Ely students lend a helping hand in Malawi

Ely sixth-formers return from aid mission to Malawi

Ely sixth-formers return from aid mission to Malawi - Credit: Archant

A TEAM of staff and students from Ely College Sixth Form returned at the end of July from a 10-day building project in Malawi.

Ely sixth-formers return from aid mission to Malawi

Ely sixth-formers return from aid mission to Malawi - Credit: Archant

The team funded and then started to build two houses for the charity Habitat for Humanity in a village called Smile outside the town of Salima.

The recipients of the three-room houses were selected by the village due to their extreme need. One was for a mother of four dying from cancer, the other for a grandmother looking after her seven orphaned grand-children.

Both families currently live in one room straw-roofed houses constructed of mud blocks – which leak during the summer rains and become infested with insects during the dry season.

Although it was the middle of winter in Malawi, the team was building in temperatures of more than 25C. Despite this, they managed to put the corrugated steel roofs on both houses before leaving.


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Team leader and college director, Mark Sirot-Smith, said: “The team worked amazingly hard and completed in just over a week, what would have taken the charity’s Malawi team a month to do.”

And, Katie Taggart, 18, one of the students who took part, said: “The children there were brilliant and we loved playing with them during our breaks. I’d love to go again, because despite them being so poor, they made us feel so welcome.”

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The college has run similar projects in Zambia and Romania, and will start to plan their 2015 mission next term. For more details on the work of Habitat for Humanity, please visit their web-site: habitatforhumanity.org.uk

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