success. Sometimes she could narrate to us stories of successful people who had gone through tough times.

In return, such speeches would give us courage and forced us to go and fetch fire wood in Mulanje Mountain which we could sell to purchase soap and note books, sometimes I would wake up earlier to do pieces in the field before I went go to school, so we could get some necessities. Despite the challenges I faced regarding my education I was among the hard working students. I passed the Primary School Leaving Certificate Examinations and got selected to Mulanje Secondary School  and I was a happy person with hope that my selection to boarding secondary school would bring new dimension to my life.

My Entry at FOMO – The celebration to my   selection into Secondary school was thwarted by my grandmother’s open declaration that she could not manage to pay for my fees. I tried to consult my relatives whom I felt could be assisting paying for my school fees but to no avail. Weeks and days passed without reporting for school until the grace period erupted. It was really a painful moment as no one showed any interest in my condition. With time I thought of taking up piece work where I managed to raise MK1, 000.00 and part of my fees. To minimize my problems, the Headmaster responded to my proposal to start operating from home.

One day I approached one of my teachers to who was shocked with my situation. He then referred the matter to our Head teacher who was already aware of my situation and the two introduced me to a vibrant and well known charity organization in Mulanje. Dressing in his usual grey colored suit the Head master broke the silence, “we have finally defeated the devil…from now on wards you will never operate from your home because we have finally secured a scholarship for you”. This was how I was found in the hands of Friends of Mulanje Orphans (FOMO), a vibrant and respected charity organization in Mulanje.

When I brought the news to my grandmother, she was so astonished for God had finally answered our prayers, meaning that FOMO had finally taken over her responsibility of me. I promised hard working to show my appreciation for the golden chance God had given me to attend education. Although I limited time to attend classes before I was called on campus, I worked hard and scored position one in end of term one exams.

One of my happiest moments came in when I was given a chance to have an audience with my Benefactor, Mary Woodworth, Founder and Director of FOMO. She encouraged me to work extra harder and assured me of more help as I continued to do better in my education.

Life at FOMO – Since I joined FOMO in 2004, my life has changed completely. The organization provided me with school fees. FOMO also provided me with material support and others as required by the school. More importantly when I was in Form one, I was even offered an opportunity to attend computer lessons. In 2007, I was among the best performing students in Malawi School Certificate of Education at Mulanje Secondary school and qualified for the University Entrance Examinations.

While waiting for the next UEE I attended the Primary School teaching course at Blantyre Teachers College with assistance from FOMO. In 2009, when I was about to finish my course in Primary Teaching, I realized my dream when I was considered to pursue a Bachelor of Science Water Resources Management at one of the public Universities in Malawi, Mzuzu University of which am certain of finishing this December, 2013.

Acknowledgements – Considering the fact that it has been a long journey at FOMO, I have find it necessary to thank the following people for all the support they have rendered to me throughout the hard times I have been going through. I therefore would like to sincerely thank Aunt Mary Woodworth and Uncle Keith Woodworth for giving me an opportunity to attend education and the effort they have played to bring a difference to my life. It was beyond my imagination how my future could have been had it not been for your assistance but with your incredible support and encouragement I am determined to make a good future.

I will always cherish your love and care for you have been there for me in all the hurdles I was experiencing and I attribute all success I made to your encouragement and support. To me and my colleagues at FOMO, you are really parents of Golden Heart, who show love and give hope to the hopeless. Since the time you held my hand I have never felt as an orphan. It is because of this reason that I ask God to give you long life and bless you abundantly.

Personal Experiences at FOMO –  Since I joined FOMO in 2004, I have been exposed to different opportunities based on potentials I showed. Despite paying for my school fees, FOMO had given me opportunities to orientate myself in different careers which among others are teaching in Nursery school, Stores management, Project Management and Education Officer. More importantly, both my time and my involvement in various activities at FOMO offered me an opportunity to work and interact with people of all calibres such as Lawyers, Politicians and Journalists.

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First Left – Experiencing one of my golden times at FOMO: Meeting the state President of the Republic of Malawi, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre.

 My Future Plans – As a person who has greatly benefited from FOMO, it is my wish to dedicate my services to FOMO so that I should be part of the system to assist the organization achieve its objectives. I am always proud to be part of FOMO and always glad to see FOMO sustaining its operations. It is also my wish to proceed with education to increase my understanding on some of the areas which are crucial but better for my society including FOMO.

 My plea to the Donors and Well-wishers. – I would like to earnestly thank all the donors and well-wishers who have always worked tirelessly to assist Aunt Mary and Uncle Keith in improving the lives of orphans of Mulanje. Your help has really brought a difference to the lives of many orphans in Mulanje. It has been observed that Malawi being one of the poorest sub-Saharan African countries, it is hard for vulnerable children such as orphans to meet their basic needs. Your help is really benefiting us and is my heartfelt hope that you will continue contributing towards improving the lives of orphans in Mulanje in the name of FOMO

Words to My Fellow Beneficiaries – It is a golden chance to get assistance from well wishers. Remember, it is not all orphans in Malawi who have the chance of being assisted. We should consider ourselves lucky to get assistance from FOMO as such we need not to take this chance for granted, let’s utilize this to the fullest so that we should build our future. Let’s support FOMO’s effort by assisting it in achieving its objectives.

Inter Care Deliver

DSCF4731Since 1974 Inter Care have recycled quality medicines and following requests have securely sent them to rural Africa.

Inter Care are a unique charity that recycles GP patient returned medicines which would otherwise be sent to landfill or incineration.

FOMO’s registered clinic, the children and local population in Mulanje, Malawi have benefited from Inter Care’s Medicine to Africa programme with several deliveries of medicine a year over a number of years. Inter Care have also responded to specific needs in times of crisis with special deliveries of life saving medicines.

This programme is highly controlled and ensures that medicines only go to registered medically trained staff. It is a unique way to recycle the vast amount of medicines that would normally be destroyed. If you are a GP or Pharmacist who would like to help, then please Click Here for more information.

 Saving lives and remember FOMO treats the children, over 5000 free of charge.

DSCF4738As with any health care programme, the need for medicine and services is vital for growing children and the community. Inter Care’s contribution is invaluable, but they can’t cover all the children’s medical situations, we still need to maintain the infrastructure, buy drugs to meet some of the conditions local to the area, Malaria, Bilharzia etc. If you can help our MedicalCare programme, you will be saving lives. Click Here

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Football Kit

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Football plays a significant part in the lives of Malawians and the children of FOMO are no exception. Whether it is watching, playing or following their favourite UK league teams on the couple of tiny televisions available to them in Mulanje, they do so with a passion equal to that of actually being there.

Our teams have won a number of cups over the years, including the presidential and Mulanje league cups. Playing on grounds in summer that resemble hard rough uneven sand paper and in the rainy season resemble a slimy, potholed, puddle ridden quagmire. Our kit, players and especially the boots take a bit of a pounding, so it was with great pleasure that Kit Aid were able to provide us with some shirts and tops to go into this years container.

JonesAround FOMO 13 centres both the younger older children have benefited from contributions from Kit aid, Tarleton FC, Lancashire FA, personal donations of kit and boots and from their idols Liverpool FC over the years. We always need more, conditions are very tough on balls and boots, but we also need kit including pads, socks etc. if you can help in any way please contact us. Video Click Here

I must put in a plea for the girls as they are just as passionate about netball as the boys are about football and their kit comes under the same harsh playing conditions as the football. Balls, trainers, bibs, kit etc are always welcome.

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FOMO Football

FOMO Football Great Liverpool supporters

We won the Cup
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Sion School World Challenge

World ChallengeThe team’s project was based at an orphan centre in the Mulanje region of Southern Malawi.  The Tambala Centre, which was the team’s home for the next week, was run by FOMO (Friends Of Mulanje Orphans), a UK based charity.  Tambala is a large orphan centre, which provided the facilities for 400 orphans to attend, meet and play with one another.  It also provided some basic teaching and each day Auntie Hannah and her helpers provided a basic meal, cooked on an open fire, for all the children.

Malawi-Zambia-66aUpon arrival, the team received an amazing welcome, which included introductory speeches, singing, dancing and gymnastics.  The number of children at the centre was quite overwhelming and the afternoon was spent making new friends, playing and taking vast numbers of photos followed immediately by having to show the results to a mass of children wishing to see themselves on a small LCD screen!

Malawi-Zambia-140aMalawi-Zambia-74aWhilst at the Tambala Centre, the team undertook the renovation and decoration of the interior and exterior of the main building.  During the 6 days, the team made excellent progress inside the centre and finished the redecoration of the main hall, two additional rooms, a hallway and two bathrooms.  Outside, the team also completed the front of the building, one sidewall, the large covered walkway and the paintwork on the window frames and wrought iron door grills.  The team had hoped to complete the remainder of the exterior but a large bees’ nest in the roof, at one end of the building, prevented this, although the budget was sufficient to pay for the nest to be removed.  The team also paid for curtain poles and new curtains in many of the rooms, which were made at the FOMO textiles department.

Malawi-Zambia-81aEach afternoon, following a long day’s work, the team relaxed and played a variety of games with the orphans.  Unfortunately, the Sion international football team was convincingly beaten (some would say thrashed) by the better organised, more skilful and significantly faster local team, most of whom were playing bare footed.  However, honour was redeemed by two convincing victories at netball, although I’m not positive that all of our play was strictly within the rules.

Overall, it was a privilege to have the opportunity to work at the Tambala orphan centre..  The children at the centre were an inspiration and although they had very little in the way of personal possessions they were always smiling and happy. The FOMO organisation does wonderful work and I look forward to Sion School supporting them further in the future.

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http://www.sionschool.org.uk/World_Challenge_2013

Lives can be changed, but we do need YOU to help

To Donate Click Here 

Even a small gift to help may seem too little, but to them it’s means everything.Footer 

School Update Exam Day

DSCF4486 TeachersAs the school edges towards its new beginning, it was a land mark moment this week to welcome aboard the teaching staff, which will help to mould school and students over the coming years.

The FOMO staff have been busy finishing off various aspects of facilities and procedures. One element not to be overlooked is the enrolment of the students, this process start yesterday with an entrance exam. We were a little unsure how many would attend the exam session, but were delighted that over 200 potential students turned up on the day. Sadly we can only take 100 students this year, therefore many will be very disappointed, but we do have plans if ESCOM finally connect the electric to run an afternoon/ night school, though not ideal there is hope.

DSCF4470There is a great desire for education in Malawi, but sadly not many places in secondary school. This may be a small beginning, but with your help on this project we will make a big difference to the children in Mulanje. We do have many plans to expand the school and give more children a chance and with your continued support we will reach our goal one day.

DSCF4502 school sign Note we now have a painted sign, (Little by Little)

FOOD FOOD

MaizeThe cost of food has risen considerably over the last few months and with so many children to feed, (5000) we have had to dig deep into our shallow pockets for the latest delivery of Malawi food staples, maize and beans. As we buy treated foods in bulk, 20 tonne at a time we are limited to a few suppliers in Malawi. Those who have been following the FOMO story for some years, know that we also have vegetable gardens at the centres which help to supplement our food supply. FOMO Chole Microfinance Project ladies have also risen to the challenge by supplying pigeon peas and made a little profit in the process. Food prices are rising on a quarterly basis and we appreciate continued support with this vital service.

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