Malawi, in South-East Africa, gained independence in 1964 after 80 years under British Colonial rule. Malawi has a struggling economy due to its ever-increasing population and the global decline of tobacco (Malawi has a high dependency on tobacco, with 59% being exported). With an economy based around agriculture, farmers are looking to grow other crops to replace the loss of tobacco and sustain the growth of the county.
The population of Malawi has grown from around 4 million in the 1960s to a vast 19 million. World Health Organisation has predicted that by the year 2050, Malawi will be home to approximately 40 million people, and with a struggling economy, this is a terrifying prospect. 30% of people have been diagnosed with HIV, and due to the increasing population and congested towns, they don’t have access to clean water or suitable sanitation systems. The life expectancy of those in Malawi is a low 61 years of age. Around 50% of those living in Malawi are living on less than £1 per day.
Starfish Malawi is a charitable organisation created by Chris Knott in 2003 after he received a letter asking for support from a church in Malawi. After a trip to Kenya and Malwai, Chris devoted his life to supporting one of the world’s poorest countries through collaborative work with communities, schools and churches in the UK to give back to Malawi.
The vision of Starfish Malawi is to create a world where every child is educated, healthy and cared for. Their mission? ‘To reduce extreme poverty and build the Kingdom of God in the lives of children, through collaborative work within communities, schools and churches in the UK and Malawi’. Young children are supported and encouraged to finish their educations, the rights of girls and women are supported, and Starfish Malawi aims to empower change from within to reduce the cycle of poverty.
The children in Malawi love to go to school, where they can learn and explore. Pass rates are high and overall behaviour is good, but there is still a challenge for teachers, particularly when some classes have a ratio of 100:1 children to teachers. Having access to school materials, uniforms, and lunches is often a big challenge for school children. Young girls often drop out early due to teenage pregnancies, and female students don’t currently go to school when they have a period.
One of our PeterJohn employees made us aware of this fabulous charity after a friend started to sponsor a young school-aged girl in Malawi. From here, our handcrafted bags were born.
From February to the end of May this year (2022), PeterJohn Interiors are supporting this charity with the work they are doing. For every curtain or roman blind order that goes ahead within this time period, our in-house seamstress will get to work on creating incredible handcrafted bags that will be sent over to the children of Malawi. These bags will be crafted using remnants of material leftover from various projects we have completed for PeterJohn clients.
Our flap bags are simple in design, with a strap that makes them perfect for school children to carry their school materials or lunches comfortably and, of course, to use at home to carry their belongings. Children in Malawi currently struggle for access to things we take for granted, such as school bags, and that’s why we hope to make a comfortable difference to their school day by providing a handcrafted flap bag to store their things in.
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When you choose to purchase curtains or roman blinds with PeterJohn Interiors, not only can you be sure you will be receiving the highest quality material and design, but you will be working to be a part of something bigger.
PeterJohn Interiors are a local, family-run business with over 40 years of experience in Interior Design. We work with our clients on a one-to-one basis to provide advice and guidance on various interior projects, from one room to whole houses. Our selection of products from upholstery and curtains, shutters and blinds to wallpaper and paint is of beautiful quality and give you everything you need to make your house a beautiful home.
If this blog has inspired you to get involved with the Starfish Malawi charity, visit the Starfish Malawi site and see what you can do to help this charity and the families who rely heavily on the support and funding it provides.
A local, family run interior design business with showrooms located in Berkhamsted and Aylesbury.
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