Edited version of a letter from Hannah
This is Hannah McVicar calling from Malawi. Last year, you kindly provided me with funding to come out and support the children living here, as part of a Project Trust placement.
It has been ten months since I moved to Malawi and I am writing to update you all on how I am doing.
I am living in Yamikani Child Care Institution, which is an orphanage based in Limbe just outside Blantyre. It is home to nineteen beautiful children and for the last nine months, my home too. Currently, there are fourteen girls and five boys, ranging from the ages of two to nineteen. There is one other volunteer from Project Trust staying with me in a side wing of the orphanage.
Yamikani is a self-sufficient institution. Everything cooked for the children is either grown in our garden or in their fields nearby. Other essentials are mainly provided through donations from outside parties. This includes everything from the all-important mosquito nets the children use, to the swings in the grounds outside. The main director of Yamikani is a woman named Shaheena Omar who has done a great deal for the orphanage and the children. We also have Doreen, our administrator who works in the house every day and helps with the budgeting and running of the institution. Doreen also helps us with holding Church ceremonies and running our activity days.As volunteers, our role here is to provide emotional support for the children and oversee the orphanage and make sure it is running well. We also have other responsibilities such as tutoring the children and helping them with their school work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Malawi is a beautiful country and its’ people even more so. The children here at Yamikani are more like a big family, with everyone looking out for each other. Everyone here is so friendly and positive and the fact they have been so welcoming has made it much easier for me to move here. It definitely earns its name as the ‘warm heart of Africa’.
Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I hope to update you again later on in the year.
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The club round of this competition was held at Beeslack High School on Friday 15th November. 15 entrants from Beeslack were joined by one girl from Penicuik High School for a keenly fought competition. The round was supported by Tesco and Giovanni's.more
A Garden Challenge, offered by the Rotary Club of Penicuik, was taken up by 5 Primary Schools. Carolyn Spray of Pentland Plants very generously supplied dozens of small plug plants and seeds for each of the participating schools. Full story on Facebook.more
Somehow, each Burns Supper seems to surpass the previous one. That is probably due to each being in some way unique. We are fortunate to have a wealth of talent within the club and willing participants not afraid to enter into the spirit of the evening.more
The Wine and Cheese Evening was a very popular event with over 120 people attending. There were various side shows, a wheel of fortune, tombola, a quiz based on Scottish places and of course, the wine and cheese. £1167.89 profit was made.more
A very successful Charity Golf Day was held on 12 June. The event was a joint venture with Glencorse Golf Club and funds of £1,222 were raised on the day. As a result a cheque for £1,500 has now been sent to Children’s Hospice Association Scotland(CHAS)more
The club organised the Primary School Quiz held on Thursday, 20th February in Penicuik High School. Seven schools took part in this first round of the three tier competition. The runaway winners were the team from Cornbank with a score of 43.more
Dave Anderson and David McDonald uplift the trolley donations from Tesco Penicuik. A trolley with suitable posters attached was left in the store for over two weeks to seek donations of the small items required for the Mary's Meals Back Pack scheme.more
Lauren McLay was the winner and Vaila Robertson runner-up in the East Area round of the Young Chef competition which was held in Preston Lodge High School. The two Beeslack pupils go on to the District final to be held on 23 February. Good luck to bothmore
A concert for the residents of Aaron House was attended by around 35 residents. Penicuik Community Choir, their leader Liz McKeon & Rotary club members Colin Hunter and David Gillespie (as The Jolly Beggars) provided the entertainment.more
The Charity Golf Day was very successful with 29 teams taking part on a glorious day. The sum of £1282 was raised from the golf and raffle enabling a cheque for £1500 from Penicuik Rotary to be presented to Children's Hospice Assocation Scotland (CHAS)more
Around 40 members and their guests enjoyed a Christmas Dinner. Guests included members of the local Probus Club and entertainment was provided by Jean Lennie and David Gillespie who encouraged everyone to get involved in singing Christmas carols.more
Many members and some partners undertook the 12/13 mile walk from Penicuik to Musselburgh. Setting out in glorious weather they were glad of the lunch break in Dalkeith School Campus before completing the final 4 miles to refreshments in Musselburghmore
Melissa Lievesley, from Beeslack High School visited the club on 7 October to tell us all about her week at RYLA in July. We were all very impressed with the manner of her presentation and the depth of information she gave about her RYLA experience.more
Erin Brolly one of two candidates we sponsored to attend RYLA visited the club on 2 October to tell us about her experience and show the film she had made. Erin was presented with her RYLA group picture and a certificate by Club President Gordon Sandersmore
Catherine Pow joined the club on 17 February. Catherine visited the club several times before taking the final step. We welcome her to the fellowship of the club and trust that she enjoys her time within Rotary.more
Jean Lennie and Presidents wife Carol Sanders hosted a tea party for Rotary ladies who came in Easter bonnets made for the event. Over £150 was raised which will be donated to a Charity chosen at a future event. The event included a best hat competition.more
Roisin Timoney and Ikrah Nadeem who are S5 students at Beeslack High School both wish to have careers in International Business. They attended the Challenge Enterprise weekend during October and thoroughly enjoyed the experience and challenges.more
Responding to an urgent request from the local Tesco store to help out once again with the FareShare initiative to collect items for a Foodbank. several members were able to play their part in collecting food items valued at over £1,100.more
Sadly, over the last 12 months, we have lost the three past members of the club whose obituaries are published below. As all three were great supporters of WaterAid our members have donated £750 to that charity in their memory.more
Rotarian Dr David Gillespie checking blood pressures in the local Tesco. All part of the Know Your Blood Pressure campaign - Rotary supporting the Stroke Association to encourage people to know what their blood pressure is - and hopefully prevent stroke.more
A well attended Burns Night hosted by the club was held at Glencorse Golf Club. It is remarkable that such a small group of people can put on such a diverse take on the Burns story and raise some much needed funds for our charity work in the process.more
A group of members and friends took part in a guided walk led by a Park Ranger. The walk took around two hours and involved some strenuous climbing over tricky ground. The walkers were rewarded with spectacular views to the South and West of Edinburgh.more
Some members of the club braved the elements at Penicuik Street Fair where they sold books, toys and costume jewellery. They also took the opportunity to advertise Rotary and the Antiques and Collectables valuation night on 2 November.more
The evening was a tremendous success with around 120 guests attending. Funds were raised from tickets, Wheel of Fortune, Tombola stall and various sideshows. Proceeds are estimated to be in the region of £1,400 providing a welcome boost to our funds.more
In a tightly fought competition between four schools and following a tie break round, Cornbank Primary School were pipped at the post by Prestonpans Primary in round 2 of the quiz. Prestonpans will now take part in the District final. We wish them luck.more
The club held its Burns Supper at Glencorse Golf Club on Tuesday 22nd January. This was a slightly different event from recent years as, with a lady President currently in place, it seemed appropriate to make it a Jean Armour night. Read full story heremore
District Governor Alistair Marquis gave a very entertaining, thought provoking and informative presentation on the subject of the Rotary theme for the year ‘Light up Rotary’. Alistair certainly lit up Penicuik Rotary with his visit.more