< AGM Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

AGM 2023 – Sat 4th Nov 13:00 – 15:00 UK time

Are you signed up for our online AGM yet? Our keynote speaker is Precious Mhone who works in Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children. She will tell us about her school, the community and her pupils. Her positivity shines through, even as she describes some of the barriers faced by these young people. Then Kevin Simpson of Malawi Fruits will speak to us about how that organisatoin is empowering women in the agricultural sector in Malawi.

We’d be delighted to have your support at this AGM. You can register here (free) or watch the livestream on our Facebook page.

AGM Keynote speaker announced

We are delighted to announce that Mrs Precious Mhone, Boarding Mistress at Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children, will be a keynote speaker at our forthcoming AGM. This will be held online so that we can include colleagues and friends from Malawi. The online format also allows many other supporters to join without having to travel.

Precious will tell us about her school, the pupils and their lives. We are proud to support 15 girls at Embangweni in the coming school year. Seven of those are supported through the Thompson Fund, set up in the memory of Jack and Phyllis Thompson. Because of the strong fundraising to this Fund, we have increased the number of girls whom we can support. This year’s amazing fundraising is being done by Helen Nyul, who is undertaking The ROC England – a fearsome triathlon in the Lake District.

Our AGM will be held via Zoom on Sat Nov 4th at 13:00 UK time. We would be delighted if you could join us. The event is free and open to all. You can register here.

Friendship and collaboration in person

On Saturday last we were delighted to attend in person at the AGM of the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP). What a day of warmth and excitement. We had not seen friends and colleagues for so long. The day felt like true partnership all the way through. We shared a table and volunteers with the One World Shop. We caught up with Kenyawi KidsSteka Skills, the David Livingstone BirthplaceMalDent and many many others. The team at SMP put on a great day which included Malawi Gin (of course), Malawian food, great music and a tremendous tribute to the outgoing CEO, David Hope-Jones, who has been so supportive to the Mamie Martin Fund over the years.

We were pleased to introduce our friends from the Malawi-Scotland Partnership to our friends at St Andrew’s and St George’s West Church, where they were welcomed to the Sunday morning service.

Thanks to our volunteer, Liz Hall, and to all the supporters who stopped by our table to chat or buy notecards or gift cards.

A ‘global’ AGM and a new trustee

It was a first for MMF as it has been for so many other organisations in these unprecedented times. We held our 2021 AGM on Zoom and livestreamed it on Facebook. Six months ago most of the Board didn’t know what livestreaming is (some still don’t), far less how to do it.

But we did it. We were rewarded by having 25 participants in the Zoom meeting and many others watching on Facebook (reach = 50 and engagements = 36). We had attendees from Scotland, England, France, Portugal and Malawi, and possibly elsewhere too. We had challenges: one chair fell ill the night before, another lost her internet connection as the meeting started and North Malawi experienced poor Airtel connectivity until almost the end of the meeting.

But we overcame all those challenges. We reported to our supporters and donors, which is the main purpose of an AGM. We heard about girls’ education in Malawi from a Malawian woman, Fiddes Msowoya, who is immersed in education there. We also heard about some on-going research by Isa Uny about fuel and cooking in Malawi and Kenya.

When the MMF AGMs return to local events with the much-missed soup, they will certainly retain a global element as we must not lose these wonderful connections which are now established.

The AGM was particularly pleased to welcome another Malawian onto our Board. Remmie Kamanga became known to MMF when we established our partnership with the Diocese of Karonga, where he was the Education Desk Officer. No longer in that post, he is free to join our Board and we are grateful for his engagement. A former teacher, he brings a wealth of experience and understanding to our work. We will learn much from him.

Nothing more powerful than education …

Our AGM took place in Stirling last Saturday, 26th October. Sue Dumbleton, an MMF supporter, was at the meeting, and has very kindly given us permission to share her blog about MMF and the power of girls’ education:

“AGMs are often things to be avoided, just in case someone asks you to be treasurer or similar. Not so today though and in fact I was disappointed not be able to stay for the full meeting of the Mamie Martin Fund. The Mamie Martin Fund was founded in 1993 by Margaret and John Sinclair in memory of Margaret’s mother, Mamie, who worked to empower women and girls through education in 1920s Malawi.

I can’t think of anything more powerful than education (I would say that having been involved in education one way or another for the greater part of my working life but, honestly, is there anything more important?). The education of girls and women is still not to be taken for granted and the work of organisations such as Mamie Martin is crucial.”

On the right in the picture is Moira, one of the MMF trustees, and someone I met through our shared work at the Open University. Moira is sporting her Malawi-Scotland Partnership dress. On the left is Esmelda, a Malawian woman who has just completed her Masters degree in Glasgow. Both Esmelda and Moira were speaking at the AGM and I was sorry to have to missed their talks. “