Dear Friends of BeeHive School,
BeeHive School has really been blessed with generosity this holiday season. There has been such an incredible outpouring of kindness - it has been a snowball of love and support. It is truly humbling. Thank you everyone! At this rate, we'll have the final of the three buildings completed in no time.
A special thank you goes out to long-time BeeHive volunteer Katy Harrison for her fundraising support this holiday season. Katy was the magic behind the school photodocumentary showing the construction progress of the classrooms at Beehive School (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ku0epqdiGCQ&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL)
Katy is also leading a very successful fundraising effort through Global Giving’s “gifts for good” campaign where people who donate more than $75 through the online Global Giving site receive a gift - a beautiful handmade necklace. Katy found the necklaces on www.etsy.com, a website that is “a community of artists, creators, collectors, thinkers and doers” where people can sell things that they make. The necklaces are gorgeous and very high quality - each made with unique African stones and beads. This endeavour has been very successful and has raised $950 USD (142,500 kwacha) for BeeHive School, and there are three necklaces left.
The story behind the necklaces is quite special. The US artist, Casey Hunt, started making necklaces to sell through her Etsy store as a way to raise money for micro-credit loans for people in Africa. BeeHive volunteers Katy and Eva purchased 10 necklaces for the gifts for good campaign and Casey used that money to provide a Kiva loan to fund a group of women in Uganda that own a shoe store business - you can read all about it on her blog. Katy and Eva also paid for the postage to send to the donors, so that way every donation given for a necklace goes directly to BeeHive School. Casey’s connection to Africa runs very deep, as she and her husband adopted a son from Ethiopia. You can read more about their journey here.
The ESC Foundation, a family foundation based in Germany, recently discovered BeeHive School and approached us with some very probing and detailed questions, which we were delighted to delve into. After a thorough vetting of BeeHive’s mission and the intended use of the funds, the ESC Foundation donated €2000 ($2600 USD or 430,000 kwacha), which will be used to complete the third and final building. Please join me in a “Ich bin Ihnen sehr dankbar” (I'm very grateful/thankful to you) to the ESC Foundation!!
Ryton Methodist Church, in Gateshead, England raised £738 ($1500 USD or 188,300 kwacha). Special thanks to Judith Stoddart, along with David Stoddart, Amanda and David Baker, Reen Dunlop and others. Judith writes “It was a pleasure. We love Chimzi dearly and would love her to come back after Christmas, so when we found out about your school building project it made sense for us to try and help out as much as we could. We have been given another £105 this morning and maybe more to come!”
A very special thanks goes out to school teacher Debbie Watts who is a primary school teacher in the US' Department of Defense and is currently based in the UK. In the UK, it’s customary for students and their parents to give a Christmas gift to their teacher, but this year, Debbie decided that what she wanted more than anything else was support for Beehive School.
“The group of children I teach every day--your children--make my job so rewarding. I get to do useful work that I enjoy with people I like. I feel so lucky.
I know how generous these children, and you, their parents, are. I know many of my students this year plan to bring me a little something special to show their appreciation. Every year I receive lovely, thoughtful Christmas presents. And I am so thankful for the gesture and the gifts.
But I look around my schoolroom and my home--it’s filled with so many wonderful things. As Americans, we are blessed to have too much abundance in our lives. I truly cannot think of another thing I need or want. The gifts that would mean the most this year are gifts for others.”
Her generosity is amazing and BeeHive has received many donations from the staff and parents at her school.
People all over the world are reaching out to help BeeHive and this support doesn’t just come in the form of financial donations. Architect Rowan Haysom donated his talent, time, and expertise to design the BeeHive School buildings. From his website:
"The design for a new primary school in Mzuzu, Malawi. The construction is based on locally available materials and appropriate technologies. These include natural passive heating and cooling devices, sun dried bricks, load bearing masonry construction, etc. The plan demarcates layers of transition from the public to the private realm, with the hall and library open to the public past the control of the admin hub. The classrooms are beyond a further transitional layer, placed in a cloistered arrangement. The external spaces are as important as the internal rooms, and together create an intimate, protected and safe learning environment." http://www.haysomwardmiller.co.uk/page1/page7/page32/page32.html
Niall, the staff and students of BeeHive are overwhelmed with the generosity of all these kind people around the world. For anyone still trying to decide where to invest their hard earned dollar this year - please consider BeeHive School. With a little more help we’ll have the buildings completed by the end of 2012 - making it possible for over twice the number of students to attend school in safe structures (As many of you recall - the old school buildings were at maximum capacity and BeeHive was forced to turn away students. The old structures themselves were also structurally unsafe).
Thank You Everyone! And a very Happy Holidays from everyone here at BeeHive School.
Eva Markiewicz and Katy Harrison
Beehive School Volunteers
p.s. Have you seen the latest photos of the school garden! The students collect rain water to cultivate their plots.