For me, home is something strange, almost indescribable and inexplicable. Although it is so, one simply cannot deny that it exists. It is, after all, a
concept that is definitely true and actual. Certainly, this word 'home' has many meanings for all kinds of different people.
But is it a building? Family, or friends? A feeling...? What a philosophical question!
Personally, I believe that home is a collection woven from special memories, experiences, personalities and localities. It is inseparable from a place, a childhood
and an era. Home is the place to which one can return at any time - a place where one is always welcome and feels at home. There one finds constant peace, tranquility and security, and is
accepted, despite the bad circumstances. I can think of my home with homesickness and nostalgia. Although it is almost a 'place', but unfortunately it is not so simple... The past plays a very
important role. When I think back to earlier times, it becomes clear to me that my childhood is a big and necessary part of home. Beautiful memories (that have defined me and given me shape) have
a defining effect on this complicated concept. Family and friends have also contributed to my concept of home. They are individuals who care about me. I place my trust in them without
reservation. They are also my home.
I believe that this word encompasses a whole lot - my life depends on it. My home? It's not just where my house is.
That is where my heart is.
James McAllister was born in South Africa and spent his childhood in Zambia. He is studying mathematics and German language and literature in Dublin, Ireland.
Malawi is a small country in southeastern Africa and is one of the poorest countries in the world (HDI: rank 169 out of 191).
The average annual per capita income is US$643 (2021 – compared to Germany: US$ 50.802). Morethan half of all residents live on less than $1.25 per day. Poverty in Malawi makes it difficult for children, youth, and adults to lead healthy lives. Many people are malnourished and lack access to clean water and health care. Natural livelihoods are severely threatened or already severely affected by deforestation, soil degradation, species extinction, overfishing of Lake Malawi and mining of raw materials such as uranium.
Kasungu District is located 126 km from Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. The population of Kasungu District is over 825,000 people, according to the 2018 census report conducted by the National Statistics Office. 95% of them are farmers.
Kasungu is the capital of a province where child labor is widespread in agriculture, especially in tobacco cultivation. One main factor that contributes to child labor, especially in Kasungu region, are the tobacco farms where people work on leases.
This arrangement puts enormous pressure on parents to perform and exposes children to child labor.
Due to a lack of job prospects, low levels of schooling and a lack of sexual education, rates of youth unemployment and teenage pregnancies are high.
The population is growing at an annual rate of 2.7 percent. Another factor is the HIV pandemic, which is causing many deaths and leaving children to be cared for by
a single parent or, in some cases, to fend for themselves after losing both parents. Widespread alcohol and drug abuse are other factors that exacerbate the social situation.
And at the same time, it must be said: Malawi is a beautiful country of great geological and cultural diversity with a very young population - we want to help Malawi overcome its challenges and become even more beautiful.
Child labor Documentary
in cooperation with Hoho Action Plus
A Cool Spot for Young People
Josephine, a young and inspiring entrepreneur, opened a restaurant in Kasungu, Malawi. She loves cooking and wanted to create a special place for young people to hang out. Josephine's restaurant has tasty food with local and international flavors. She buys fresh ingredients from the local market to support local farmers. The restaurant has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere that attracts young people. Josephine faced challenges, but she used clever ideas to solve them. Her success is inspiring for other young people who want to follow their dreams and help their community. If you're looking for a fun place to eat and meet friends, check out Josephine's restaurant in Kasungu!
Producing our own bricks
Sustainability is important to us, which is why we produce our own bricks. The bricks are made from clay that is extracted from the construction site.
On March 11th, Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi with wind speeds of up to 260 kilometres per
hour. It destroyed buildings, damaged infrastructure and telecommunications, and caused severe flooding and landslides in Phalombe, Mulanje, Chiradzulu, Thyolo, Nsanje, Chikwawa, Zomba, Machinga
and Mangochi. According to official reports, the tropical storm has so far claimed more than 220 lives and injured numerous people. Thousands of people are also urgently in need of shelter, clean
water, and food.
As we all know, this is part of climate change. A group of dedicated young volunteers from our charity organization planted trees and grass to promote environmental protection and community service. The volunteers worked tirelessly and covered a significant portion of the property. The event was a success and provided the youth with the opportunity to learn about the environment and the benefits of planting trees and grass, as well as to make a statement for our community.
However, it should be noted that the situation in Blantyre remains concerning and urgent support is needed to provide assistance to those affected by Cyclone
Freddy. It is crucial to take action to mitigate climate change and prevent similar catastrophic events from occurring in the future.
Our local cooperation partner HOHO Action Plus took the initiative to provide humanitarian aid to the affected people in Mangochi. With a fully loaded truck of clothes, maize flour and soap thy drove there to deliver the goods. Hundreds of people have received donations in Mangochi.
The board member meeting
The board member meeting of Shorten the Distance Trustees was held in Kasungu with the aim of reviewing the progress made in the past year and planning for the upcoming year. The meeting was also meant to discuss any challenges faced by the organization and ways to address them.
The board members were pleased to note that Shorten the Distance had achieved significant progress in the past year. The organization was able to successfully implement a number of projects that benefited the communities it serves. These Projects included:
Construction of a new culture kitchen
Provision of clean water through the installation of boreholes
Distribution of school supplies students
Awareness campaign on nutrition, blood pressure (bp), diabetes and child labour
Planting trees to prevent the climate change.
Despite the success achieved, the board members noted that there were still some challenges facing the organization. These included:
Limited funding: Shorten the Distance relies heavily on donations and grants to fund its projects. With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting economies worldwide, there has been a reduction in donations and grants, making it difficult for the organization to continue with its projects.
Lack of skilled staff: The organization is in need of skilled staff to help with project implementation. There is a need for more qualified staff to be employed to ensure the success of projects.
Plans for the Upcoming Year: To address the challenges faced, the board members came up with the following plans for the upcoming year: Diversifying funding sources: The organization will explore alternative funding sources such as partnerships with other organizations and crowdfunding to increase its funding.
Recruitment of skilled staff: The organization will prioritize the recruitment of qualified staff to ensure the success of its projects.
In addition to the progress made and challenges faced, the board members also had the opportunity to meet all members at once, which was a significant milestone. It allowed them to share their ideas and experiences, ask questions and strengthen the unity of the board. Furthermore, they established a strong future concept for the organization, which will help to focus on the goals and spread their missions and visions in schools, communities and youth clubs. Children and youth should be informed about the organization and its activities. "We do not need to wait for the future, because it has already begun" (Judith).
Conclusion: The board member meeting was a success as it provided an opportunity for the board members to review the progress made and plan for the upcoming year. The organization will continue to work towards its mission of improving the lives of the communities it serves, and the establishment of a strong future concept will help to focus on the goals and spread the organization's missions and visions to children and youth.
What are the goals of Shorten the Distance Trustees?
Implementation of projects with local communities: construction of wells, water storage, and installation of photovoltaics
Construction of a youth center
Organic gardening (permaculture), recycling, and upcycling
Awareness campaigns on child labor and child marriage
Debates on topics such as human, child, and labor rights; equality; health and hygiene; environment and climate protection; corruption and migration
Child and youth care, tutoring, the teaching of practical skills such as nutritional advice, and communal cooking for a "cultural kitchen"