In the Ntchisi project, things are still going fine. We are facing a small challenge in that our part-time field officer, Wongani Khonje, will not be there much longer and so we will have to manage the project through other means. Wongani has been invaluable in his approach with farmers and with local government staff, for which we are very grateful. The Small Scale Livestock and Livelihoods Program (SSLLP) has kindly loaned us a motor-cycle for local running in Ntchisi which will significantly assist our work there.
I won't belabour the point but if you have read our news, you will understand the unique value of the I-2 Newcastle disease vaccine for rural poultry owners - other ND vaccines just cannot do the job in the villages. Well, with the help of the Kyeema Foundation, we recently played a key part in ensuring continued availability of the I-2 vaccine. When a shortage of bottles threatened to disrupt the vaccine production program, Kyeema stepped in to provide one-off funding to try to avoid a gap in the supply of vaccine. This support was provided on the basis that reciprocal in-kind support will be given to RPC. Fortunately, we already have excellent relations with the relevant authorities so I'm sure this will significantly assist some of our programs.
We've also been busy assisting to ensure the delivery of more Nali sauce to Australia. Some time back, Russell Hunter, who had done voluntary work with SSLLP in 2009, began to import this delicious chilli sauce to Australia and fed back to RPC a donation of one dollar for every bottle sold. The Nali business has proved quite successful and Russell and I have now been busy organising the second shipment which arrived just a few days ago.
Which brings me to fund-raising. We would love to spend more time on fund-raising not only for RPC but also for our affiliate, the Kyeema Foundation, especially now that donations are tax deductible in Australia. We are looking to boost our capacity in regard to fund-raising because it is not one our strengths. We are looking for advice and ideas. If you have either, we would love to hear from you.
Finally, a personal note: I will be out of Malawi in Australia for the month of August. (The principal reason was to greet the arrival of my latest grandchild but just yesterday, the baby outsmarted me by arriving early, thankfully in good health). While I'm there, I will be visiting the Kyeema Foundation in Brisbane and I will be meeting with various like-minded people in Canberra. If you have any questions or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me by email.
20 July 2015