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Dear Project Kindy Village,
Thank you, team, for your support in terms of advocacy (sharing the story of the children with your network), encouragement, fundraising, donations and prayers. Every little gift helps move this grassroots initiative along and we are so grateful. Thank you for helping these children have food in their tummies and pre-school experience.
Your Village Update:
1) Our first permanent classroom has had the foundation laid and walls built, roof and painting are next.
2) The negative effects on food insecurity due to the cyclone earlier this year are being felt now with high maize prices due to increased demand from industry and below-average harvests and financial pressure on households (read more info here) Your donations give food security to the poor. Please consider becoming a regular donor from as little as $4/month to ensure more tummies are full.
3) Massive thanks to our recent Fundraisers:
- Michelle McEachern from Paddock Espresso raised $400 with her cafe’s Christmas Markets,
- Coffee Clubs at Stafford, Chermside, Toombul and Taigum raised $151.75
- Kate Prior raised $280 with her two games nights,
- Ken Mayers raised $133 with his chocolate station in the staffroom,
- Jacqui Du Payne and her son Ethan (and I) raised $2738 with our Trivia Night which was evenly shared between Padua’s Franciscan Appeal and Project Kindy ($1369)
- and Shaun McLean and the Volleyball community from Churchie raised $1278 with a 3-day volleyball competition,
- Pretty Faces Makeup raised $300 (my skincare and makeup business)
- Special mention to Sr Melissa Dwyer who raised $5123 through her public speaking!
4) A big welcome to our new Project Kindy members including our new regular and once-only donors, email list members and social media and in-person advocates! Thank you very much for your support!
5) Charity Christmas Cards are available through Rosie Lou stationery. Please support Camille as she supports us! She is passionate about creating beautiful, locally produced stationery that lowers your environmental footprint using recycled post-consumer card, non-toxic vegetable-based inks and much more. Now’s the time to explore their website for all your end-of-year thank you gifts, cards and wrapping paper!
6) Project Kindy Christmas Vouchers are available on our website in $15, $32 and $76 vouchers. A custom amount is available if needed. We can print your vouchers if required otherwise you’ll receive an email version that you can send to your friends and family near and far. You’ll be the BEST Santa ever by giving the gifts of food security and school readiness to a child or children in need.
7) A most heartfelt THANK YOU to the Catholic Leader for their support and shining a spotlight on our little grassroots mission. Listen to the ABC Brisbane Radio interview about Project Kindy after the Catholic Leader Awards encouraged our efforts by naming myself as the Volunteer of the Year.
PS. If you would like to become a regular donor to Project Kindy from as little as $4/month, or include a legacy donation to us in your will, please see our website for more details. https://projectkindy.com/donate
Thank you for your ongoing support of the kindergarten children and their communities in rural Malawi, especially after the floods earlier this year. The highlights of our report are:
Tax-Deductible Donations for the exact same kindergartens are very welcome through the charity, “Innocents Relief” (details here)
Sr Joanita has sent her first report, (see attached) with exciting news regarding using our funds for the construction of a permanent classroom
“Mastermind” – You’re invited to our annual ideas session in person or on facebook live, to help plan our “September Shindigs” appeal
“September Shin-digs” – You’re invited to raise money for another permanent (flood-proof) classroom by hosting your own fundraising event in September
Tax-Deductible Donations are very much appreciated because they go to the exact same place and significantly increase our capacity to make a difference in the lives of the children and their communities. Our friends at Innocents Relief have Deductible Gift Recipient status and donations that have been sent to our Malawi kindergartens through them have provided much-needed help since we began our partnership. We’re super grateful to them. If you would like to continue to support the children but would prefer the tax deduction benefit, please donate to “MAL01” at Innocents Relief. We are thrilled to offer this opportunity with the help of Innocents Relief.
Sr Joanita’s and I talk often via WhatsApp. Thank you for the extra donations given in response to the floods which went to securing a drop toilet that had become very dangerous due to the floods. After providing food for the children’s lunches, Sr Joanita informed me that the next most important way to support the kindergarten communities is to provide classrooms that can withstand the floods that wash away the mud and stick rooms each year. It is very exciting to hear that it only costs about $7000 AUD or $5000 USD to construct a single classroom with a cement floor, brick walls and a corrugated iron roof. With your continued help, over the next 5 years or so, we can ensure all 11 kindergartens have permanent buildings, a basic element of infrastructure needed.
“The money received will be mainly used to purchase maize, sugar, rice, soya beans, salt groundnuts and fire woods for children’s care and nourishment. Alongside this, looking at the effects of floods at the beginning of this year we have seen a need of building a new and stronger nursery school for one of our nurseries, in Ng’ombo, as their structure fell during the heavy rains.” – Sr Joanita
Our 2019 Mastermind Session will be at 12 Ryans Road, Northgate, Saturday Jul 13 from 2pm – 5pm. Our first Masterminds last year were so energising! It will be a fantastic way to get together, share ideas and resources and plan for a successful “September Shindigs” (more on that below). If you are unable to make it in person, we will film elements of it live on the Project Kindy Mastermind facebook event page. This is our second focus for the year, 6 months after the Cocktail Party in March. We noticed that our volunteers love to host little gatherings so we thought it would be great to galvanise our efforts and create a focus in September. We have resources to support you as you plan an event and together at the Mastermind, we can work out a great strategy to ensure we make a very big difference in the lives of many in rural Malawi. Please come or join the conversation on the Facebook event or here on email.
Create a shindig with your nearest and dearest to raise money for new ‘digs’ (a new flood-proof classroom) for Project Kindy. We need to raise $7000 to fund the construction of a single-room brick building to replace the mud hut in one of our rural village kindergartens in Malawi. 100% of your donation will be sent to the Canossian Sisters who manage the kindergartens.
A classroom that can withstand flooding will give many children year-round access to early-years education for years to come. Evidence from a range of research argues that ‘school readiness’ is one of the most effective ways to raise the standard of living in poverty-stricken countries. A local company will be employed for the construction so your funds will also be providing local jobs.
Create your own event and donate the funds into the Project Kindy Bank Account (on the website). Ideas include dinner, games-night, ladies’ lunch, trivia, live music jam night, champagne breakfast, family picnic, arts workshop, makeover afternoon or movie night.
Thank you very much!
The next email you receive from me will be thanking you for your donations from this financial year. We truly love being a part of this grassroots initiative. With internet banking, Whatsapp and email, we really can connect directly with the local communities in Nsanama and surrounds. Isn’t that amazing?! I’m dreaming of another trip to Malawi in April 2021 – would you like to come? Start saving!
Thank you again and I hope to see you at the Mastermind or at a Project Kindy fundraising event in September!
To our dear Project Kindy Village,
We hope this finds you very well. Again we have both good news and bad news.
This quarter we sent our annual donation of $25 000 which secures the $36/year kindergarten fees for our 700 children. All our little offerings come together to make a very big impact in Malawi. It may not sound like a lot here, but it stretches a very long way over there and 100% of it reaches the children who desperately need it. Thank you for your contribution, support and advocacy.
Let’s start with the super cute compilation of the videos Sr Giovanna Tosi sent us on February 25, 2019. To see the 2 minute video of the children saying thank you to YOU, go to:https://projectkindy.com/the-children-and-sisters-say-thank-you/
Have you seen the disastrous impact of Cyclone Idais in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe in the news? Sr Joanita reported to me that none of our kindergarten children has lost their lives, however, many families have lost their homes and crops. This is quite devastating. Most of our mud and stick hut kindergartens in the rural areas have been destroyed. To read about the terrible floods in Malawi caused by cyclone Idais in March, go to:http://floodlist.com/africa/cyclone-idais-trail-of-destruction-across-southeast-africa
A few compassionate souls of our Project Kindy Village have asked if they can donate towards a special crisis fund to alleviate the suffering caused by the cyclone. Your extra support at this time would be most appreciated. To donate to our Project Kindy Flood Appeal, simply write the word “Flood” in the description of your once-off donation. Paypal and Bank Details can be found at: https://projectkindy.com/donate
Thank you to everyone who attended or supported our Project Kindy Cocktail Party at Cloudland. It was such a beautiful thing to have so many compassionate, fun and positive people in the same room. The event aimed to give our village a wonderful evening of celebration and connection, show the impact of your support with videos, photos and a display of the food, invite new people into our grassroots initiative and to raise funds.
Thank YOU for offering your love to these little, innocent ones who suffer extreme poverty. They are so thirsty for the knowledge and skills you enable them to learn and they are so hungry for the lunches you provide. Thank you!
These images and videos were recorded on a Sister’s phone and sent via WhatsApp on February 25, 2019. These are some of the children you love and support. They are at Nsanama kindergarten which is the one next to the convent. The other rural kindergartens do not have permanent buildings, desks, chairs, books, pencils etc. Enjoy connecting with the children you directly empower and feed.
It feels SO GOOD to be uniting with you and our Aussie and Malawi villages to bring hope (and lunch) to children experiencing extreme poverty! Welcome to the Project Kindy Village to all our new friends and thank you to those who have been in the village for some time now, for your continued support.
We have some good news and some not so great news.
Firstly, LET IT RAIN!!! Can I get a toot toot??! It’s Harvest Time in Malawi which means it’s time for our annual donation so the Canossian Sisters can purchase 9 months’ worth of school lunches for our 700 or so children. This huge amount of corn and rice grain will be transported in lorries to the convent where it will be stored across several sheds. Let’s celebrate with a Cocktail Party at Cloudland on March 2.
The $60 tickets do not include a donation so we our Silent Auction will be pivotal to the fundraising success of the night. Do you have a luxury item or a bundle of luxury items to donate? Please reply to this email – we need your gifts in kind!!
Purchase YOUR tickets and feel WONDERFUL for connecting with our African “friends-we-haven’t-met”. There is research where they tested what increased the happy hormones in the saliva of people and it turns out that GIVING MONEY or HELP to people you don’t know is actually the biggest high a human can experience. You can enjoy a direct connection to your beneficiaries here at Project Kindy, as 100% of your donation reaches the children. We voluntarily work hard in the background and the volunteers work very hard in Malawi to ensure your time, money and advocacy is respected and optimised. Experience the joy of loving your global neighbours!
The rains did come but they either came too little or too much at a time. In southern Malawi there was not enough rain and then near Lilongwe, floods damaged infrastructure, housing and took lives this January. Read Flood Article.The country is never really out of danger as they depend on the weather for their once-a-year crops. The children are amongst the most vulnerable to food insecurity.
I was very saddened at the sudden loss of our wonderful Project Kindy villager, Bill Mulcahy last year. Bill had such a huge heart and the children in Malawi were so blessed by his generosity, as were the Aussie teens he journeyed with as a teacher and principal. I’d never met his family, but am so touched that his beautiful wife, Carole, and his 7 daughters, have decided to continue building Bill’s legacy through Project Kindy. We can’t wait to meet you in person at our Let It Rain event in March.
YOU, dear Project Kindy Villagers, have continued to give your gifts (most common: $8/month, $20/month or $50 once off gift), advocated for the children online and offline by sharing our Let It Rain event and run your own fundraising initiatives. We have a bunch of new donors and new event guests and we’re so thrilled to link arms with you for a noble cause.
BIG THANKS to Tim and Jo McDade, their 4 kids and their excellent friends for spreading the word at their January, “Festival of Friends” event. It was a brilliant, fun evening of live music, good laughs and even music trivia, all out on the grass under the stars. I felt connected and it was perfect to extend our great night to those friends of ours in Malawi who also hang out on the grass at night under the stars.
BIG THANKS to Olivia and Camille Chesterton from Rosie Lou cards and stationery for their generous hearts as they ran their Charity Christmas Cards appeal for Project Kindy again this year. Amazing!! There will be Rosie Lou items for sale at our Cocktail Party with profits donated back to the children. Don’t miss out!
News of Change
Sr Josephine Allieri has been moved to Lilongwe (where the floods were last month), so she is no longer managing the kindergartens. She has found some recipients in Lilongwe for the uniforms donated by Holy Cross Primary School Woolloowin – thanks again guys! Sr Joanita is replacing her but I haven’t met her via Whatsapp or Email just yet as I’m sure it is a very busy time for her getting settled in. Let’s pray for Sr Joanita!
VERY BIG THANKS to Belinda Starrenburg who has generously served our Project Kindy Village as Secretary, Treasurer and mastermind strategist for over 2 years. We appreciate her gifts of expertise, time and creativity and wish her well as she focuses on her family.
WELCOME to Amelia Heaton as our new Treasurer. We’re so grateful to have her and her Excel wizardry on board to keep our financials in fine order.
Remember 100% of your donation covers the $4/month Kindergarten Fees. Increase your impact simply by:
– Giving regularly into our bank account or via paypal (see www.projectkindy.com/donate for details)
– Tell your story to a friend, why do you like Project Kindy?
Is it that only $4/month can stretch so far in Malawi?
Or that you have a direct connection to the children and you know exactly where your money is going?
Or is it that 100% of your donation reaches the children in the form of kindy fees?
Or do you like that the research overwhelmingly demonstrates that pre-school education is one of the most efficient and effective ways of overcoming poverty?
– Leave a legacy in YOUR Will for the children Project Kindy supports. You know, a gift of $5000 for example, would stretch an ENORMOUS way for in Malawi. See our ABN below and add us into your documentation and rest assured you will leave a lasting legacy of hope and improvement of living standards for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Thank you very much!
Our Project Kindy Executive Committee decided that the most sustainable way for us to consolidate and grow as a charity is to increase our regular donors and accept donations from third-party fundraising events. We deeply appreciate every donor and advocate who supports Project Kindy. Thank you to Allison White, Belinda Starrenburg and Kiara Palmer for volunteering for the administrative roles on the committee. Your time and efforts are appreciated.
Finally, just a thought, please think of the children when you are giving thanks for your meals, because they give thanks for you at lunch time.
In The Catholic Leader, May 27, 2018 p7
Brisbane charity gives food for African kindies
RELIGIOUS sisters and volunteers caring for kindergarten students in Malawi have picked up their latest ration of breakfast foods thanks to generous donors from Australia. The Canossian Daughters of Charity and a group of volunteers bought a year’s worth of grains to feed nearly 800 children in Malawi.
For many families, sending their child to kindergarten is a guaran- teed way to secure a meal. But the local food staple of rice and corn are difficult to come by, as the Malawi harvest time is between May and July. The timeframe is the equivalent of having the local Australian grocery store closed from August to April.alawi who would otherwise starve. The grains will be turned into nsima, a Malawian dish made with milled corn, rice and water and fed during mealtime to the children in the kindergartens.
Since 2016, Australian charity Project Kindy has financially sup- ported the kindergartens. Donations are sent to the Canos- sian Sisters at the beginning of the Malawi harvest. Project Kindy founder Donna Power said the charity provided nearly 800 meals a day, five days a week for the school year, which normally lasted nine months.
“This provides much-needed food security for these vulnerable children,” Mrs Power said. Next month the charity will hold its first trivia night at St Wil- liam’s parish, Grovely, to provide even more meals for the Malawi children.
– Emilie Ng
Good food: A volunteer for the Canossian Sisters’ Malawi kindergartens carries a bag of maize that will be turned into food for their 800 children.
Photo: Sr Josephine Allieri
Feature Story and Interview by the 96five radio station, May 25 2018
Project Kindy – a Brisbane mum’s journey with the world’s poorest kids.
By Justin Rouillon, Friday 25 May 2018, 96five
Size: 3.81 Mb-5:32
It was 2011 and Donna Power was catching up with a friend who’d been overseas for 8 years.
It seems like a pretty normal occurrence – but the difference was that Donna’s friend was Sister Melissa Dwyer, a nun who’d been serving with the Canossian Daughters of Charity in the African nation of Malawi. She mentioned that the kindy attached to her convent was about to close down. The country is one of the world’s poorest, with the population being extremely vulnerable to food insecurity. In fact, just 2 years ago the UN categorised Malawi at the highest level of food crisis – meaning one in three people faced starvation.
On enquiring why the kindy was closing down Sr Dwyer responded that many of the parents could not afford the $4 per month fee. With the 40 children in the kindy needing only $160 per month to cover the fees Donna thought this was an achievable outcome.
“I’d just finished up a job which I’d been in for 10 years and I was looking for a new adventure. I thought 40 children at $4 a month is achievable, and I decided that this was going to be my new adventure.”
Donna recalls her amazement at the cost of sending a child in Malawi to kindy for a month, especially considering our lifestyle in Brisbane. Daycare costs in Brisbane average around the $100 per day mark, which is mind blowing when you consider a class of 40 kids in Malawi can be fed and educated for $160 per month!
Since 2011 the organisation has grown to the point where they now support 9 kindy’s and over 800 children per month. As a teacher and former school chaplain Donna is passionate about the outcomes that early education achieve in developing countries.
“Early years education in poverty stricken nations, is the most economic way to raise the standard of living. Investing in a child before school prepares them for school, and results in the families and communities valuing education. It also helps them succeed all the way through to tertiary education, and results in more active citizens and leaders.”
And on her first trip to Malawi last year, Donna found out the impact that the kindy’s were having, not only on the parents and children, but on villages as a whole.
“ The village chief spoke to us and he said – ‘no one visits us, we are the forgotten and neglected, but what you are doing us is remembering us and feeding our children, and for that we thank you’. When someone says that you realize why Jesus said reach out to the forgotten. How dare we forget these people who are suffering.”
To find out more about the work of Project Kindy check out the website www.projectkindy.com or find them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/projectkindy
1st pics of our 10TH Kindy! Here are the children of Sacred Heart Kindy at Mtimawoyera. You are the ones funding this exciting partnership with the adults and kids in this village location in rural Malawi. Thank you for giving them HOPE for their little ones. In Malawi, EDUCATION = HOPE! Your efforts are not futile, my friends. Look at the faces of the children you are directly empowering, $4/month.
Sacred Heart Kindergarten is our tenth community-run Kindy that your donations fund! Thank you for empowering this community to provide kindergarten for about 40 little ones. When the village leaders requested Sr Josephine’s support, She knew she has your backing and so was able to say YES!
Amazing news! Another village has requested support to build their own Kindy! This is “Mwai Wathu”, which means “our luck”. Thank YOU for your kindness in stretching out your heart from the Aussie village to this specific village in rural Malawi. Amazing things happen when two villages connect! Donate now to help support this new kindergarten!www.projectkindy.com
Purchase your Christmas cards through Rosie Lou this year to support Project Kindy. All profits from the sale of their Charity Christmas Card pack go to Project Kindy!
The Coffee Clubs at Chermside, Toombul and Stafford City
Greetings to all there, to Julie in a very special way.
United in love and prayer,
“Grassroots charity founded by Brisbane mum raises $10,000 for Malawi kindergartens
CHARITY founder and young mother Donna Power has kept her promise to feed and educate children in Malawi by raising $10,000 in her first major event.
In 2011, Mrs Power founded Project Kindy, an Australian grassroots charity that pays for children to attend kindergarten in Malawi. The idea came about from a conversation with good friend Canossian Sister Melissa Dwyer who was a high school principal in Malawi at the time.
Mrs Power started the project by sending small donations of $4 a month to cover the cost of porridge for 40 children in one kindergarten. The charity is now set to send $10,000 in donations from a recent benefit in Brisbane.
Not only will the donations help fund lunch for nearly 900 kindergarten children, teachers who would normally volunteer their time to teach the children will now receive a wage. Until now, only one of the nine kindergartens supported by Project Kindy had paid teachers.
In May, Mrs Power travelled to Africa for the first time since starting Project Kindy to experience “first hand how life operates in Malawi” and meet the people benefiting from her charity’s donations. She said before her visit to the kindergartens and the villages that supported them, her grassroots charity was considered something of a mystery.
“When we met them, they said, ‘We are forgotten, we are the neglected ones’,” Mrs Power said.
“One of them said ‘We told our neighbours that you’re coming but they didn’t believe us, but now you’re here and so now we can say we’re not the forgotten ones’.
“There was a lot of crying.”
In Malawi, Mrs Power saw just how essential kindergartens were to entire villages. She said all nine kindergartens that Project Kindy supported were initiated by a head chief or sub-chief who saw the benefits of a kindergarten model driven by the Canossian Daughters of Charity.
These kindergartens were developed with assistance from the local Canossian Sisters, who oversee nine facilities, with a 10th one on the way. There are nearly 900 children across nine villages in Malawi attending kindergartens set up in collaboration with the Canossian Sisters.
Each kindergarten has its own Parents’ and Citizens’ committee and one representative meets with Canossian Sister Josephine Allieri monthly to discuss issues and needs, while teachers also receive mentoring from the first kindergarten set up near the sisters’ convent.
“The kindergarten project comes from the village – it’s their initiation – then they build the temporary structure, then they make the bricks waiting for permanent structure,” Mrs Power said.
“They contribute more ingredients for the lunches, they contribute fees when they can, they bring their children. They want this and then they volunteer to teach.”
For some children, the lunch they receive at kindergarten – which consists of a large serving of nsima, a traditional Malawian porridge – may be the only meal for the day, as grains harvested from annual crops are often in short supply.
“When the whole country is subsistence farmers, everyone has this life where you’re dependent on the rains,” Mrs Power said.
“Now I’d heard that before but seeing it in real life, that means it rains once a year, so you grow crops in that time and you harvest it, but you’re not going to harvest again until it rains again a year later.”
For the kindergartens, this means storing 300 bags of 50kg corn kernels, which the Canossian Sisters buy and deliver to kindergartens weekly.
“Our lunches at the kindergarten ensures that those children have got food security no matter if the rains have been good or bad,” Mrs Power said.
“We can be sure that they’ve got a good, nutritious meal that they’re used to, that fits with their lifestyle and their culture and their body.”
Children attending the kindergartens also learn English, which is the language taught in all Malawi state schools, meaning they are set up for a life of education.
“When we heard them talking about their village and the impact of the kindergarten on their village you can hear the passion in their voices,” Mrs Power said.
“They also said the kids are eager to learn, they are hungry for knowledge.
“They’re very proud and they’re involved and they’re participating and they’re leading.”
One hundred per cent of donations to Project Kindy are sent to the Canossian Sisters.
Project Kindy’s plans include building permanent classrooms for seven kindergartens and installing wells to take the pressure off sourcing water.”
For more information on Project Kindy, visit www.projectkindy.com/
Please share this article by sharing this post or the article as it appears originally here. Your social media advocacy and word of mouth networking truly makes a big difference in how many people join our Project Kindy Village. Thank you.
Donate here if you like. We are super grateful for all donations. $4/child/month covers kindergarten fees. Thank you!
April 21 20 16
- Bakhita Nursery School – Nsanama ….this is the main one that you have many pics of already. Here there are four teachers who get paid something small and 133 kids…there are also two cooks in the picture of the staff taken with me that Gio is sending. The names of the teachers are Mr Mlewa (headmaster), Mrs Chitzanja, Mrs Wilson and Mrs Baruti…kids make a small contribution and eat porridge in the morning and beans and nsima for lunch (nsima is like polenta and made from corn flour)
- Nazareth Nursery School – Katundu village – this kindy has 61 kids and 1 teacher who gets paid a very small amount…Her name is Mrs Unity Vera. Kids here come for free and they receive porridge in the morning.
- St Anne’s Nursery School – Mpera village – this kindy has 65 kids and 1 volunteer teacher, Mr Mpila. Kids here come for free and they receive porridge.
- St Francis Kindergarten – 101 kids – this is the kindy of the picture with the teacher’s desk…we couldnt believe all the kids could fit in that small space, but you will see the pictures, they do…amazing…two teachers…Mrs Christine Bernard and Miss Phiri. Kids learn for free, mothers bring thier children from far and so remain for the day while the kids learn then they go back. Kids eat porridge in the morning. Teachers are volunteers
- St Pius Kindergarten – Chikuse village – 86 kids and 4 teachers….Mrs Nakale (Headmistress), Mrs Wilson, Mrs Moyenda and Mrs Wazili. Students learn for free and teachers are all volunteers. The students received porridge every morning. Here they have managed to get a solar panel to have solar electricity…so they do fundraising for the kindy by getting people to pay to charge thier phones!! They also open the kindy for students in secondary school to study during the night as all houses in the village have no electricity…
From Sr Melissa