Our first HIV project (2005 to 2017) was located in Jali but recently relocated to Songani - 10 miles north of Zomba. In 2018, with the support of a generous sponsor a brand new centre was designed and built and this was completed in March 2019. In April 2019 the building was officially opened with a vibrant ceremony that included traditional dancing, choirs and speeches.
The staff wages are sponsored by Manor CE Academy in York who raise funds each month through their non-uniform day as well as a number of individual sponsors who give monthly. In addition the project owns and runs a maize mill, funded by the York Corinthians Charity providing additional income. Holy Redeemer Church in York provide daily newspapers. In 2018/2019 we have also received funds from Schuman Trophy (Brussels), Holy Trinity (Brussels) and Femmes D’Europe (Brussels) as well as Driffield School. These funds have been used to help equip the new centre.
In the 1990’s Malawians were reluctant to openly talk about HIV but the evidence of its devastating impact could be seen all around. Families were losing young parents, there were more and more orphans and life expectancy was 40 years. Today life expectancy is over 60 years and the national HIV rate has been halved. Malawi is winning but, the war isn’t over yet. Progress has been slow in some areas and this is why our HIV project has moved from Jali to Songani.
In April 2019 Frank Jumbe summarised how everyone felt about the new centre when he said “I think the coming in of the new centre to Songani is a new dawn to the people of Malawi and Songani in particular. It’s something that’s going to make difference in the community and I’m in this with all my heart and it’s what I will do until I die.”
The staff team at Songani includes Angella (Centre Manager), Fyson and Bainatu (HIV Counsellors), Alex (Librarian), Steve and Manuel (Security) and Grace (Cleaner).
CAN YOU HELP?
Latest update (August 2019) we are still running a deficit every month meeting the staff wages bill and we are looking for sponsors who can afford £5/month.
The project needs further resources for its library, sports equipment and furniture.
Consider joining us on one of our visits to Malawi and offering a workshop or simply learning more about the work that is being carried out.
Do a Gap Project based at the HIV project and offer activities that will help attract people to the Center.