Container of hope ready to head off to Malawi

Parishoners at St Andrew's Church were pictured on Tuesday preparing to send a container of goods to Malawi. From left:- Sheila Dunphy, Mary Nicol, Leena Whyte, Doris Bowie, Niel Grant, Charis Bowie.
Parishoners at St Andrew's Church were pictured on Tuesday preparing to send a container of goods to Malawi. From left:- Sheila Dunphy, Mary Nicol, Leena Whyte, Doris Bowie, Niel Grant, Charis Bowie.

A group of charitably-minded Arbroath folk have announced that they have collected enough material donations to fill a 40 foot container.

The St Andrew’s Church Malawi Group have, with the help of the Arbroath community, over the past year collected all manner of clothes, household goods, school equipment and medical supplies to fill a 40 foot shipping container which will be despatched next week to the land-locked East African state.

Charis Bowie from St Andrew’s said: “There are clothes for babies to adults and a heap of medical stuff which is out of date here but can be used over there, stuff like syringes and bandages.

“There are also knitting machines, bikes, wheelchairs, tables and chairs. There are three big traditional blackboards donated from Ladyloan when they moved on to modern electronic boards. Toys, school books, you name it, it’s going to be in there.”

This is just the latest aid mission from the St Andrew’s Church group who have been sending aid to the impoverished African nation for several years.

Charis explained: “The stuff for the container has been gathered for about a year but we’ve been involved in Malawi since 2007. We’ve raised over £250,000 in that time.

“It’s been a massive thing. It’s not just the church but the whole community that has got behind it.”

The Namisu Orphan Village, which lies just outside the Malawian capital of Blantyre, was established by the water cooler company AquAid through their AquAid Lifeline Fund.

Namisu is home to around 3,000 orphans and provides them with food, shelter, medical care and education.

Charis explained: “AquAid funds a school and housing for the most at risk orphans. As a church we fund two day care centres.”

The day care centres cater to around 100 children each day for food and basic education and the St Andrew’s Group pays for their upkeep.

Charis continued: “On our first trip we bought the land to build the day care centres and now we pay monthly for these centres, for all the clothes, food, teachers and even gardeners.”

The container will be delivered on Wednesday morning to the yard of agricultural machinery firm RGS Forfar Ltd., at East Mains Of Burnside Farm near Forfar.

The volunteers then will have around three hours to fill the container with the goods before the lorry returns to take the container on the first leg of its journey of more than 5,000 miles.