Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 with an estimated population of more than 13,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi's largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The country is also nicknamed "The Warm Heart of Africa".
Malawi is among the world's least-developed countries. The economy is heavily based in agriculture, with a largely rural population. The Malawian government depends heavily on outside aid to meet development needs, although this need (and the aid offered) has decreased since 2000. The Malawian government faces challenges in building and expanding the economy, improving education, health care, environmental protection, and becoming financially independent.
1st Poulner Scout Group and their link with the Malawian Scout Groups
This project was started six years ago by Colin Andrews, Group Scout Leader of 1st Poulner Scout Group.
To educate young people in the widest sense in order to make them effective and responsible citizens.
- To develop young Malawians knowledge, skills and attitudes.
- To encourage and foster an ethos of volunteering and community self-help.
- To train young leaders to do the same.
- To provide locations, facilities and projects which will allow these things to happen?
To promote Scouting as a means of helping to address some of the problems in Malawi and its young people;
- A lack of educational opportunity.
- No cultural background of self-help and community service.
- Ignorance of sustainable farming skills.
- Lack of respect for women’s capacities and abilities.
What has been achieved so far?
The project has been able to build a campsite for scout activities and leader training at Kavusi, near Mzuzu for young scout leaders.
They have teamed up with The Tiyeni Fund to develop an experimental agricultural farm on the campsite, using sustainable farming methods, which youngsters can then take back to their own villages and communities.
The project has also been able to provide funding to allow 5 young orphaned scouts, who have shown exemplary commitment to the voluntary ethos and the aims of the project, the opportunity to attend secondary education. This has not only elevated their own aspirations but that of others around them who have seen their achievements and efforts recognised and rewarded.
They have designed and built 275 four-person desk and bench sets for a local school of 1100 students (as a joint project with the Malawi Scouts). The Poulner Scout Group has also provided/ donated tools and trained Malawi Scouts in the use of woodworking skills, who in turn have passed them onto younger people in their scout group.