At Safestore we are pleased to be able to help and support particular charities however we can – one way is to promote them and inform our customers about their aims and achievements in the hope that this awareness will lead to more revenue for the charities.
Bristol is a key location for Safestore
and we are always keen to help our neighbours. So this week we are turning our spotlight on TEMWA, a charity set up by two women from Bristol who have worked tirelessly since 2003 to greatly improve the lives of people living in remote parts of Malawi.
‘You have no idea how much this (Free Storage) is going to help us operationally with all our events and festival fundraising projects’. Kirsty the Events Coordinator
They’re currently storing a 7m Suishi Dome Tent that was donated from the Peter Pan Premier with Warner Brothers, a phone charging unit for their pitch at Glastonbury and Bristol Urban Artwork Donations.
TEMWA: where it all began
Jo Hook and Sophie Guise, both from Bristol, used to run a backpackers’ hostel in a rural part of Malawi called Usisya. Whilst there, they suffered the loss of a good friend and colleague, Lotti Nkhwazi, to AIDS. His death was far earlier than it should have been, due to a lack of healthcare in the village, and his loss was felt not only by his friends but by those who had depended on his care and income: his siblings and 15 children in his extended family.
This had a real impact on Jo and Sophie, who saw that there was a great need for healthcare, education and other vital services for the area, which was not being provided by the Malawi government because of its inaccessibility. At times, especially in the rainy seasons, the area is completely cut off from the rest of the country and can only be reached by a weekly (rather unreliable) ferry. Jo and Sophie spent three years after Lotti’s death fundraising and figuring out the most effective way to help others like him, and in 2003 TEMWA was founded.
TEMWA is uniquely placed to help those it serves because all of the decisions it makes are agreed by committee: people who are living and working within the communities identify what the needs are within those communities and agree what methods and strategies will be used to meet those needs. They are not there to offer short-term solutions that will only foster dependence – they are working towards the communities becoming self-sustaining. Ultimately TEMWA aims to be redundant in some areas within a generation because it hopes to have enabled those communities it serves to be able to support themselves by then.
For now, TEMWA is working on the key areas of:
- Health education (running mobile testing clinics and support groups)
- Agriculture and forestry (to combat deforestation and climate change)
- Skills training (to increase understanding of nutrition and sustainable farming methods)
- School support (to aid literacy and fund secondary school education for local children)
They seek to tackle the poverty, malnutrition and high levels of HIV/AIDS and their efforts are primarily directed towards the most vulnerable households, such as those caring for orphaned children, those already suffering from HIV/AIDS and female- or child-headed households. They also distribute microloans to people who use the money to establish businesses and become self-reliant. Discover Temwa updates from Jo’s recent trip to Malawi here
The charity raises funds through a programme of activities including arts, comedy and music nights, sponsored runs, cycle rides and climbs. They are reliant on the generosity of people who donate to those events, corporate sponsors and the Bristol music and theatre community including Bristol Theatre. Their latest challenge event is one like no other, Rock ‘N Rumble is 8 weeks of wrestling training from an Olympic wrestler building up to a one night showdown extravaganza. Or looking for a Christmas party in Bristol, Temwa are hosting a night to remember including a 3 course meal and aerial performances for just £35. Check out these and their other events here
Find out more
TEMWA currently supports around 45,000 people in rural parts of Malawi. As their work continues to grow and develop, they continue to need the support of volunteers, donors and sponsors. To find out more about their work or to discover how you could support their efforts, have a look at their website here