It was in 2007 that a group of mainly teenagers from a Church Youth Group in Arbroath, Scotland made the trip to Malawi to experience for themselves life in this poor country and the work that Aquaid Lifeline was doing there. They were so touched by the warm hearted people, the poverty and what Aquaid was achieving that they decided that they didn’t want this to be a one off visit but wanted to get involved.
They used the fundraising money they had brought to buy a piece of land at Thyolo and left the rest to build a day-care and residence there and develop the work that Aquaid had started in Kambilonjo.
They then went home promising to give of their own money and fundraise the rest so that they could pay for the maintenance and running costs of these 2 centres. Over the next years several groups of young people visited and in those days helped with the building work and painting at Thyolo and Kambilonjo known. The fundraising was of such that they formed an independent charity called The Dalitso Project. The trustees and management committee are made up of mostly young people who were on the various trips and they chose the name – which means Blessing – as they all agreed that they had gone out to Malawi seeking to be a blessing to the Malawian people but found that they in fact were the ones blessed. And so 13 years on their involvement continues in fact this year was the first that none of the Scottish group have been to Malawi and how they have missed visiting their 2nd home.
How amazing to see the children at the centres grow up into young adults. Some have or are about to graduate as teachers, nurses, a doctor, an accountant and an engineer. Others less academic have been supported to learn a trade and still others have been helped to find employment. The centres have grown and developed with added classrooms, a vocational training centre and a clinic being added – All under the watchful eye of Aquaid and our fantastic 2 centre administrators.
That first group could never have imagined how their lives would be turned upside down and what an impact their involvement would have on their lives. They will always be so grateful to John Searle and the other Aquaid Staff for allowing them to take that first trip and then letting them get so involved in these 2 small parts of Aquaid’s amazing ministry.