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Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!

by Abundance
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!
Build an eLearning Center in rural Malawi!

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:

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:

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)

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.

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

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

Thanks in advance!

Training at eLearning Center held on 13 April 2019
Training at eLearning Center held on 13 April 2019

I had a wonderful trip to Malawi between 1-15 April 2019 and went to Mbando village twice during this trip to see how our eLearning Center was doing. Here are some updates for you:

1. Update on laptops:

During the fundraiser, we had promised to supply five laptops. We have done that through purchasing used laptops in Malawi. Then we got a surprise! On 9 April, we got a donation of three more laptops! Carl Meyer of Shift IT accompanied us to the centre and made the donations, which he sourced from a private company called BlueZone. We now have a total of eight laptops for our centre! A big thank you to Carl! 

2. Update on Solar power:

We need your support here: We have gone over our budget for the Solar power. Our initial solar power system was inadequate for the power needs of the centre, however, we now have more laptops, and therefore we had to upgrade the solar system. The upgrade through the installation of two new solar panels was done on 8 April by PowerAid and cost us an additional MK646,575. We had used up most of the funds from this crowdfunding and hence paid Mk550,000 to PowerAid using other funds from Abundance (meant for overheads, not connected to this Global Giving funds) and requested some more time to pay the rest. We appeal to you to support us to meet this additional cost, which was not anticipated at the start of the project. 

3. Update on training:

On 13 April, we invited Kayetha Banda, an accredited trainer of Shift IT to train users of the eLearning Center.  It was heartening to note good participation from the community, who have now constituted an "eLearning Committee" and the Chairman of the Committee keeps the keys to the centre. The trainees vary from Standard 8 students to youth to middle-aged mothers to the elderly. I observed during the training, a Std.8 student was turning on the laptop, logging in with the password, opening the browser, typing the IP address to access the Rachel device, scrolling down to choose Ted Talks and played a Ted Talk video on human bones. He watched the video intently, and his peers joined too. I smiled broadly! This is exactly what we aimed for! This hunger for knowledge, this autonomy, this ability and skill for users to get the knowledge they want! And we thank YOU for supporting the village to achieve this! 

Clifford Mkanthama, the Strategic Advisor of Abundance joined us too for the training session. The Rachel has over 400GB of information including e-books. We now have eight volunteers who have agreed to translate books and documents from English to Chichewa for the centre. When we announced this at the training, the community responded with loud applause! We need more training at the centre and need your support for this. Kayetha Banda charges $50 per day for providing training. Our desire is for at least four training every month for a whole year. 

4. Chanco TV:

Chanco TV, a local television channel visited our centre on 9 April and interviewed the Head Teacher of the Secondary School where the eLearning Center is located, users of the centre, Carl Meyer our technical adviser, Stewart Paul Secretary of Abundance and myself. It was exciting to see Chanco TV journalists interview the users, one of whom was a young girl. She was asked how the centre helped her. She said that through the centre she accessed information regarding how to make soap and now plans to start soap-making as an income generation activity. The journalist then asked her what was the recipe for soapmaking. Without missing a beat, she went on to list all the ingredients and the method of soapmaking. Such practical knowledge gained from the eLearning centre will help improve lives, we believe. 

Enjoy some photographs from the solar power upgrade, training and visit by Chanco TV. As soon as we get a video recording of the TV coverage, we will share with you. Please consider supporting the centre with more funds to meet our unanticipated costs of upgrading the solar power and for conducting more training in the future. Thanks in advance!

Upgrade of the solar power with two new panels
Upgrade of the solar power with two new panels
New solar panels installed 8 April 2019
New solar panels installed 8 April 2019
Chanco TV interviews Headteacher
Chanco TV interviews Headteacher
Std. 8 pupils accessing learning materials
Std. 8 pupils accessing learning materials
Training at eLearning Center 13 April 2019
Training at eLearning Center 13 April 2019

In 2018, we raised $6,585 on GlobalGiving, this was due to your generous donations. $740 of this was driven by the GlobalGiving team through bonus prizes, matching money, corporate partnerships, gift card redemptions, and marketing efforts. We had a total of 68 donors from around the world. Your love and support as donors are what helps us continue our work. 

We started off 2019 fresh and enthusiastic, and was thrilled to hear from Global Giving that Abundance was given three recognitions: "Top Ranked Organization", "Vetted Organization" and "Effective Organization". These awards were based on ranking from our donors/supporters, our participation in the Global Giving campaign, sending reports on time and undertaking learning sessions online to become a more effective organization. 

The update regarding the eLearning center is as follows: 

1.  We have set up solar power at the eLearning Center

2. We supplied furniture to the eLearning center

3. We supplied the Rachel device to the Center 

4. We deployed 50 keepods to users and 100 more to be deployed this year. (We had initially promised 45 keepods, but thanks to the discounted rate, we were able to get 150 keepods)

5. We supplied three laptops to the center, two more to be supplied. The procurement for two laptops is planned for this coming week.

6. We undertok three training sessions with the users of the center in the village by a qualified trainer. Many more regular training sessions are planned for 2019.

7. We are planning maintenance of the solar equipment- These coming week engineers from Power-Aid, our solar power supplier would be undertaking maintenance of the solar power system. 

We will keep you posted of all the developments at the center through such reports and our facebook page. 

Hope you all heard the radio interview by Ruth and Brett about this project? It is on this link:

Thank you for your support and we hope your 2019 will be amazing. 

Warm regards, 



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Organization Information


Location: Machinga - Malawi
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Abundance_ww
Project Leader:
Ruth Mumba
Machinga, Malawi
$7,842 raised of $10,000 goal
88 donations
$2,158 to go
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