AGM International report 2016

This page shows the exciting work being done by the club to help provide power to remote villages in Malawi

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For a number of years the Rotary Club of West Fife (RCWF) has supported projects in Malawi. This year we moved our support onto a more sustainable level by using our funds and expertise to gain a Rotary District Grant. The Club used £3000 of its funds to gain an additional £3000 from Rotary District 1010. In addition a benefactor doubled the total.

What is the money for?

Most of the population in Malawi have no access to electricity. This means that lighting homes is by kerosene lamp or candles resulting in poor conditions in which to work or study and live. It is also exceedingly dangerous, often resulting in fires and poor conditions in which to breathe. Many people rely on mobile phones for business, family health et cetera but have few means of charging them.

 The RCWF are putting solar panels into two villages and small groups of women entrepreneurs are using the panels to charge solar lights and mobile phones. The charged lights are rented out on a daily basis, and then returned again for charging. As the business expands it is hoped that delivery can be made to more remote areas. Solar power is also being used to establish a barbers shop and allow the showing of videos.

 Areas for development include computer and Internet access, printing and photocopying and even a popcorn machine.

 Each development of this project is centred around a small group of entrepreneurs which are usually women in the 20 to 30 age group. Support for the group is provided at a local level by Renama(Renewable Malawi). This support includes regular meetings, financial guidance and technical and banking advice. Each entrepreneur receives payment for their work, which they use to support their families and pay back the loan used to establish the business. By this process the initial investment can be recycled many times to provide support for many individuals and families.

The President of the RCWF used his own resources to visit the project in December 2015, when he was delighted with the progress being made. Martina and Clement of Renema give us regular reports in addition to providing support to the project's clients.

The RCWF would like to thank Rotary District 1010, the Rotary Club of Limbe and Renema for their support and financial backing.

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