Newsletter Autumn 2017

Dear Kudimba Friends,

It’s already time for another Kudimba update and we’ve got lots to tell as we have made great progress over the past few months.

No-one ever was this enthusiastic about a septic tank before as I am.

We are so excited that we finally managed to find the right people to design and build our septic tank, as buying a ready made tank as in Europe is not a possibility in Malawi.

After months of looking for perfect solutions, planning, talking, emailing, negotiating, we found an excellent solution and a local expert team. Our newly built septic tank can cope with droughts and floods and even earthquakes and the great news is that the Kudimba staff and members and anyone who wants to visit Kudimba in the future will have a proper flush toilet.

We had another local builder who constructed a fence around the Kudimba land. Our very own Foster, Kunyumba’s security guard/ bicycle taxi driver/fence builder has done an excellent job.
In Lifuwu cows, goats, sheep and chickens roam around freely, it’s very charming but impractical when trying to grow fruits and vegetables, the hungry cattle devour everything. We chose the most local, eco and budget friendly solution to protect our future organic crops from the foraging animals. Our plan is to transform this temporary fence into a living natural fence in time.

Austin and Jimmy, our students are both doing well and are now starting the next semester. Austin is specialising in Public Health and Jimmy is starting the last semester of his welding course.

Kunyumba, the original project for smaller children has recently celebrated its 9th birthday. We were very fortunate that in the first 8 years we only witnessed growth and happiness within our ever growing group of children. This past year however, fate has turned on us and in less than 12 months we had to say goodbye to three of our young people, caused by a diversity of medical reasons they passed away, some completely unexpected, some from chronicle medical conditions, but all much too soon.
With very great sadness we had to say goodbye to Patrick recently. Patrick was a young boy who had been part of Kunyumba for several years, due to his health problems. He was too weak to walk to school and his single mum was struggling to care for him and all his siblings. Patrick had a combination of health problems which were unfortunately virtually untreatable, even with the best possible medical care. Despite his hopeless medical situation he fought so very hard to be alive. He so wanted to live and he felt a great responsibility for those around him. Patrick never complained, always smiled and was a great guide and support for the less able children. He was truly remarkable, those who met Patrick will agree. We had hoped to have a place for him in Kudimba and we will miss him.

Our Kudimba plans for the very near future are taking shape.

A very recent development is that we have two French volunteers who plan to come to Malawi for three months to help us establish Kudimba further: Aurelia is a Paediatrician who will work in the local hospital, as you can see from our losses above her skills are much needed in Malawi. Michael is a plumber who will sort out some of Kudimba’s sanitation puzzles. He will help us design clever systems to deal with water management, as we have to deal with lots of water at once in the rainy season and then no water at all in the dry season. We hope to realise a system whereby we can purify and reuse some of the water from the kitchen, shower and laundry for other purposes, such as irrigation of the garden and toilet flush. We are very excited to work with Aurelia and Michael.

We are now planning the next phases of development which is the office building with sanitation area and the kitchen, but as we are expecting our volunteers we plan to construct a small wooden cabin first to accommodate Aurelia and Michael in Kudimba and hopefully many more volunteers in the future…

A word of thanks to the students of the International School of Brussels who have collected a fabulous donation for Kudimba through their annual “runathon”, great job! Your contribution will really help the project and go a long way.

Our warmest greetings,
The Kudimba Team