Malawian Orphanage to Receive Donated Fund

April 29, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 29, 2003 – Peace Corps’ Office of Private Sector Initiatives (OPSI) is proud to announce a combined donation of $6,134 to fund the Mchinji Orphanage’s Technical Skills Development Project in Malawi. The donors include: the Kate MacGillivary Memorial Fund, the Burrell Family Foundation, Friends of Malawi, the Global Fund, and the Varina Rogers Memorial Fund.

The funds from the project will contribute to two primary development goals of the orphanage. The first is financing technical training for older orphans who have not been able to attend secondary school, but will now be able to graduate from the orphanage with solid carpentry, joinery, and metal-working skills. Secondly, the products made by the students at the training center will be used to generate further income for the orphanage, as their $100,000 annual budget does not cover the total costs of the facility.

The Mchinji Orphanage was founded in 1997 by Reverend Thomas Chipeta in response to the growing number of orphans due to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Malawi. Currently, there are more than half a million HIV/AIDS orphans in Malawi, a country with less than 12 million people. The orphanage provides full care for the children, including three meals a day, lodging, most schooling, and a safe environment.

There are currently three Peace Corps volunteers supporting the work of the Mchinji Orphanage. Although not their primary assignments in Malawi, all three volunteers are highly motivated to remain involved in the orphanage throughout their service.

One of those volunteers is Joe Colling, whose fishery projects are featured on Peace Corps’ Web site in the “From the Field” section on the home page. Joe has been able to use his environmental skills to establish numerous fish ponds for the orphanage. These ponds help produce fish for the children’s diets, and the surplus is sold for supplementary funds. For more about Joe’s accomplishments, please click on the following link http://www.peacecorps.gov/news/breakingnews/story_colling.cfm .

If you are interested in learning more about Peace Corps’ volunteer projects and how you may donate to their success, please contact Peace Corps’ Office of Private Sector Initiatives toll-free at 1.800.424.8580, ext. 2170, or via e-mail at www.peacecorps.gov/contribute/.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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