Photographs from Malawi

Portrait Malawi

Malawi is a landlocked country, in southeast Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi.

Mulanje Malawi
Mulanje mountain
Young people playing football - malawi
Cow in font of a house - malawi
Blantyre malawi
CHongoni fields
girls on a tree - Malawi
mulanje
Portrait malawi
Portrait Malawi
Portrait Malawi
Boys and a girl, in Malawi
Girl in pink dress -Malawi

The agricultural/climate calendar is mainly divided by three: Hot wet season, starts in December and ends in April, Cool dry season, starts in May and ends in August, Hot dry season, starts in September and ends in November. We were lucky to arrive to Malawi during the rainy season (Hot wet season) and witness the high farming activity in the green fields everywhere in the country. Since Malawi's economy is strongly based on agriculture, most of families rely on farming as a primary income generating activity. As mush advantages and importance rain generally have in Malawi, though sometimes it could lead to floods which destroys villages and turn remote areas inaccessible and hard to reach.

After they no longer work in the fields, farmers choose to leave their villages and head out to the big cities looking for jobs to support their selves and families, after finishing the preparations for the cool season by collecting fire wood from the mountains and storing it in their houses for the coldest days.

Tailers, Blantyre Malawi
blantyre malawi
ties in photo shop malawi
photographer malawi
School boys in Malawi
chef outfits blantyre malawi
Portrait Malawi
Spider Majete Malawi
Majete Malawi
Majete Malawi
Majete reserve Malawi
Fishs of Lake Malawi
Boy having a bath in the beach of Lake Malawi
Sunset, Lake Malawi

Zomba Prison Project

Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi

Zomba Prison Project is a Grammy-nominated recording featuring music composed and performed by prisoners at the maximum-security Zomba Central Prison in Malawi. The album “I Have No Everything Here” was produced by past Grammy winner (Tinariwen) and author Ian Brennan, and nominated in the Best World Music Album category for the 2016 Grammys.

Video

Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi
Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi
Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi
Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi
Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi
Zomba prison music band project, Malawi by abdellah azizi

Mulanje Mag

Mulanje Mag - malawi

FOMO (friends of Mulanje orphans), our partner organization in our site Mulanje, have started many income generating projects to self-sustain, and reduce their reliance on funds for organizational operation of the orphans’ centers. FOMO independent secondary school, is a major source of income for FOMO, where by it charges only students who have the capacity of paying and sponsor the orphans who come from the different centers.

FOMO independent secondary school, encourages student’s creativity by creating various clubs inside the school. The writers’ club was one of the clubs, we’ve got the chance to work with, since Abdellah started his Multimedia project. FOMO have decent infrastructure, which is favorable in the process of making a solid project with the students including the computer’s labs and FOMO recording studio. On the other hand, the motivation and dedication the students have showed towards the work they make and they continue making without the supervision of any one, made us see a huge potential and valuable asset, which could be used for creating a project, that enhance their potential and develop their talents.

That is how Mulanje Mag idea come to life. It is a multimedia platform dedicated for the promotion of Mulanje, its culture, its values, its development, demonstrated by its youth.

Mulanje Magazine publishes written articles, photo series, videos, and radio shows, throughout their official website and Youtube channel.  

The aim of creating the magazine, is to promote Mulanje and its youth, through covering stories which portraits stories of success, future and development of the people of Mulanje. Having a solid platform allows the youth to express their thoughts, tell their stories and raise concerns effecting their communities. It gives them a voice and shade the light of their potential and talents. Mulanje Magazine also helps them have an open mind and fuel their drive towards creating future opportunities and projects.

"It is a multimedia platform dedicated for the promotion of Mulanje, its culture, its values, its development, demonstrated by its youth. "

Our contribution to this project as Corpsafrica Volunteers was to help the team with a number of skills building workshops and equip them with basic technics and tools to produce stories about their community and their lives.

However they fully grasp the truth, about the only way you learn how to do better at something is by doing it and redoing it. The magazine represents an opportunity for them to practice their skills, develop their talents and discover their abilities and talents.

We are happy to invite you to read their first stories at mulanjemag.blogspot.com

Don’t forget to like Mulanje Mag facebook page. It would be a huge support for us.

Team behind Mulanje Mag

Photos from Mulajne Mag

Rainy Times in Malawi

We left Morocco dealing with cold weather and a drought season, and we came to a country where it rained almost all the time. The constant rain help make the landscapes incredibly beautiful, green, and soul healing.  

Malawi is a landlocked country, in southeast Africa. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi.  

The agricultural/climate calendar is mainly divided by three: Hot wet season, starts in December and ends in April, Cool dry season, starts in May and ends in August, Hot dry season, starts in September and ends in November. We were lucky to arrive to Malawi during the rainy season (Hot wet season) and witness the high farming activity in the green fields everywhere in the country. Since Malawi's economy is strongly based on agriculture, most of families rely on farming as a primary income generating activity. As mush advantages and importance rain generally have in Malawi, though sometimes it could lead to floods which destroys villages and turn remote areas inaccessible and hard to reach..

 After they no longer work in the fields, farmers choose to leave their villages and head out to the big cities looking for jobs to support their selves and families, after finishing the preparations for the cool season by collecting fire wood from the mountains and storing it in their houses for the coldest days.

 

Mulanje

mulanje-malawi-by-abdellah-azizi (1)

[su_dropcap style="flat"]I[/su_dropcap]n Every CorpsAfrica volunteer’s service, it comes a time when they are introduced into a new site, and a new community. Over a month ago, we came to our site, Mulanje,  south of Malawi, an hour drive from Blantyre. Whatever I write about this place’s beauty, it would not do it any justice, so I will just say that everywhere you turn, any time of the day, you come across an almost painted view, it is that magical. What makes it more interesting is that we live at the foot of Mulanje Mountain, a touristic attraction and one of the country’s most beautiful spots.

Unfortunately, we did not have the chance of being placed with a Malawian host family, which made us seek all kinds of guidance and understanding by socializing with locals on a daily bases. However we do live with a different kind of host family, Richard, our roommate, a 21 years old British volunteer, and Seth a young Malawian man, working in Mulanje. They have been really helpful with everything we need to know, since Richard was two months ahead of us, and Seth has been living here for a while too.  

On the other hand, we are definitely having the pleasure to work with one of Malawi’s most respected NGOs. FOMO (Friends of Mulanje orphans), an organization which was established in 2000 to aid Orphans in Mulanje. From small beginnings FOMO has grown and now looks after over 5000 children through a network of 13 centers covering over 85 villages in Mulanje district, working side by side with local families who can foster these children by implementing a family based approach, to provide a family setting for the orphans in order to maintain community relationships and therefore protect their values and traditions.

Despite its big range of operation, FOMO invests in a small staff and decent mount of logistic capacities. They focus on getting the help directly to the orphans without being lost into the spending of logistics, an effective and ethical approach in our opinion.

FOMO has developed a few income generating projects (a Secondary private school, driving school, recording studio, tailoring school, Computing school) which help them be self-reliant in terms of funds and independent from outside aid. However it could never be enough, they still have to work with other development partners and fundraise, especially in the UK, in order to get the necessary help to the orphans.

From hearing about a few FOMO students in media club that Abdellah has started the first week we got to Mulanje, and seeing their motivation and dedication, as well as witnessing the work that FOMO has accomplished working with orphans from all ages by visiting some their centers and living in one, (We are living in a FOMO guesthouse inside one of the centers), inspired us and made us think of focusing our service into finding a project that could help FOMO even on just a small scale.

Photos from Mulanje

mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi
mulanje malawi

Assiatu and Imani from Mitundu

Imani's shirts

During our stay in Nitundu village, we had the chance to meet some of the most inspiring people we met.
At the age of 26 years, Imani is already father of two boys, Abderaahman 4 years old, and Soudaissi 7 mounts, and a business man trying every day to make a living out of selling used shirts in the villages surrounding Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi.

In his small house made of two rooms, one bedroom, and a multifunctional room, Imani welcomed us with his warm smile, and comforting words, as we sat for tea break with his sister Assiato, while he ironed shirts he brought from Lilongwe the day before, using a steal iron that operates on shackles. For added value he washes the shirts and iron them, before selling theme in the markets.

Imani makes a daily trip at 5 am to the markets.
During the rainy season, the business gets slow for Imani, because rain makes it hard for him to showcase his shirts.

ironing shirt - malawi

Assiyato, Ziombowa seller

A two minutes’ walk from Imani's house, Assiyato 42 years old woman, making Ziombowa in her outside one miter by one miter kitchen, where she sells them for 10 Malawian Kwatcha each. She's a single women from Manguchi village. She came to Nitundu, because she could not find a job due to men taking over the fishing business.

She has being making and selling Zitonbowa for 5 years after she learned the skills from her friends back in Manguchi. Most of Assiatu client are school kids wondering around her kitchen. Even though we only spent few minutes with Assiatu, we were able to witness her generosity, kindness, and her sense of humor shown by the way she talked and smiled at the kids and women hanging out around her kitchen.

Back at Imani's house, Abderahman was enjoying Zitombowa with his friends, while his father just finished ironing the shirts for tomorrow's markets, hopefully a not a raining tomorrow.

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Time to get serious

Corps Africa Malawi Volenteers - 2016

"Garret and Aziz changed our views towered human development work"

In a few days we will move to the villages that we were assigned to, our village will be in Mulanje district, many people told us that is one of the most beautiful places in Malawi, it must be true. after spending time getting to know the community, we will work with them to create a project that will answer their needs and contribute to the development of their community.

Working with communities was one of the key lessens that we learned during the five weeks of Pre-Services Training, The training was hold in Naomi Katengeza Lay Training Centre, at the foot of Chongoni Mountain. We had one full week of 1st aid and disaster management training, then so many NGOs visited and shared their knowledge, challenges, and goals with us. Then, the Human-Centered Design team checked in, Garrett the tall energetic Human-centered design trainer, how brought the spirit of New-Orleans to Chongoni. And Aziz, oh we will miss you Aziz, he brought us the Moroccan tea pot, and the Tajine, and Ahidous -Amazight chants-, Aziz made us miss Morocco even more.

Chongoni fields - malawi

Chongoni fields

During the two weeks of Human-Centered Design workshop, Garret t and Aziz changed our views towered human development work, they open our eyes into how to detect the right problems, and how to find the solutions, then re-find the right solutions. Two weeks of theory classes, and practices in the nearby villages made us more prepared to serve our new communities.

Malawians officials, US ambassador in Malawi, and Liz Fanning, the founder of Corps Africa, will witness the sewer-in of the 1st Corps Africa Malawi volunteers, Nine Malawians, and us the tow Moroccans, we will sewer-in to do our best to serve people of Malawi for one year. It is not an easy task, indeed, but it’s an adventure, and every adventure comes with challenges and rewords, challenges that makes you grow, and rewords that brought happiness into your life, that is a true victory.

Garrett Mason with Corps Africa Malawi volunteers and stuff.

Garrett Mason with Corps Africa Malawi volunteers and stuff.

Photos from Chongone

1st nights At Mutindu village

"The plan was to spend two night in Mutindu village"

Heavy rain hitting the metal leaking roof, creating a frightening sound that annoys the ears, preventing us from sleeping for that entire long dark night. The heat and humidity made it even worse, and to make things more dramatic, I had to face my fear of big flying cockroaches constantly visiting our room, and Abdellah had to suffer all night from burning eyes due to the exposition to the chemicals in the mosquito knit.

That was our first night in a village in Malawi.

The plan was to spend two night in Mitundu village, however we decided to go back to Lilongwe as soon as the morning comes.

At morn, the exhaustion made us fell asleep for short time. We woke up to the sounds of R&B Malawian music at 5:30 AM .

Welcome to Malawi!

Sounds of the 1st night

After awhile, Assiatu, our host/CorpsAfrica volunteer brought us hot water to shower, which was a lovely surprise.

After having breakfast with Assiatu, and her nephew Abderrahman, we went to the local M'sika (Market) and we managed to bargain for a discount to buy Zintenje (a rapper that women put around their waists), that was assignment from our Chichewa Uphonzitsi (teacher) Lusungu.

Assiatu took us to a small centre built by a Peace Corps volunteer, inside the Chipatala (hospital), where we played scrabbles with Assiatu and her friend Houssien, but of course they beat us .

At the afternoon, we had another assignment from Lusungu, to go out in the village and introduce our selves in Chichewa. Assiatu introduced us to an older Assiatu, who makes Zitumbula (a fried dough, made of corn flower), there we met other women from the village who laughed at our Chichewa, and kids who called us Zongu (White person).

We went back home, where I attempted to have a conversation with the women in the house, who reminded me so much of the chats I used to have with my host mom and the women from my site Ouled Ftata, in Morocco during my service.

That evening was clear enough to witness the new moon as the sun sets down.

We had a warm kindle light dinner with Assiatu and her brother Imani, who welcomed us and talked to us in Chichewa with a warm smile on his face.

Some bugs spray on the door, and tiredness made us had a night sleep we had not have in a long time.

Soukaina and neighbors for the Mitundu village

Soukaina and neighbors for the Mitundu village

Photos from Mitundu

Madrasah Mitundu village
Light
Chichewa course
Chichewa course
mosquito net
Outdoor class malawi