The Power of Giving – 2016 Annual Report to Supporters
It is a pleasure to send you this Annual Report on the activities of Medic Malawi, and the consequent achievements of our partners in Malawi. In addition to my occasional updates, I hope this will tell you more about the transforming Power of your Giving.
I note that it is recommended that an Annual Report begins with a statement of charity costs, salaries and expenses etc. In the case of Medic Malawi this is a pleasure:
Salary to Director and other officers – £0
Administrative costs, printing, postage, travel expenses – £0
Payment to trustees – £0
NB: the only cost is Charity Liability Insurance of £194 which is a requirement for a sensible charity.
Every penny given continues to go to those who need it, as has been the case for fifteen years, despite the increase in our activities and the development of more strenuous accounting procedures. All UK services and advice are donated, together with all leaflets and literature. The Accounts are approved by the Trustees, examined by a professional accountant ‘pro bono’, lodged with the Charity Commission and placed on the website.
Mr Mac Forsyth Chairman and co-Founder (Retiring end 2016)
Mrs Dot Forsyth co-Founder (retiring end 2016)
Rt Rev Nick McKinnel Bishop of Plymouth
Mrs Lesley Drew
Mr Andrew Hubbard (retiring end 2016)
Mr Colin McCulloch
Mr Stephen Drew Director
New Trustees for 2017
Mr Oliver Colvile MP (Chairman-designate)
Mr Andrew Fisher
Ms Jane Sullivan
Rev Canon Peter Howell Jones
Representatives on Local Board of Management
Mr Fyson Kanjira (Bursar, Kamuzu Academy, Malawi)
Mr Hawkins Gondwe (Deputy Head, Kamuzu Academy, Malawi)
Treasurer Mr Mervyn Davies BA ACA
Auditor Mr Jim Tranter BSc FCA
Director Mr Stephen Drew MA MEd
All of the above work without payment or expenses. There is no office except a kitchen table.
Mervyn Davies (Treasurer)
Examination of Annual Accounts
Jim Tranter BSc FCA Tranter Lowe
Fund Raising Committee
Thanks to Peter Llewellyn and Telford Reprographics for donating countless leaflets and a banner.
Special thanks to
Medic Malawi is dedicated to working in partnership with the local community and its leaders in the Mtunthama region of Kasungu district, central rural Malawi. Together we aim to alleviate need, assist development and nurture self help.
Our main focus is on a community hospital. St Andrews, which has a Nutrition Centre, HIV facilities for education and treatment, and a specialism in eye surgery.
Nearby is our orphanage AMAO (The Mother House) which loves and cares for 100 children. We sponsor children from the orphanage and neighbouring villages in their education at the outstanding Government Community School, All Saints, with which we have very close links, and where we specifically help continuity of Girls education.
We are developing employment and training projects to generate sustainable local income.
A Year of Change for Medic Malawi: the retirement of Dot and Mac
Mac and Dot Forsyth founded Medic Malawi when they returned from living in Malawi. Along with the local clergyman, Rev Frank Dzentenge, they established what was initially, St Andrew’s Clinic. Mac and Dot ran it all from their kitchen table in Plymouth for more than ten years, until it moved to the table in my kitchen in Shrewsbury in 2011. At that point Mac became Chairman of the Trustees, and they both continued their involvement in fundraising and visits.
Medic Malawi would not exist without them. In 2016 Mac and Dot felt they should retire from the Trustees, though not from active support and fundraising. We thank them very sincerely for all they have done. They have changed people’s lives and given hope and inspiration to a whole community
The charity has grown very considerably in recent years and it is excellent that the new Chairman, Oliver Colvile, is a serving Member of Parliament, who has many connections with Malawi and Southern Africa. He is especially well placed to take forward the foundations Mac and Dot Forsyth set down.
Seldom can a building have been so transformed by an extension! The first sight of the hospital used to be the rather unprepossessing initial glimpse of some outside toilets, closely followed by rather a lot of pipes and assorted electric wires. Now the Fine Pharmacy stands proudly alongside the path
But, of course the transformation is more than just visual, more than just architectural balance. The hospital has long outgrown our first pharmacy which was little more than a walk-in cupboard. In addition to being small, the pharmacy servery opened out into the main entrance, so people queued for their medication in exactly the same congested area where the outpatients queued for their treatment.
Now there is a handsome veranda, a smart office, a very large storeroom and a secure store for sensitive items. It’s excellent. But the knock-on effects have also been huge. Hitherto, all the administrative functions have, for want of anywhere else, been put into the hospital itself – into rooms increasingly needed for medical work. So, at last, we have moved the offices out, some of them into space vacated by the old pharmacy. We have made a separate administration entrance and so the main entrance is now Medical Only. We have also created an Emergency Entrance so that those with serious emergencies such as burns no longer have to be manoeuvred past the queue of outpatients.
And so it was a delight for me in July 2016 to unveil the plaque dedicating the Pharmacy to Alexander Garvey Fine, a gift in his memory from his loving mother, Rosaleen.
A Year of Growth – Income
Happily, donations to Medic Malawi again increased significantly in 2016, and so more money was sent to those who need it. Our core income is from regular monthly personal donations and giving. This is crucial and I thank all those who give to Medic Malawi.
Thanks to all who arranged sponsored events, and to all churches who have had special collections, breakfast, coffee mornings and similar efforts
Thanks for special support from three schools:
- Shrewsbury School
- Frensham Heights
- Wrekin College
And from the Toy Trust, who donated very generously again this year, in addition to their initial sponsorship of the orphanage.
Each month we send:
- £4500 for basic hospital costs
- £2200 eye surgery – the whole cost of screening, publicity education and treatment
- £2000 for the orphanages, virtually their whole income
Bursary fund – as required, but about £300 per month for those who cannot even pay the small charges in the hospital. This is administered through a local medical committee by an agreed protocol.
Three times a year school sponsorship: £2000 each term, administered by a local committee but to include all children in the orphanage.
In addition we provide very considerable funds for all new buildings, capital equipment, medical equipment, vehicles and maintenance, as needs demand and resources allow.
Detailed accounts are independently ‘Examined’ by a qualified Accountant (the income does not reach the full Audit threshold), placed on the website, and submitted annually to the Charity Commission. The 2016 Accounts will soon be available on the website.
The Trustees retain six months expenditure in reserve.
A Year of Emergency
In January 2016 we heard dreadful news of famine in the areas surrounding Mtunthama, and the hospital administration drew up detailed proposals for a feeding programme. Several children were admitted not only to the Nutrition Unit (which sadly is often the case) but indeed to the hospital itself for emergency life-saving feeding. With a fantastic response from supporters we were able to buy and supply food to the hungry – up to 300 people a day were making the journey to St Andrew’s at one point.
A Year of Self Help
Dwangwa: One of the areas worst affected by famine was around the River Dwangwa, about 40kms distant but within the hospital catchment, and ironically one of the few rivers in Malawi which flows all year. Our hospital administrator, Chris Zambira heard of local collective efforts to pump water on small foot pumps to irrigate the area and grow maize before the next rainy season. We were able to supply seeds and fertiliser and I visited the area in July. It was stunning – a huge area a mile along the river, carefully organised to share out the water, working hard together to pump for each other. There were lots of people around “they like coming” I was told “it is a place of hope”. And by November there was a good harvest, for food and for sharing. We hope to repeat it this year, maybe even with solar water pumps if they can be sourced within Malawi.
AMAO: our orphanage was given 7 hectares of unused land by a well wisher from Lilongwe. With a good harvest this ground would be enough to feed the orphanage and generate income. First though – a rare sight in Malawi: a tractor was used to tame the overgrown land, then by December working parties of adults and children were planting seeds for harvest in 2017.
The poultry project continues to be excellent, providing food and income.
Microloans: for some time it has been an aspiration to set up microloans for the community, and this came to fruition in 2016. Two revolving funds were set up for two mutually dependent groups of 20 or so, mainly women. They received training and their small businesses are monitored, and initial signs are very promising.
A Year of Hope – The Genesis Hostel
For many years, girls attendance rates at All Saints School have been far lower than boys (travel, domestic reasons etc) and so the Genesis Hostel offers 80 places for girls to sleep at school and continue their studies. It was great to hear from Michael Masudi, the Headmaster (and Chairman of the Local Hospital Board) that this was immediately producing an impact, enabling girls to gain top results and proceed to government-sponsored tertiary education.
We also initiated Apprenticeships for three older children from AMAO, learning skills at nearby Kamuzu Academy, who have been very helpful indeed. If these go well, we hope to extend this to others in the future.
There seems a real possibility that the Hospital may be able to attract a Doctor of its own in the near future. We are building a suitable house, and the Local Board of Management, who deal with Employment matters are actively trying to take this important step forward.
A Year of Joy – Eye surgery
A special feature of St Andrew’s has continued to be the monthly eye surgery, led by Amos Nyaka. It was a privilege to witness the July surgeries on my visit, and I will never forget the presence of a little boy, blind since birth. It was complicated and I could sense Amos’ own delight at the success of the treatment. Nor will I – or the students with me – ever forget the rejoicing and singing in the room next day as the patches came off and sight was restored. The joy bounced off the walls and ceilings.