Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

  © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Winter Report 2019

including Sept-Nov trip…..

OHP Centre

Our goats are doing fine, but we’re always eager to improve and learn better care.  During the Sept/Nov trip we trialled a new feeding regime, more targeted to individual goats, which reduced the stress at feeding times and increased milk yield.

However bringing in enough greenstuff for our goats (20 does, 2 stud bucks and 4 male kids), is a tough job this time of year. During the long dry season, there’s not much fodder around, except at the distant mountain, way beyond where everyone else goes. Our vehicles can’t access this terrain, so it’s a case of hand-cutting & staff carrying the material back to site on their heads.

Dairy goats

One way we’ve helped both our goats and the vulnerable is we’ve developed a “cash-for-work”, scheme giving the able-bodied poor a way to earn money in exchange for collecting goat food.

Our staff are doing well, diligently handling tasks and continuing to positively impact the local community. Training and capacity-building is important to us, so we’re sending Frank, our team leader, back to college to do a diploma course in Community Development in January, and we’re continuing to train him, and two others in computer use. They’re all doing well.

Our site didn’t suffer much structural damage during the cyclone earlier in the year, but we rebuilt or repaired infrastructure for safety and to model responsible care and maintenance—not a trait commonly found in Malawi!

OHP Staff

These popular fortnightly events are a delight to see and participate in. More than 30 older folk arrive early in the morning in preparation for their lunch, singing, dancing, praying and socialising. As they leave, they’re clutching their bags of left-over food to help those they care for at home…..

Elderlies’ Luncheons


In autumn, our tree nursery was thriving, with 4500 tree seedlings planted to back up WUA’s community project - suitable for fuel, nutrition and soil enrichment.  

However, WUA took a different path and we distributed the seedlings to local schools, individuals and community groups early in 2020.

Monthly distribution of our Food Programme began just before Christmas 2019 so the particularly vulnerable could celebrate this special time too. Needs were assessed, lists of those most at risk prepared, and soap and soya meals bought in order to give away with the tons of maize in our storerooms.

170 households (about 750 people) received this help for 3 months, aimed to bridge the gap between the maize destroyed in the fields during the cyclones (March 2019) and the next harvest in March/April 2020.

Food Programme


December distribution of our Food Programme - 750 people were able to eat Christmas lunch - and beyond…..

Sanitation award

As part of our mitigation programme following Cyclone Idai earlier in the year, we replaced 60 toilets that had been destroyed by the storms in

17 different villages. Health Surveillance Officers surveyed the area and reported back that there’d been no cases of cholera so the Senior Chief was awarded the ODF Certificate (Open Defecation-Free) later in the year, at a prestigious ceremony presided over by Malawi’s Health Minister

—quite an honour to lead the country in sanitation!

OHP’s increasing influence

Crowds gather at the gate early each Wednesday morning with a wide variety of requests for help—it may be for housing, roof replacement, emergency transport or medical treatment, but most often it was for food.

Many were hungry, some hadn’t eaten nsima (maize, the staple diet) for days.  Some had no food at all, and without any form of income, are totally dependant on the kindness of others.  

We were asked by the Phalombe Teachers’ Training College representatives if they could bring a class of would-be teachers to us to hear about the problems faced by the rural communities as part of their curriculum.

About 30 participants attended the seminar and asked a variety of questions about our work, our experiences and how we help the vulnerable.  

An interesting and successful afternoon.

We hosted a 2-day Pastors’ Conference in our Training Hall during October.  Chris, from Living Hope Ministries, based in the UK, along with Aubrey, a Malawian pastor from Blantyre, helped teach, envision and encourage 32 local pastors.

Teachers’ training

Pastors’ Conference

“Open Hand” -


One request was from Veronica – one of our ex-students who passed her MSCE last year. She was eager to start a business.

Because of past experience, we hesitated to give her capital so gave her over a hundred bras that we had brought over, so she could sell them to raise the capital she needed, without loan repayments.

From Reception we arranged “cash for work” tasks, gave out money for food & plastic sheeting for roofing, 150 pairs of glasses, distributed knitted blankets and kids’ jumpers, and funded emergency medical transport and treatment.

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During 2019…

we gave out the basis for over 82,000 meals

to the most vulnerable -

mainly from our “target group” - the elderly, orphans, those living with disabilities and the AIDS-affected.

She was delighted and motivated to do well…..