CELTIC FC Foundation’s Malawi volunteers arrived safely in ‘the warm heart of Africa’ on Sunday evening, following a gruelling journey which began at Glasgow Airport almost 24 hours before.
After an initial flight from Glasgow to Amsterdam, the group of 20 volunteers then travelled on to Nairobi, Kenya, before finally landing in Blantyre, Malawi. Upon arrival at the airport, the group were met with their first challenge of the trip as a large number of their luggage items had failed to arrive.
Raring to go on Monday morning, the volunteers made the trip to the headquarters of Celtic FC Foundation’s partner, Mary’s Meals, where representatives shared further details of the group’s placements. The volunteers were then split into two working groups and made their way, accompanied by Mary’s Meals, to different centres at which they will work from for the remainder of the week.
Group 1: Mary Carlin, Shaun Fullerton, Rachel Kelly, Michael McCrossan, Michelle McDaide, Joanne McGirr, Claire McGuire, Katie O’Donnell, Ken Simpson and Tommy Stevenson headed off to St. Joseph’s, Mpunga Under-Six centre, and they were greeted with the warmest of welcomes, with songs from the children and some of the locals, as they expressed great joy at meeting their new friends.
The greeting for Group 2: Lorraine Barwell, Liz Black, Laura Gaffney, Ross Hart, Garrett Maher, Yvonne McDaide, Jim McGinley, Lisa Miller, Lynn Tennent and Jim Welsh was equally as welcoming, as they arrived at Mang’omba Under-Six centre to hundreds of smiling faces.
Having begun their renovation projects on Monday, both groups have progressed well and their days so far have included the painting classrooms and assisting with Mary’s Meals’ feeding programme, as well as playing games and singing songs with the children.
With the majority of the preliminary work for each project complete, our volunteers will now focus on painting ‘talking walls’, educational aids which will be invaluable in assisting the children’s classroom learning experiences. These include: the alphabet, numbers, shapes, animals and days of the week. Each group will also mark their presence at their respective centres by painting a Celtic FC Foundation crest on the classroom walls.
Inspired by their Malawi experiences thus far and undeterred by a couple of early setbacks, our volunteers have already formed a unique bond, not only with each other but also with the children that they have encountered.
Each and every one of our volunteers are doing the Foundation and the entire Celtic Family proud here in Malawi. To support their efforts you can make a donation HERE