Newsletter Autumn 2020

Dear Kudimba friends,

Life in Lifuwu and in Kudimba is going well. 

Our precious Alimah is better. Kudimba’s ever-smiling girl had been very unwell the past few months. We were desperate to help her. Despite looking for medical assistance, the reason for her deterioration was a mystery.  In Malawi healthcare facilities as well as healthcare personnel are limited, and due to the Covid-19 situation combined with the presidential elections it was even more difficult to find appropriate medical care for her. We persisted and finally we have more information about her condition. She has been diagnosed with cutaneous lupus erythematosus.  Amongst other factors, direct sunlight and anticonvulsants can be contributing factors to this illness,  as you can imagine this is a challenge for an epileptic African girl with special needs.  However, with this knowledge we can do everything within our power to keep her healthy and to assist her family to care for her as best as possible. For a while it was touch and go for Alimah, but finally and luckily she is herself again, including the smiles.  We are now going to mollycoddle her – in the shade- and boost her weight with plentiful and nutritious meals. 

Alimah

All other Kudimba children are well and we are delighted that Christian has joined us again, his family returned to Lifuwu and Christian is back where he belongs: in Kudimba.

In the past few weeks three more children have joined our forces: Rufina (12 yrs), Stevellia (6 yrs) and Richard (15 yrs).  A proper introduction for these three children will follow.

At this time, Kudimba provides care for 29 participants on a daily basis, all children and young people with special needs. Some children are very limited in their independence, others are very autonomous, we observe with pride and joy as they help out their less abled friends to overcome some obstacles. 

The education centre is at full capacity with these participants and with the present staffing, especially considering the care for Hawa, who we have briefly introduced in the previous newsletter. Due to the severity of her disability Hawa requires a high level of care as she needs assistance with all aspects of daily life. 

You might remember that we were looking for a transport solution for Hawa. This 16 year old girl cannot manage to walk to Kudimba every day. We have given the family a buffalo bike, which is specially designed for developing countries, meaning it can support the transport of heavier weight and it can withstand the type of roads like we have in Lifuwu. We had a trolley made to go behind the bike on which Hawa can be comfortably driven to Kudimba. 

Hawa can be comfortably driven to Kudimba in her trolley

Organising the transport and offering daycare to Hawa means not only a huge improvement in the life of this young girl but also a transformation of the lives of the whole  (extended) family. In Malawi a bicycle can be a source of income and the family can take up an activity in the hours they have now available when Hawa’s care is in the hands of the dedicated Kudimba team.

The bike and trolley for Hawa

The daily care for the 29 children is provided by 5 full time staff members. At present we employ 8 full time and 1 part time staff member. 

We trust on Mr. Gombachika, Matilda and Patricia to look after the garden and grow fruits and vegetables. Since we organised the permaculture workshops everyone is highly motivated.  The children have had their first meal with home grown vegetables and everyone is very excited about this. 
Next to their work in the garden, Patricia and Matilda will be looking after visitors once they finally return. We are eagerly awaiting students to join Kudimba for their placements again, but we will have to wait a few more months before their universities give the green light for them to travel to Malawi.

The construction of our communal house is ready, only some finishing touches to add before it is completed. On the picture you can already have a sneak peek of what is coming. In this communal house we will welcome students, volunteers, local experts and anyone who wants to contribute to the further development of Kudimba.  We are very grateful that we  have been able to set up this communal house thanks to the support of the Province of West-Flanders, combined with the help of some loyal Kudimba supporters, it will enable us to push the project further in the future. 

The communal house

If you would like to support a child in Kudimba,  a monthly donation to the project is most welcome.  A one off donation assists with the further development of our project.  Do not hesitate to get in touch if you want to assist, even the smallest contribution helps to make a difference.

 More Kudimba news will follow in our winter update.

 Keep well in the meanwhile. Look after yourself and each other.

The Kudimba team