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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!
Francis, our trainer for the eLearning Center
Francis, our trainer for the eLearning Center

Dear Supporters,

Hope you are all well and safe during this time. It is not easy to lead an organization during these difficult times of COVID-19. We had slowed down our field activities particularly the trainings at eLearning center. 

Perhaps you may have followed on the news that Malawi did not carryout a lockdown and there are 620 confirmed cases and 8 deaths in the country, with 91 recovered cases as of today. At Mbando village, there was one confirmed case of  COVID of a young man who returned from South Africa. He was quarantined at home for two weeks and is now fine. The District Health Office visited Mbando village to brief the community about taking precautions. Another sad news was the demise of the wife of our late Chief Mbando. We pray for strength for the Chief's family, who are now left with three daughters and five sons; two of the sons are in South Africa, while the rest are in Malawi. 

These are difficult times, however, we have realised that it is now time to continue our projects with precautions, as we navigate this new way of working under COVID-19.We had been in discussions with our technology partner ShiftIT and as advised by them, we hope to restart trainings at the eLearning center soon with safe distancing. Carl of ShiftIT suggests training the teachers of the secondary and primary schools, so that they can carry out the trainings to the children, rather than having an external trainer going to the village regularly. This could be a good option to reduce travelling by outsiders to the village and also sustainable in the long run. 

ShiftIT has identified a trainer -Francis (photo attached), who works as a Physics and Computer Studies teacher under the Ministry of Education. He is currently stationed at St.Michael's Girls Secondary School in Mangochi. We are in discussions with the eLearning commitee to plan a date for Francis to come to Mbando village and train the teachers. Schools are likely to open next week, so this is an opportune time to start trainings. We will use part of the elearning budget to buy soap for handwashing during the trainings. Wish us well as we try to continue our work in the times of COVID-19, and as always very many thanks for supporting us. 

Stay safe! Stay well!

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Hope you are all safe at this time of global pandemic. Last week Government of Malawi declared a state of emergency, which means all schools are closed, travel is restricted and all large gatherings of over 100 people are banned. Although thankfully, Malawi does not have any confirmed case of COVID-19, precautions are advised including social distancing and washing of hands.

In line with this and as advised by our technology partner ShiftIT, we have suspended eLearning centre training and so users can only access the RACHEL server at their centre offline and with their own personal device and not share and touch shared devices. As a result, trainers who would have to travel from Blantyre to get to Mbando village will not be coming to provide training until the situation improves. We are trying to avoid all unnecessary travels which may put Mbando village at risk through contacts with persons from outside the village. 

Thank you for your continued support and let us hope the situation improves and we can restart training soon. Keep well and most importantly, wash your hands regularly. Sending lots of good wishes your way. 

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2020 started off on a positive note for Abundance and we are excited for the future!

The eLearning project campaign on GlobalGiving raised $2,045 in 2019, of which $514 was raised by the GlobalGiving team through bonus prizes, matching money, corporate partnerships, gift card redemptions, and/or marketing efforts. Eight donors donated during this year, one of them very generously giving Euros171 close to new year's eve! We have been awarded "Top Ranked organization", "Vetted organization", "Effective organization" and also voted by staff of GlobalGiving to be "Staff favourite organization". We are mighty pleased with all this. 

Learning at the centre continues with regular training sessions and much interest at the village. A young boy from Mbando village, Keishas Chilumba, was unanimously chosen as "eLearning Champion" by users of the eLearning center. Keishas is a regular user and assists others at the center to learn and even does troubleshooting on the laptops. 

Just two days ago, the founder of "Mentors without Borders" got in touch with us after seeing our project featured on GlobalGiving and expressed interest to partner with us to provide free mentorship to Malawians in computer programming, goal setting and visualization exercises. We are grateful to GlobalGiving for this exposure. 

Our hard-working team led by Ruth Mumba and Grace Moyo continue to support Mbando village and are in constant touch with all other members of Abundance. Some of us hope to meet in March/April 2020, where we are expecting some visitors from the University of Glasgow and the Sustainable Futures in Africa network to visit Mbando village. We will be sure to show them the mural at the eLearning centre with your names. Many thanks to our regular donors and new donors, every penny sent is utilised for the centre and helping young people learn. 

Please view our badges and photoes on facebook - Abundance Worldwide

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eLearning training held between 2-3 Nov 2019
eLearning training held between 2-3 Nov 2019

It is with great pleasure that we report the launch of our eLearning Center which was held on the 11th of September 2019. The event was attended by community members of Mbando village, users of the eLearning centre, academics from the University of Glasgow, our International Volunteer from France and members of Abundance team.

Brian Barrett and Kenneth from the University of Glasgow tested a drone at Mbando village, which was very exciting, particularly for the younger members of Mbando community.

Julie Charmetant, our volunteer from France spent a month in Malawi and stayed at Mbando village at Moses Phulusa's house. She also participated in the launch event.

Ruth Mumba, Grace Moyo, Clifford Mkanthama and Andrew Kamvazakazi, our Abundance team members were all present for the launch. Clifford and Andrew stayed with the team from Glasgow and Julie at Moses's house the day before the launch, getting a flavour of Mbando village life. Enjoy some photoes from this event, which YOU all helped set up!

It was a successful event and the laptop which underwent maintenance (total 8) was given to the center and all keepods deployed. Kayetha Banda from ShiftIT provided a three day training, which started a day before the launch. We took advantage of the event to raise awareness of the Sustainable Development Goals which are related to Abundance's work. Enjoy some photoes from this event. 

In the past months, our volunteers have been busy and have successfully translated 10 books for our eLearning center. We are keen on making learning resources relevant to the users.

This weekend (2-3 November 2019), we held another training session focussing on the regular users particularly the youth. We will continue updating you on the progress of this project which YOU all helped set up!

Launch of eLearning center on 11 Sept 2019
Launch of eLearning center on 11 Sept 2019
Drone testing at Mbando village
Drone testing at Mbando village
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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)

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Organization Information

Abundance

Location: Machinga - Malawi
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Abundance_ww
Project Leader:
Ruth Mumba
Machinga, Malawi
$8,235 raised of $10,000 goal
 
96 donations
$1,765 to go
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