Norwich-Dedza Partnership

The Norwich-Dedza Partnership is a charity that develops and supports practical links between Norwich, UK and Dedza District in central Malawi. We believe there are mutual benefits from collaboration leading to a greater appreciation of the differences and similarities in ways of life in the two areas. Projects so far have covered IT, Health, Education, Tourism, Economic Development and Community Facilities. The Partnership welcomes ideas for developing new or existing projects and is grateful for contributions of time, materials or money.

Latest News

Bursary student success

Each year, donations from supporters enable us to send money to Dedza Social Welfare Department for bursaries to pay secondary school fees for orphans and other poor students.

This year we were contacted by an ex-student who had received bursaries in 2005 to 2008. He described how the bursary had enabled him to complete schooling. He went on to do teacher training, worked as a primary school teacher, did more study and was accepted for a degree course in nursing. We were able to give him a laptop to assist his studies.

 

Kapalamula Primary School Toilet

Two builders, Billy and Mac from Kings Lynn visited Dedza this year to build a toilet at Kapalamula primary school. They raised money for the project from local builders' merchants and other companies. The school arranged for the construction of the cesspit and the concrete floor. With the help of some local labour, Billy and Mac were able to put up the walls and roof to complete the building.

 

Computer project.

We were given some redundant notebook computers by Norwich Primary Academy. These were pre-loaded with free educational material downloaded from the internet and were shipped to Dedza by our friends at Glasgow City Council.

The Dedza schools that are partnered with Norfolk schools were each given one. The schools were divided into geographical clusters and each cluster was given a dongle for internet access to enable them to download and share more material.

Teachers unfamiliar with computers were trained by others with experience. The facility will enable teachers to find material for lessons and their own professional development.

 

Umbwi School Girls' Hostel

Umbwi Secondary School has not had a dormitory for girls since they started being admitted in 1999. They have been using an old, dilapidated and overcrowded building about a kilometre from the school. We provided some money for repairs at the existing building and are helping the school to raise fund to build a new dormitory on the campus. A first phase to rehouse half of the girls will cost £40,000. So far, the school has raised £8,953 and we have raised £18,679. The school has started the construction with the money available.

If you know of any organisations that might help fund this project, please let us know.

Visits

Volunteers went to Dedza in Sept this year. Many of the schools linked with Norfolk schools were visited. Surplus sports kit donated by Hewett Academy and other items were distributed.

The pupils carried out an exercise to name vegetables and fruit in English and Chichewa (the Malawi language) and describe how they were grown. The results were brought back to the Norfolk schools that had done the same exercise.

 
 

Guardian shelter

The guardian shelter is a hostel where women stay while looking after relatives who are in-patients at the hospital. Various sanitation problems had developed, including blocked toilets and rubbish being discharged into the ditch outside. The District Environment Officer prepared a scheme with new drains and a large sewage pit. The Dedza District Council and the Partnership shared the costs.

 
Friendship Library

Friendship library

Friendship Library

Umbwi Secondary is a state boarding school. Students have leisure time at the weekends and evenings. They are keen to read English books during this time for pleasure and improve their knowledge of the language. Students at Framingham Earl High School donated novels that were shipped to Dedza to establish a library.

 

Chongoni Women Sewing Group

The Chongoni Women Sewing Group is continuing. They make aprons, cushion covers, scrunchies and other items from local cloth. These are sold at a local tourist destination. We also bring some back to sell here. The money is transferred to the women in Dedza. During the visit one of the volunteers was able to carry out maintenance on the sewing machines.

The women are also producing sanitary pads that we buy and provide to Umbwi Secondary School for distribution to needy girls. This provides the women with further income and enables the girls to get to classes.