St Benedict’s R C Church. Atherstone.

21 Greendale Close Atherstone CV9 1PR
01827 704858

Once again we are preparing to send out a shipment to Malawi with Christmas gifts to the orphans in the village of Chinthowa. The children of the village really look forward to receiving their gifts from the UK. If you would like to make a Christmas shoe-box the children find the following items useful.
 Soap (very cheap soap because they also use it for washing clothes) flannel, then wrapped in a plastic bag, toothpaste and brush, petroleum jelly (used as moisturiser, cheaper than Vaseline), plastic mug and dish, pencils, biros, exercise books, note books, small ruler, pencil sharpener, rubber, small toy, beads or plastic jewellery for girls, sweets with long use by date, (not chocolate), tennis ball, T shirt or dress. (You could use a local charity shop, they always have good quality clothes, school polo shirts and girl’s school summer dresses are ideal.)

Other things that we need old towels, girls’ summer dresses, (including school uniform dresses) T shirts and boys’ shorts, (including football strips) men’s shoes, ladies flat shoes, flip flops, croc type shoes, football boots. We will also be sending packets of cheap soap and petroleum jelly to the villagers.
We will be packing during September and we would be grateful if gifts could be received during that month or earlier if possible.

It does cost a lot to send out a container by ship to Malawi so if you are unable to make a Christmas Shoe-Box when would be grateful for a donation towards the cost of shipping.

All items can be left at St Benedict’s Church, or the School or brought to the above address.


Life continues to be hard for all of Sub-Saharan Africa and Malawi in particular. January 2015 brought devastating floods, which destroyed the harvest and we had to introduce a Feeding Programme for the children. The children receive a bowl of maize porridge at the end of the school day, cooked by the teachers’ wives and volunteers. We are usually feeding over 1,000 children each day.
January 2016 brought drought and even though the rains had come at the correct time, they failed half way through the growing period. We did get a small harvest but not sufficient for all the village. The Feeding Programme continues for the children. Some of our old folk have become malnourished and we are also supporting them with food (maize) which they cook themselves, and blankets and clothes to keep them warm during the winter (May, June and July)
These natural disasters have set back our programme for helping Chinthowa become self sufficient in production of their own food. However we have been able to learn from these problems and make alternative plans to increase the water harvesting programme.

Margaret and Brian Ingram


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