I took my first step onto the African continent in November. The purpose of the trip was to show World Duty Free Group (WDFG) the water projects they’ve funded in Malawi, and also to take a member of Harbour and Jones who are a new One Water customer.
Due to me being a part of the One team a while, I thought I knew what to expect – but in reality it smashed expectations. It was a life changing experience and has made me realise just how lucky people who live in the UK are. Everyone is aware of the problems in Africa but seeing it first hand is incredibly powerful. One of the most memorable things was how happy the families I met were despite having close to nothing. It was fascinating to meet thousands of people whose lives we have changed and see the boreholes being repaired and drilled.
Whilst in Malawi I wrote about all my experiences and I want to share with you a few pieces from it:
“Sunday we set off 8am sharp for a stunning 2 hour drive to Brighton in the Bangula region to fix a water pump. This is one of the poorest areas of Malawi, and so one of the poorest areas of the world. The pump was still working but needed maintenance and some new parts so all the team got stuck in to help. Whilst work was in progress we had fun playing with the children in the village. There was plenty of frisbee, football, selfies, singing and dancing! After the pump was finished 450 people could now obtain clean water more efficiently. It was amazing how such a small investment of time and money can change so many lives”
“Monday began with a visit to the bridge in Nasundu funded by WDFG and One. We were greeted by all the children from the Nasundu school standing on the bridge singing songs and holding signs written ‘thank you for our lovely bridge’. Some members of the group found this really emotional and were incredibly proud to be part of such a fantastic project. The bridge has meant the children and teachers can go to school in the rainy season without drowning”
“After seeing the bridge we each carried a 20kg sack of pala on our heads, half a mile to the school in time for lunch. Whilst at the school we met the teachers, taught the children English, maths and nursery rhymes and read them stories. We served their lunch for them and took on the school football team in 40 degree heat. As you can probably guess we lost quite convincingly!”