The Hillsborough team before they set
off to Malawi
Everyone who took part in the
sportathon and helped raise money for the project in
A TEAM from Hillsborough Presbyterian Church
have spent a year raising much needed funds and supplies for an
impoverished region of Malawi after spending time at a building
project there with Habitat for Humanity.
The 15 strong team visited a project in an
area of Lilongwe called Area 49, a 250 plot project designed to
combat poverty housing in three illegal settlements in slums on
the outskirts of the city last year.
They went to two of the slums to help them
understand the urgency of the situation, the depths of the
poverty and the need for change. During the course of their 15
day trip they managed to complete one house and provide a
further £5,328 of extra funding for Habitat for Humanity to
enable their work in Malawi to continue.
On their last day of building the team
visited Shire Urban Primary School for 5-18 year olds, taking a
variety of toys and educational supplies purchased from team
fundraising efforts and sports equipment donated by Laurelhill
The Shire Urban Primary School in
Malawi, which benefitted from the funds raised by
the Hillsborough Presbyterian Church team.
Jenny Hicks, Pamela Gourley and
Kathryn McCrossan during the sportathon to raise
funds for the project in Malawi.
Some of the children the team from
Hillsborough Presbyterian Church met during their
visit to Malawi
For many of the team this was the most moving
experience of all. It prompted them, on their return to
Hillsborough, to brainstorm ideas to continue supporting these
two very worthwhile organisations.
What ensued from this trip has been a long
labour of love. The team held a special service in Hillsborough
Presbyterian Church in October 2007 and raised £603.58 from a
retiring offering. It was decided this should be put towards
sending out a further container of clothing, furniture and
school equipment. But £3,562 remained to be raised to meet the
cost involved, not to mention collecting and organising all the
necessary materials for distribution.
Their first fundraising effort was a bake
sale at Annahilt GB, which was very well received by parents and
girls. The team then held a gruelling 12 hour sportathon from
8pm to 8am on April 12-13, raising £1,030 through sponsorship.
They were also greatly assisted in their efforts by generous
donations from Hillsborough GB Company and from the charity
committee of Laurelhill Community College.
Superb quality baby and children's clothing was
provided by the staff and parents of Rathcoole Primary School in
North Belfast and the team were indebted to Laurelhill teachers
Mr George Mullan and Mr Derek McClelland for securing
educational resources from Middletown School (which was closing
down to become a centre for autism).
Lisa Scott, team leader, with the
donated clothes, before being sent to Malawi.
Some of the children the Hillsborough
team met in Malawi.
The filled container was sent to Shire Urban
Primary School earlier this year and a letter from the school
principal, Mrs Dinah Malowa, proved just how much it was
"I write to acknowledge with a deep sense of
gratitude the receipt of various school items which you,
together with your colleagues, sent to us" she said.
"School pupils, my fellow teachers and school
management, committee members join me in thanking you most
sincerely for your thoughtfulness and willingness in making such
an enormous donation to this school. Surely your donation will
go a long way in improving the quality of education at this
school. You have really changed our school and the books are so
good for the learners and teachers."