< News – Mamie Martin Fund

Kiltwalk success

We are so proud of our Glasgow Kiltwalkers. Seven people and Toffee walked 14.37 miles on April 22nd – from Clydebank to Balloch. For most of them, including Toffee the Dog, this was their first Kiltwalk. But it won’t be their last. They are now established ‘Kilties’.

The team raised £1,000.00 in donations and this is being topped up by the Hunter Foundation to bring our total neatly to our target of £1,500.00. This will pay for a girl’s fees at secondary school (boarding) for all of her secondary education (4 years). What a result!

Toffee got a medal and a certificate and really was the star of the show. He did so well, in spite of it being quite warm for a husky on that particular day. Sa’ad was mentioned on social media by his school who were very proud of him and quite rightly too.

Gift Aid is a win-win arrangement

We really appreciate all donations and those which are gift-aided provide an extra boost to our funds. As we start a new tax year, we thought it might be helpful to remind you of what Gift Aid is and what the rules are.

Adding Gift Aid to your donations means that, as a charity, we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra. Free money. What is not to like?

You can only do gift-aid on donations for which you receive no benefit, so it can’t be a payment for goods or services. We can claim it on donations for our gift cards because you, the donor, are not getting the school uniform or pens, etc..

You need to make a Gift Aid declaration for us to be able to claim. As long as you tick a box about future donations, you only need to make the declaration once. Our gift aid declaration is now online, though we can always send you a paper form. If you are a regular donor, it is most likely that we already have a completed declaration from you – you could always get in touch to check if you wish. When you donate through JustGiving, they collect the Gift Aid on our behalf.

Do I pay enough tax to Gift Aid donations?

Your donations will qualify as long as they’re not more than 4 times what you have paid in tax in that tax year (6 April to 5 April). The tax could have been paid on income tax or capital gains but no other form of tax applies.

If you pay tax at a rate above the basic rate, you can claim the difference between the rate you pay and the basic rate on your donation. Win-win.

Thanks to all our donors for their loyal support, whether they can include gift aid or not. Without you we would not be able to support girls at school in North Malawi.

Brian’s first Borders22 adventure

MMF Trustee and Chair of The Soko Fund, Brian Kerr, cycled from Stranraer to Berwick-upon-Tweed last week. He covered 199 miles and most of that was into a strong headwind. It is widely accepted that no matter the direction of the prevailing wind, it will be in your face when cycling. Brian sent us pictures and comments along the way and now shares this reflection on the trip.

“I am riding down this flat road nearing journey’s end, sun on my back, plenty juice in the battery, westerly wind blowing me along .. all just about as good as it gets.

And I am thinking-just how lucky am I …what did I do that I get all this fun and freedom, fulfilment etc etc etc …?

And when it’s this good I also find I am thinking of all the MMF /Soko girls (and the rest) who have to fight and struggle, on and on, just to get a decent education, and some better life chances.

So I’m thinking : go straight to that Justgiving page and give them a wee boost, just as soon as you get home! Think about doing the same – even though you haven’t had all the fun (oh, and pain btw) that I have had these last few days.”

While Brian writes about the final day in good weather and with a following wind, his other days where quite hard in terms of sleet and a very cold headwind. You can give him a shout-out with a small donation here.

The Mamie Martin Collection at Stirling University Library

The Mamie Martin Fund Trustees are always aware of the legacy of Mamie and Jack Martin and their experiences in Malawi in the 1920s. It was their letters and diaries that prompted Margaret Sinclair to write Salt and Light and, together with her husband John and their enthusiastic and hard-working friends, set up the Mamie Martin Fund in 1993.

Recently, Mariot, one of Mamie and Jack’s grand-daughters, delivered the first batch of Mamie Martin papers to the Archive and Special Collections team at the University of Stirling.  Reflecting on this decision, Mariot said ‘This collection is a fascinating glimpse into the lives and times of our grandparents. We are glad that they are now safely in the care of the Archives, where they can be preserved and made available for research’.

Rosie Al-Mullah , Stirling University Archivist  explained ‘We are delighted to take in the papers of Mamie Martin which detail a time little explored in the rest of our African History collections.  These collections have been consulted by researchers across the world and Mamie’s archive will add a valuable outlook on 1920s Malawi and missionary work. As with our other African History collections, we will be keen to digitise Mamie’s papers so that we can make them as accessible as possible, across the UK and beyond, notably adding them to JSTOR’s Struggles For Freedom online resource which provides free access to their African History collections to all higher education institutions across Africa.’

Borders22 launched today

Today we launch our 2022 fundraiser – Borders22. Find your national, local, county, district, country, provincial BORDER and off you go – all in support of girls’ education in Malawi, your good health and, most of all, having some fun.

We are delighted to be one of the two beneficiaries of the royalties from Dr Alasdair Allan’s book about the Scotland-England border. That lovely gesture sparked the idea for Borders22.

From today you can upload your trips along with any stories or photos. You can email them to Moira if you prefer. The project runs until 30th September so you have plenty of time to plan adventures!

People are already planning walks, both on location and virtual, cycle rides, scoots and all sorts. Join in the fun. Let us know what you are planning and we will help you to publicise it.

You can set up a fundraising page here. Donations to the Borders22 fund are always welcome too.

The Mamie Martin kiltwalk team

We are delighted to introduce you to the Mamie Martin team in the Glasgow Kitwalk on 24th April. They will walk 14.5 miles from Clydebank to Balloch. They are:

Intrepid leader and Kiltwalk veteran, Mariot Dallas. Mariot has obviously forgotton how sore her feet were after last year’s Kiltwalk!

Angela Drummond is a newbie to the Kiltwalk but a longstanding MMF friend and supporter.

Violet Hejazi, is a steadfast MMF supporter, normally on a bike. Violet, from Syria, is a law student at the University of Stirling and likes a challenge. Her life has already had more challenges than most people will ever encounter but she is up for the Kiltwalk.

With Violet is her sister, Simone, nephew, Sa’ad (11), and niece, Yara (10). They are being lent kilts by SlanjKilts, one of the Kiltwalk sponsors.

Violet is also bringing her friend, Sudhir Ghildiyal, who is a hotelier in Glasgow and his profile pic suggests that he might be handy on a building site too.

We wish them all a fun day. Heidi and Moira will be a mini support team on bikes, to fetch and carry as the walkers need. Watch out on the 24th April for updates all day and training updates before that.

The team page is here, from which you can access each of the fundraising pages. Remember, the Tom Hunter Foundation will top up all donations by 50% again this year. So this is an efficient way to donate a few pounds to girls’ education in Malawi.

Why be a Mamie Martin Fund Trustee?

MMF’s Co-convenor shares some ideas about trusteeship of our little organisation, with thanks to all those who contributed to this list.

  1. Educating and empowering girls helps to save the planet. See BBC Radio 4 – 39 Ways to Save the Planet, Educating and Empowering Girls
  2. The Scotland -Malawi and Malawi-Scotland relationship is strong and well supported by our governments. As a Trustee you will be playing your part in a lively and vibrant country to country partnership 
  3. We are a working Board, so you will have the opportunity to use your existing skills and experience as well as learning new skills
  4. We use digital resources to work and communicate as efficiently as possible and to save time
  5. Your work will be interesting, you will learn a lot and will never be bored
  6. You will never be short of conversation topics, or material for interviews and applications
  7. You will give your time and energy, but you will know that you are helping to make a difference. See Number 1 above.

Smashing stereotypes

This year International Women’s Day is highlighting how gender stereotypes and bias affect learners’ well-being, educational and career pathways, and also how these can be challenged in and through education. Dr Kate Jere, MMF Trustee, writes:

“Gender stereotypes and biases are built in people’s minds in childhood through socialisation in families, communities and schools, and can limit young people’s futures. In schools, they can be reinforced or challenged through curriculum, teaching and learning materials and practices as well as daily interactions with teachers, parents and peers. Beliefs about gender are shaped by norms. Gender norms describe how women and men are expected to behave according to their social context, largely determining their attitudes and behaviour. Teaching and learning materials, especially textbooks, have a powerful role in shaping young people’s world view – and can either perpetuate or disrupt gender stereotypes. In many countries, girls and women remain under-represented in textbooks and gender stereotypes persist. In Malawi, in contrast, some subject textbooks challenge students to identify gender bias in accompanying illustrations and urge them to discuss these stereotypes with their peers. In the 1990s Malawi made an early commitment to a gender-appropriate curriculum in support of girls’ education.

However, In Malawi the socialisation process happening within schools often replicates that of broader society and reproduces powerful gender norms. A ‘hidden curriculum’ of gendered actions and teacher bias that sees girls side-lined in classrooms or expected to carry out ‘women’s work’ such as mopping classrooms or carrying water, or fails to support girls and female teachers harassed by their male peers, reinforces these discriminatory norms and gender stereotypes. Support for gender-sensitive teacher training and increasing the numbers of female teachers in Malawi schools can be important ways of tackling gender stereotyping. Female teachers, especially in remote, rural areas, can act as role models to help inspire young girls (and their families) to continue their education. One challenge in increasing the number of trained female teachers in Malawi is the high dropout rate of secondary school girls – meaning that few leave school with the necessary qualifications to train as teachers, especially those from the poorest or most marginalised groups. The Mamie Martin Fund, through their scholarship programmes and Ready-to-Learn (R2L) funds to assist needy girls, are helping to keep girls in school, pass their examinations and take their place in society.”

Our kiltwalking is off to a great start

The Kiltwalk has become a Scottish institution – people of all ages and levels of fitness don bits of tartan and … walk. In the process, huge amounts of money are raised. One of the important factors is that all fundraising by walkers is topped up by 50% by the Hunter Foundation; this makes a Kiltwalk a really important fundraising opportunity for us, We are all delighted that the Kiltwalk is back in person this year. It is true, however, that those with memories of sore feet might not be so joyous.

The first Kiltwalk of 2022 will be Glasgow to Balloch, with different starting points for the shorter walks. This is the first time that the Mamie Martin Fund has had more than two people in a team. Our Glasgow22 team, ably led by Kiltwalk veteran, Mariot Dallas, will include a Syrian family who are very excited to be involved in this bizarre activity.

Free kilt hire is on offer from Slanj Kilts, one of the Kiltwalk sponsors. Tunnocks is another sponsor and so we hope to see plenty of their products being given away at the pit stops.

Moira and Heidi will be the on-bike support team and will be sending a fortnightly motivational email to the team with hints and tips about training and preparation.

To join the Mamie Martin Team for the Glasgow Kiltwalk, click here.

To support a member of the Mamie Martin Team, click here.

Pledge 100 on the home straight

As 2021, the year where we commemorated the centenary of Jack and Mamie’s arrival in Malawi, draws to a close, we are happy to be able to give you an update on one of this year’s successful fund-raising initiatives: #Pledge100.

This project got off to a fantastic start in January when our first pledger, Shona, started on her 100 5km runs. After that, 35 enthusiastic pledgers joined from as far afield as North America, Germany, Sweden, Hungary, Portugal and Oman. And of course, closer to home the UK was well represented by swimmers, cyclists, photographers, hoolahoopers, walkers, yoga practitioners, language learners, card creators, bulb planters and music sharers. One of our artistic pledgers in Sweden has actually undertaken 3 lovely pledges and has now completed 300 drawings!

As well as having a good time, the aim of #Pledge100 was to raise awareness of the work that Mamie Martin Fund does to support girls in secondary education in Malawi. The pledgers did a great job of updating us on their progress by sharing photos and posts on social media. As one of the pledgers said, “I’m at number 76 of my Pledge 100 and it’s been a fun way to engage with my social media friends about the work of the Mamie Martin Fund.”

As 2022 approaches some pledgers have decided to carry on and complete their pledges next year, while so far 21 have received their certificates of completion. The best news of all is that currently the total raised by our pledgers stands at a magnificent £8,700. A huge thank you to everyone who took part in this challenge and to the generous sponsors who supported them. Donations can still be accepted at https://mamiemartin.org/donate/