Community Based Children's Centre AidCamp
Malawi - September 2012
The following review of the M'teza CBCC was written by Jennie, a first-time volunteer with AidCamps. These are her thoughts about the project in her own words.
"I've just been to my first AidCamps' project, which was AidCamps' first sojourn into Malawi. We helped complete a Community Based Children's Centre (CBCC) with the Landirani Trust, a charity organisation based in Malawi.
We didn't stay by the project, which my seven co-workers who are all 'old hands' with AidCamps, told me was different from normal. We had a one-hour drive each way, which lengthened the working day, but meant we had water, electricity, a bar and a small pool in the hostel/campsite we stayed in. All of which added to our comfort; though it was harder to get to know the villagers. We did get to know a lot of the children in the school opposite the project, and taught them to sing a song for the opening ceremony.
The project, a much-needed feeding station for pre-school orphans, will provide a daily meal of nutritional porridge, which will be supplied by Save the Children.
The construction of the CBCC was interesting as we used 'rammed earth' , a more sustainable way of building than using locally baked bricks, which need significant amounts of wood for firing and therefore cause deforestation in the area.
'Rammed earth' is ramming fine damp soil into a wooden frame set on a foundation of stone. This is then left to dry, before building another layer on top. The walls are then rendered with soil and lime.
Ramming and digging a trench for the verandah and drainage, was hard work, and the local builders did much of the heavier work. We decorated the centre inside and out, copying local children's artwork onto the outside of the building.
Though it was a drop in the ocean in terms of what is needed across the country, it was a worthwhile project in itself, and adds to the larger plan of what is going on in the area.
For me, I felt that I had got to know a part of the real Africa, not the safari/tourist trail, but a real village, and I look forward to the next project out there."