< Embangweni 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.

International week of the Deaf

We come to the end of International Week of the Deaf 2020 and congratulate the World Federation of the Deaf for valuable events and posts during the week. This year’s theme is ‘Reaffirming Deaf People’s Human Rights’. We endorse the need to secure and promote the human rights of deaf people everywhere. We are privileged to support six deaf girls at secondary school in North Malawi. Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children is run by our partners, the CCAP Synod of Lvingstonia. 

Two of these girls are supported by the Scottish Government as part of the Cameron Endowment Fund which we manage on their behalf. Three others are supported through our Thompson Fund, established in the memory of Jack and Phyllis Thompson who lived and worked in Malawi most of their lives. The girl that we have supported the longest is now in her final months at school and wrote her story to give to us. We share it on our website here

For many reasons education is a greater challenge for deaf children in Malawi than for hearing children. Our contribution is small but very important to these girls. Our Malawi Manager, Mercy Sibande, is learning sign language so as to improve her communication with them. We invite you to watch our short video of the Thompson girls newly starting their secondary school education in 2019.

Her family sold their only cows so that she could finish her degree

Linvell Chirwa, born 1989, is the seventh born of eight children, her parents were subsistence farmers in the district of Mzimba in North Malawi. She attended Robert Laws secondary school in Embangweni but her parents did not have money for fees and so she was supported by the Mamie Martin Fund from the second term in Form 1 until she finished (2004-2007).

Linvell studied nursing and midwifery at Kamuzu College of Nursing (University of Malawi) and graduated in 2012. She received a government loan for two of the four years there. After that loan stopped she struggled financially and her parents sold their only cows to allow her to complete her degree studies. There is a huge shortage of nurses in Malawi and she started work immediately and is now working as a Nursing Officer in charge of a maternity ward in Lilongwe, Mitundu Community Hospital. She has a staff house in the hospital where she lives with her husband and two children aged 5 and 2.

Eager now to further her studies, Linvell has been offered a place to start a Masters course at Kamuzu College of Nursing in September 2020 but she cannot take that place up without support to pay the fees. At present she is the breadwinner for her own family, her parents and other family members.

As well as helping members of her family, Linvell carries on the Mamie Martin Fund vision by supporting other girls with their education.

Read her full case study here.

6 year old shares our vision

On 1st August 2018 Rev. Ken Ross launched a fund to support three girls at secondary school in Malawi. This is the Thompson Scholarship Fund and we are honoured to administer it on behalf of the Thompson family and the Scotland Malawi Partnership. Just over a year later, Jack and Phyllis’ youngest granddaughter, 6-year-old Alice, has created a project about ‘giving’ in which she has used this Fund to illustrate the joys of ‘giving’.

Her two-page project is beautifully decorated with photos of her grandparents and of the three girls whose secondary school fees are paid by the Fund. Alice wrote:

In Malawi, which is in Africa, many girls don’t get to go to school. This is because they are poor and often get married too young. Also they have to stay at home and do chores for their families. The Mamie Martin charity helps Malawian girls go to school. One fund in the Mamie Martin charity is the Thompson Scholarship Fund. This is in memory of my Grandma and Grandpa who lived and worked in Malawi for many years.

These three girls are called: Funny, Deborah and Mary. They are the first three girls to be sent to school by the fund. These girls are also deaf. It would have been very hard for them to go to school without the fund. I am really happy that they get to go to school like me.

By Alice Thompson

Isn’t that amazing and heart-warming? The Thompson Fund has started to support girls in Malawi, as Alice has written. All three are at the same school, the CCAP Secondary School for Deaf Children in Embangeni. These girls will be at secondary school for six years, rather than the four which is more usual in Malawi. This is because of the many barriers to their education – the girls are deaf. You can watch a video of them chatting by sign language on the Mamie Martin Fund website or on YouTube.

The Thompson Scholarship Fund was set up in the anticipation of a four-year support of three girls and has reached that target. However, these girls need support for six years and so the fund-raising page remains open. The Mamie Martin Fund is committed to supporting all its beneficiaries until they complete their schooling and these Thompson girls are no exception – they will be supported for six years or until they complete secondary education.