Aug 19, 2019

Celebrating Volunteerism

Today, we want to honour Volunteerism, which is the spirit that has built Abundance. 

“The broadest, and maybe the most meaningful definition of volunteering: Doing more than you have to because you want to, in a cause you consider good. ” – Ivan Scheier.

Our Director Ruth Mumba has been passionate about volunteering and giving back to society ever since she was 17 years old. Ruth Mumba was recently interviewed by The Nation newspaper in Malawi, where she opens up about her volunteering journey with Abundance.

Read it here: https://mwnation.com/ruth-mumba-helping-mbando-village-with-health-and-technology/%20Stewart

Our Secretary, Stewart Paul has been volunteering for many years and the journey has given him many positive opportunities. Stewart Paul was interviewed by Chanco TV as part of Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA) network's visit to Mbando. Through the network, he is going to the University of Glasgow to pursue his Masters degree. He talks about the connection between Abundance and the SFA network and how Mbando village is looking at issues of integrated development. The TV documentary is in Chichewa, but has subtitles in English. 

View it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCiFDp_rDBw&t=172s&fbclid=IwAR0H3HbsxBJJq99NgoLsghWe2YSDvN9RAZteqIU2SgH1VE2sw5S62je7JFA

Entire team members at Abundance work voluntarily. We believe in giving back. Both media articles above give information related to the eLearning Centre, which YOU helped build at Mbando village. 

We will be receiving the remaining funds from GlobalGiving by 25th August and hope to have an event including training session at the eLearning Centre in early September. We have timed this in such a manner that Julie Charmetant, a volunteer from France can join in the event. We salute Julie's spirit of volunteerism, where she is travelling alone for the first time, travelling to Africa for the first time and also volunteering at an organization like ours for the first time!

We will be updating you with all the news in the coming weeks. Please continue your support as we bring the eLearning Centre to completion and full usage capacity. 

Lots of love, and may Volunteerism thrive!

Deepa Pullanikkatil (Co-Founder, Abundance)

Jul 24, 2019

Updates on Bonus Day and Translation

Here is a quick update for you regarding our eLearning Centre. 

Bonus Day

Global Giving was giving us an opportunity to campaign for fundraising, with the chance of getting our funds matched on 18 July 2019. We decided to participate in this Bonus day as we wanted to carry on fundraising to reach our final target of $10,000.

On Bonus Day, we got a generous donation from Vivartana Ventures, who shared part of their income from holding a "Crank-out" in Doha, Qatar. The "Crank-out" is a one day workshop using a unique transformational learning model for ideas and business models to develop start-ups. Vivartana was created by our Co-Founder Cyril Anand and those part of Vivartana have been Abundance's loyal supporters over the years. On Bonus day, we also received two more donations from supporters of Abundance in the UK and Singapore. Donations were matched by Global giving with us receiving $500 in matching funding. 

Thanks to all your support, we have raised $7,801 of our target of $10,000. As you know, all equipment have been purchased for the eLearning centre, including solar panels and power system, five laptops,150 keepods and refurbishment of eLearning centre room was done and it was furnished with tables, shelf, mural of donors and stools.  In addition, we had received the Rachel device and three laptops (making a total of 8 laptops now) as a donation. Three training sessions were held so far. The additional funds raised on Bonus Day will help us deploy all keepods, continue the training and allow for maintenance of equipment in future. 

Translation of learning resources

Users at the eLearning Centre had requested us to translate the learning resources into Chichewa. We put that request out as a facebook post, calling for volunteers and within minutes we had eight volunteers. We then formed an email group with the technical advisors Shift IT and the University of Massachusetts and introduced the Kolibri content to the volunteers. To start off, the volunteers are now busy translating eight children's books into Chichewa and hope to continue translations of more books and resources. The translated versions will be uploaded on to the server and at our future training sessions, they will be shared with users. We want to thank our translation volunteers and particularly, the University of Massachusetts and Shift IT for supporting us with technical knowledge on this.  

We promise to continue updating you on progress with the eLearning Centre YOU helped build at Mbando village. 

With gratitude

Deepa Pullanikkatil on behalf of The Abundance Team.

May 29, 2019

Sharing two videos on the eLearning Centre

As promised, we are happy to share the documentary (22min) produced by Chanco TV about our eLearning Centre. A number of people were interviewed in this documentary including

  • Carl Meyer, our technology advisor who introduced us to Rachel and Keepod technologies
  • Hamela, the Headteacher of Chilimba Secondary School where the eLearning Centre is hosted
  • Four users of the eLearning Centre who explained how the learning resources were helping them. 

Here's the link to: ChancoTV Documentary on eLearning Centre

At the risk of appearing immodest, I want to share a draft video of my trip to Malawi, which was produced by Sustainable Futures in Africa (SFA). It is a short 4.5min video (and has not been published by SFA yet, as it will be edited further). Some of you may know, Abundance is a founding member of SFA network an interdisciplinary international network with members in UK, Nigeria, Uganda, Botswana and Malawi. The reason I'm sharing this video is that it has a small snippet of our visit to Mbando village. Also, I thought you will enjoy the views in the video of the landscape of Malawi, dancing and singing of women from Mbando village, the background music of Jaco Jana and most importantly, some images inside our eLearning Centre including the shot of the mural with all donors names on it. 

Here's the link: SFA Short video featuring visit to Mbando village

Happy viewing! 

Donate to help us continue our work:

With your generous donations, we were able to set up this eLearning Centre at Mbando village. However, it is one thing to set up the centre, another to ensure its sustainability and making sure it continues to help users in future. We need more funds for holding regular training at the centre and for maintenance (for example replacement of battery every two years etc.). We estimate that we need $3,450 more to carry on our work comfortably and keep a fund in the bank for maintenance activities for the future. 

Please share our Global Giving fundraiser widely https://www.globalgiving.org/projects/rural-offgrid-it-center-for-malawian-youth/

If you can spare any funds and donate, they are most welcome! Every penny counts.

Thanks in advance!

 
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