Progress in Malawi

The first four months of 2024 have been busy for Great Minds Bright Futures, I actually don’t know where to start.

The team on the ground have been delivering wonderful activities with a flurry of volunteers visiting the children in Dowa, including the Ed Sheeran of the Malawi World, Onesimus AKA “African Butter” spending the afternoon with the children and leaving them with some inspiring words for their future.

Other volunteers have included professional dancers, singers, rugby coaches and school teachers.  As I write a party of college students are also visiting.

Our charity needs money, but the children need to know that they are loved and one of the best ways to do this is to bring volunteers to see them, either from the UK or Malawi.  Please take this as your official invite!

Onesimus promises an ongoing relationship with the children as he was impressed with the work that we do.

Building wise, we have completed the five workshops/computer school and Great Minds offices (with a flushing toilet). We need to finish the electrics and solar, but prices for solar systems in Malawi and finding companies with the necessary experience is proving difficult.

The new computer school will be equipped with an array of computers and IT to help the school children to develop digital skills in the mornings and allow our orphans to learn not only Microsoft programmes but also programming, AI and blockchain to be ready for a digital future in the afternoons.  We have a promise of Starlink for super-fast internet connection, probably the first supplied to Malawi.

The shops will allow older orphans to start their own businesses which will create employment opportunities for the wider community.  It is a very exciting project, and we hope that our shopping area will become a village focus and trading activity will be buoyant!

We have done this with the continued support of British Businessman Brendan Ainscough and his amazing wife Barbara who visited Malawi for the first time in March 2023.

Our next building projects will be a skills centre and emergency accommodation which start in May and will be completed in October 2024.

Building in Malawi gives a lifeline to the community and helps families rise up from poverty.  We are immensely proud in their efforts and extremely grateful for their contribution and hard work.

At New Year, we launched our “UK Sponsorship Visa” programme inviting applicants to fill out an application form and join us in the UK for 12 months, then returning to Malawi to work full time at Great Minds Bright Futures.  Over 600,000 viewed our post on TikTok and over 2,000 applicants were whittled down to just ten that were interviewed.  Our interview team in the UK consisting of a Malawian then chose two from the ten who were both invited to spend the day with our children in Dowa.

These two days were amazing with children and applicants gaining so much from the day.

We have found it incredibly hard to choose between the two and so we have decided to invite one over to the UK as part of the year long sponsorship visa and the second has been offered (and accepted) a full time job in Dowa starting in May this year.

He is very keen to help organise TikTok lives to help us generate revenue for Great Minds Bright Futures as well as playing an active role in helping the children of Dowa to improve.

We also held some fundraisers in the UK, including a joint one with YANA.  We invited and hosted their founder Tusaiwe and arranged lots of activities for her to educate the World about YANA and the special needs school she intents to build in Malawi.

At this fundraiser Great Minds Bright Futures made some new friends with Malawian artists based in the UK who have agreed to support future fundraisers and cemented a relationship with the SAWN choir who blew the roof off.  The choir is led by our very own trustee Agatha Phiri.

We also held a clay pigeon shooting day at the estate of Martin and Judith Ainscough, kindly donated by Armstrong Properties (NW) Ltd.  On the day, we held a competition and had time to talk to attendees about Great Minds Bright Futures.  We hope to host this annually.

We also have so much planning and preparation for fundraisers with Bolton School, David Lloyd Bolton, Manchester 10km run and Fat Bird in Wigan where we will hold an event on Friday 5th July.  Please make sure you follow our social media pages to make sure you don’t miss out on this event and many others.

If you can spare any donations, please do not hesitate to sponsor our own Katie as she attempts the 10km on 26th May in Manchester and please do come down to support our team!

Share This Post