I recently asked one of our St Kizito parishioners who works in the Reserve Bank at Malawi about the current general conditions in his country. He informed me the warm heart of Malawi continues to bleed from the major problem of continuing AIDS deaths and sickness resulting in a growing number of orphans.
More and more elderly people look after very young children.
Malawi is a very poor country without mineral resources, reliant on subsistence agriculture although it has embarked recently on a number of agricultural development programs. In the past when the maze crop failed we assisted with funds for food and to buy new seed. It was pleasing to hear that this years harvest has been excellent, so that past stocks could be exported to Zimbabwe.
The principal exports are tobacco, tea, sugar and coffee and for the first time in 10 years the tobacco crop is fetching good prices. St Kizito is in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi and St Kizito assists many of it's outlying communities, particularly at Mtsiriza and Katsiyafumbi. In Mtsiriza and Kasiyafumbi the population is growing and a substation of Ntandire has been established as part of Mtsiriza.
Our current project is to fund a new Church/ Hall at Ntandire.
Building work is progressing very well. More work has been completed since the last photos were taken and they are currently putting on the ring beam and hope soon to buy the timbers for the roof at a cost of US$1500.00 which includes labour for erecting the roof beams. The roofing sheets will cost US$ 5,000.00.
The Parish hall at St Kizito is much more expensive and so far they have dug the foundations only. They are applying to the European Union for a 75% grant for ‘community hall’ and it may cost US$150,000.00.
Our latest advice is : “ With Ntandire when we get the roof on we can use it as Mass Centre and Community hall without plaster/paint/furniture – those are luxuries for the time being! Our aim is to open the church for Dec 07."