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Long awaited update!

Posted by sophie davison on February 6, 2017 at 3:10 PM Comments comments (1)

Hi everyone, hope you all had a lovely Christmas.

Sorry its been a long time since I did a report and even though I haven't visited Sophie Nursery School since 2015 a few things have been happening.

Last summer we had to re cement the school floor (I think this was the 3rd time)! Charles and co discovered that because they were using the water from the village water pump the floor kept erroding. They worked out that this was because the water from the pump is salt water (still need to raise the funds to correct this).  So far the floor is intact and I hope it won't need doing for a long time now as it's costly.

On my last visit I was very happy to see the school had a blackboard and the children all had little seats to sit on instead of having to sit on the bare, dirty floor!   The village had also made the children a swing and a see-saw which was amazing and the children loved them.  However, as the playground equipment is made of wood it gets eaten by termites and has to be rebuilt every 4 months which is not the best situation. It is possible to buy playground equipment in Malawi but yet again we don't have the funds. It would be great if we could work toward getting a swing and see saw that will last for many years and give so much pleasure to these children who have so little.

I bought some paint in Lilongwe and the children all had a go at painting a picture on the school walls which was quite a difficult thing to do as no one seemed to understand what I wanted them to do but we got there in the end after a lot of stress on my part! We also painted numbers on the walls using stencils and put the educational posters up which I'd taken and  the school looked much more inviting and welcoming. Everyone seemed pleased with the decorations!! I also bought some individual chalkboards in Lilongwe which the children were happy to use to practice writing letters/numbers etc.

I was delighted to see there was a wooden table/shelf which the ladies put the porridge bowls and cups on to drain and dry and there was a facility for the children to wash there hands before eating. It was lovely to witness the children enjoying a bowl of porridge which is the only meal of the day.

The people who take care of the game reserve nearby (Vwaza Marsh) were there to thank me as they said by helping the village to come together with the school it has had a knock on effect and the community can see that if they work together things can move forward and everyone benefits.

Whilst on my visit we managed to get the local carpenter to make the teachers a desk (a few problems again but we did it in the end) ��

I was informed that a representative from Mzuzu University had visited the school the week before I arrived and was very impressed. Sophie Nursery school is the only Nursery in the area and the children who have gone on to the Primary School have been achieving great things! 

We were sad to say goodbye to our long standing brilliant teacher Miss Phiri last September and also Justina who had been helping for a while.  Charles has however employed 2 new teachers (both qualified) and they seem to be doing great so far . Welcome Violet Muhango and Loveness Mweuka.

Maize in Malawi has become very expensive due to the droughts and disasters therefore we have started growing our own in an effort to reduce costs. Last year was our first crop and although we were successful, we didn't grow as much as hoped due to the weather. We are trying again this year and hope to one day be growing enough to feed the 110 children daily who attend the school and have some to sell. We are investigating the possibilty of growing other crops i.e. Fruit so the children have a more varied/nutritious diet.

Last August (2016) we managed to build a �� goat house and bought 6 goats to begin breeding. Recently the 6 goats became 8 so we are hopeful this will be a success.

As we are trying to become more self sufficient it has been suggested that breeding pigs would be a suitable addition to our very limited resources. Please see 'Campaign' page.

Unfortunately the rains came down with such force in January 2017 that the school roof was blown off. Luckily we had just enough money to be able to get this repaired quickly leaving us with no funds. The following day the toilets fell down - these will be reconstructed when we have the funds and the rainy season is finished. 

Amazingly we manage to feed and educate 110 children. This is only made possible by the kindness of the few people who donate to our Nursery. Fundraising is very difficult so we are very grateful to those who give so generously. 

Thank you for taking the time to read the latest news from Sophie Nursery .

Porridge Update

Posted by sophie davison on March 20, 2016 at 8:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Updated details for porridge requirements - 

Per Term

5 x 50kg bags maize - £75  the hunger crisis and lack of maize in Malaei means prices have significantly increased.

1 x Tin Groundnuts - £20

1 x Bale of Sugar - £15

Total required per term is £110

School Committee update

Posted by sophie davison on April 30, 2015 at 6:55 PM Comments comments (1)

On the school committee over in the UK and Japan are - Sophie Davison, Susan and Brian Davison, Lisa Davison, Alex Davison and Michelle Lloyd. 

our youngest members Lisa and Alex will be able to give ideas as to what the Nursery School children may like/need to make life a bit easier. 

Welcome onboard ��

Donations Received

Posted by sophie davison on March 5, 2015 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (0)

We are extremely grateful to have received 2 large donations in February - this has come at a time when funds are running very short and means we can continue to feed the children porridge each day for a while longer and pay the teachers wage.

A big thank you to Michael and Sheila Scott of Burton on Trent and Mrs Margaret Chester of Burton on Trent for your very kind and much needed donations. 

I am also pleased to say that we have a new regular monthly doner into our bank account which is also fantastic - thank you very much for your continued support Jane and David Hudson of Birmingham. 

I am going to Malawi in May and will be visiting the Nursery School and getting an update on goings on. I hope to buy paint on the way and would like to get the children to help us paint the inside of the school to make it inviting and bright. 

I am having a fundraising event in April - please see Upcoming Events page for details. If you would like to make a contribution you can donate directly into the village account - 

Chigwere Orphans Kazuni Village

Account Number - 81877127

Sort Code - 40 29 26


Or even better please come along if you are free and be pampered!

We hope you are all well and having a good year so far.

Once again thank you for your vital support.

Sophie, Vasco, Charles and the Chigwere Orphans xxx

Kind donation

Posted by sophie davison on January 29, 2015 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Last year the village were visited by Dr Felix Breyer and his friend from Germany and they were very thoughtful and sent some much needed items once they returned home. The items received were clothes, school books, mosquito nets blankets and others. 

Everyone was very happy to receive these useful items and we hope you think of us in the future and keep in touch. 

Maybe you will tell your friends and maybe we will see you in the village again in the future although I know it is a long way from Blantyre/Lilongwe.

We hope you enjoyed your stay and I'm sure the children/ladies showed you their dancing skills ��

Thanks again 

Sophie, Charles, Vasco and the Chigwere Orphans

Happy New Year 2014

Posted by sophie davison on January 12, 2014 at 11:15 AM Comments comments (0)

We hope you all had a lovely christmas and the new year has started well for you.

Sophie Nursery School was completed Dec 2012 and has been educating 90 children successfully over the past year. Our teacher is proving to be very good as reports are that the children who have moved onto the local primary school are up to speed and progressing well.

The village are going to buy some paint and brighten up the school and make it more inviting.  Small benches are to be made by the committee so the children have something to sit on for story time.  I puit out a message on my works website for people to donate childrens books as would be great to be able to send a box in the near future.

Charles and the team are managing everything well and they all enjoyed a xmas party (I gave them the money to get party food etc) - photos to follow.

Porridge club is proving a crowd pleaser as attendance has improved since this was started, however we need to build a much needed kitchen to be able to cook the porridge in a more safe/hygienic way. This is our next mission if we can raise the funds needed as well as child friendly toilets. Costs should be available February.

A great way for the village to create an income for themselves would be to have chickens for eggs to sell and to breed and sell - this also requires funds to get started. 50 x 1 day old chicks cost £25 and feed is £15 for 2 weeks worth.

Will update the photos soon and will add on the costs for kitchen and toilets when I get them.

Thanks for reading and I hope you continue to support us this year as it really is needed and appreciated.

Sophie, Vasco and Chigwere Orphans x





Almost finished and Porridge Club

Posted by sophie davison on November 30, 2012 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Just a quick update to announce that the final plastering is underway of Sophie Nursery School and the building will be complete by Christmas.  Had a few issues such as trying to find a plasterer who wasnt too expensive and needed a few more bags of cement which were bought by Vasco when he recently visited.

The children and staff were all treated to a lovely chicken and rice meal while Vasco visited.

As in the last update you can now see the ladies in their new uniforms which my friend Gertrude chose.  I think you will agree they look very smart and they were thrilled to receive these.  There are now 28 ladies therefore Vasco needed to buy a few extras as we thought there were less than this hence a few have different design.

As the school build is now almost complete we are now in a position to be able to pay the teacher each month and Charles is going with her to the bank in the town soon to help her set up a bank account which Vasco will deposit her wage into each month commencing December 2012. 

Exciting news - We have just enough funds to be able to start a Porridge Club.  The 45-50 children who attend the school will be getting a bowl of porridge each morning which will help with their concentration levels as well as growth and development.

we need 75kgs maize= K5,500/month x3 months as term=k 16,000.

We need 1bale of sugar K7,000/month x3months as term=K 21,000

We need 1 tin of ground nuts this is to make our porridge a bit rich in

nutrition 1 tin K1,000 x3= K3000

Then we need some money grinding maizeg/nuts =K3,000 per MONTHS

Therefore the current total we need is

MK 43,000 PER TERM. (Approx £90)

This is going to start from January 2013.  However this will now mean that we have very little spare money each month which is needed for things such as medicines if any child becomes sick and up keep of school uniforms.  Therefore if anyone would like to/are able to fundraise or if you know anyone who would be interested in helping please keep us in mind. 

We are able to buy some more school uniforms soon due to a kind donation from a new site member from the Shetlands.  Many thanks.

Vasco hopes to visit again in January so more photos should be online then and I am hoping to go over sometime next year.

Thank you to all who have helped so much so far and we hope you have a lovely Christmas and New Year.

Love Sophie, Vasco, The Committee Members and all the children xx


School Progress Report

Posted by sophie davison on March 11, 2012 at 10:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Since my visit in April 2011 the school has become very popular with the local children as well as the orphans. The teacher who was with us for a year Miss Pilirani Piri did a wonderful job but has now moved on to work for the local government primary school in order to complete her teacher training. We have been able to appoint another teacher to continue the good work.

The School Committee has allowed children from the local area to attend our school for a small fee which helps to pay the teacher's salary and put food on the table occassionally. The total number of children attending Sophie Nursery School is currently 200!

Once the school is fully completed our dream would be to build separate girls and boys toilets.

Fundraising Event

Posted by sophie davison on November 14, 2011 at 3:50 PM Comments comments (0)

A great night was had by all who attended our fundraising ghost hunt at Drakelow Tunnels on November 4th. Mysteria Paranormal Events put on an amazing night and everyone there felt, heard or saw something. Drakelow Tunnels is still one of my top locations.

The money raised has been sent to the village along with the money from the cancelled event (some people kindly donated there ticket money - event was cancelled due to lack of ticket sales).  Thank you to everyone who donated and to all who attended the event.

Vasco has been unable to make a proper visit to the village as he has been busy with guests and also due to the petrol crisis which is crippling the country at the moment but he met up with Charles last week and handed over the box of pens, pencils, books, educational items for the school as well as the box Lisa sent from Japan with shoes and drawings for the children. 3 bags of clothes/shoes was also passed on.

Vasco plans to visit the village and get detailed reports of goings on and also photo's at the end of November.

I also met my good friend and good village supporter Jane Hudson last weekend and sold 3 necklaces made by the children.

Further update and photo's early December ....................................... 


Sophie Nursery School Commitee

Posted by sophie davison on September 28, 2011 at 2:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Due to the overwhelming popularity of Sophie Nursery School we decided it would be best to appoint a new committee to oversee and run the school:-

Chairman - Mr Charles Mknhowo

Vice Chairman - Home Ngala

Secretary - Moses Viyuyi

Vice Secretary - Give Gondwe

Treasurer - Sophie Moyo

Committee Members:-

1. King Ngwira

2. Enock Bota

3. Lightwel Ngala

4. Chimwemwe Viyuyi

5. Geofry Zambika

Note - The committee has been elected for all the duties at the centre but mainly the childrens school (Sophie Nursery School).

During elections 9 chiefs were present to witness.

Natural resources representatives were 3.

National Park representatives were also present.

It was a one man one hand voting system.

Vasco Munthali was there as an independent observer and he reports that he is satisfied with the outcome.