A packed committee room at Holyrood welcomed a fantastic line-up of speakers for our schools and education-themed meeting of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party Group on Malawi on Wednesday, November 20.
Chair for the evening, co-convener of the CPG for Malawi Alexander Stewart, welcomed the speakers and guests to the meeting.
Representatives of the following charities and NGOs who are working in Malawi were present:
- Step Kids Awareness (STEKA) and STEKASkills
- Mary’s Meals
- Centre for Youth and Development (an implementing partner for The Turing Trust)
Godknows Maseko (STEKA) and Emma Wood (STEKASkills)
Godknows was visiting Scotland to give a TED Talk and collaborate with Queen Margaret University and Trustees of STEKA, the charity he founded with his wife Helen.
STEKA provides a loving home in Blantyre, Malawi to (currently 64) stepkids who were previously trafficked, abandoned or orphaned.
One of the Scotland Malawi Partnership’s Youth Committee Members, Gift Thomson, who is studying at QMU comes from STEKA and is a great ambassador for the charity, Godknows’ work and Malawi.
Emma Wood is chair of STEKASkills, a Scottish charity that works in partnership with STEKA to involve Scottish communities particularly young adults or organisations such as schools, churches, clubs) in connecting with their contemporaries in Malawi.
Gift Thomson, a STEKA alumnus and now a student at Queen Margaret University, also fielded some of the questions from the audience about STEKA.
Gillian McMahon (Mary's Meals)
Gillian is Director of Supporter Engagement and Income for Mary’s Meals whose largest school feeding programme is in Malawi and now provide meals to 30 per cent of primary school-aged children across the country – a total of 1,028,817 children.
Natasha Mwenda (WaterAid)
Natasha is the Malawi-based Project Manager of WaterAid’s Scottish Government-funded project Deliver Life.
WaterAid are also providing water, sanitation and hygiene in a number of the schools in which Mary’s Meals are working, so a 'joined-up-ness' between the two organisations was demonstrated and discussed.
Download Natasha's presentation
James Gondwe (Centre for Youth and Development)
James is the Malawi-based founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Youth and Development – an implementing partner for the Turing Trust who support education in Malawi by reusing computers and improving teacher training using ICT.
James Turing (far right) from the The Turing Trust who work in collaboration with CYD added to James' talk.
Alexander Stewart brought the meeting to a close by thanking the guests speakers and guests on behalf of the Scottish Parliament.
He added: "This Cross Party Group is phenomenal in what it achieves, and that is down to many people working behind the scenes.
"I pay tribute to David Hope-Jones and others who are actively involved in ensuring that we have such good attendance and that we have such phenomenal speakers who give their time and their talent to tell us what they are all doing in their co-operation, collaboration and partnerships."