Dear Kunyumba friends,
what a pleasure to be back in Malawi and to visit the project! There were no serious restrictions regarding the Corona pandemic; fully vaccinated we were allowed to enter the country without any problems. A cholera vaccination was planned, but the vaccine has not been available in Germany for weeks. Until now (November 2022) cholera outbreaks occur again and again, especially in rural areas of Malawi. Now after the wall is done, which is supposed to protect against sand, freely running goats and thieves, the project site presents itself in full size and makes the spacious dimension visible. With the completion and use of the children's house, the manager's house and the wash house everyday life has returned, and so there is time for the staff to focus more on the outdoor area: planting the garden and building animal enclosures for chickens and goats. Kunyumba also wants to become as selfsupporting and sustainable as possible. The photovoltaic system has proved its worth by providing enough electricity even in cloudy weather, and those who are not too squeamish can also cope with the low temperature of the water in the shower.
In addition to the management change, there was another personnel change at the end of 2021: Kingless left the project for reasons of age and recommended a worthy successor, her daughter Thandiwe. She fits into the existing team with great naturalness and sensitivity. It is very touching to observe her commitment she shows to the children in particular need.
After the move and the restructuring Kunyumba's daily routine has become more settled, which is very good for everyone, especially for the children and young people with disabilities.
Additional building plans are now put aside for an indefinite time and we focus more on necessary encouragement for the children. For example, some of the older children have private tuition at weekends to help them get a good school-leaving certificate, and a musician comes every week to promote social cooperation by singing, lots of rhythm and dancing.
The next step is to find a person who comes to Kunyumba on a regular basis to support the more severely impaired children.
The staff and the parents or caregivers are also to be invited on this issue, so that the exercises and offers can be integrated even more into the children's everyday life outside the project.
Currently 35 children, adolescents and young adults - aged between 4 and 28 - spend a large part of their lives with the 7 staff members in Kunyumba. Tight daily structures offer them protection, security, reliability and continuity. Even though the age difference is big, everyone benefits from this kind of community, and it makes us realise that the name of the project was chosen perfectly:
KUNYUMBA = FAMILY, HOME 😊
Ute Reichl (on site from 14.07. - 03.08.2022)