THE IMPACT

The most significant achievements of the Manda Wilderness Project have been to help:

Education:

  • Build eleven local schools that provide primary education for more than 4,000 children each year. Many of the villages also use their newly built school to offer adult literacy classes, well attended by those who missed out on an education as a result of the civil war.
  • Construct a Girls Boarding House in the main village of Cobué, home to the only full secondary school in the district.

The Arts:

  • Support and organise the Manda Wilderness Choir Festival, giving village choirs the chance to win prizes in front of an enthusiastic audience of over 2,000 local villagers in Cobue's magnificent cathedral. Both choirs and choirmasters are given the opportunity to receive expert training both before and after the event. The Festival is now generously supported by the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation.

Environment:

  • Set up the Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project, a demonstration farm which encourages sustainable farming methods, assists in small business development and improves nutrition.
  • Identify and map a 120,000 hectare piece of land, roughly the size of Greater London, destined to become a conservation area. The villages aim to stop hunting, felling trees, utilizing destructive fishing practices and encourage sustainable agricultural practices in the area.
  • Work with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create an aquatic reserve to protect the unique ecosystem of Lake Malawi - one of Africa's largest lakes.

Health:

  • Build the only Maternity Clinic in the district - dramatically improving maternity services for local women and their young children.

Training and Enterprise:

  • Construct several maize mills enabling villagers to mill their own maize, rather than transporting it to Likoma Island, Malawi, by boat.
  • Run cooking, nutrition and carpentry training in several communities.
  • Establish an Aquaculture Project in the inland village of Litanda. The project is run by a fifteen member Association and aspires to pour profits made back into local community projects.

Community Sport:

  • Set up a football league in partnership with Fit4kidz, a UK based organization. A local health project has noted a reduction in alcohol-related illnesses and injuries in young men during the weeks that the league runs.
  • Run an annual and very popular 'Dug-out Canoe' race. The event brings together two teams, both men and women, from each of the lakeshore villages to compete for cash prizes to go toward development in their village.
  • Establish a women's netball program with six local teams, offering training and tournaments with the aim of giving rural women an opportunity to come together and engage in a pursuit beyond their limited daily scheduled activities.

Community Empowerment:

  • Secure land titles for the villages where none existed before - one of the most significant achievements of the Manda Wilderness Project.
  • Support the creation of the Umoji Association, which represents the sixteen Manda Wilderness villages and then, help them secure titles to the land within the region.

COMMUNITY

The initial steps of the project were to analyse the community leadership structures and to help set up a suitable system to represent each village.
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EDUCATION

To date, eleven schools have been built with funds raised through a combination of donations from guests at Nkwichi Lodge, schools in the UK, church groups, and private companies.
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CONSERVATION

The aim of the Conservation Area remains focused on natural resources for local utilisation, protection and for encouraging wildlife in the area for tourists to visit.
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AGRICULTURE

The Manda Wilderness Agricultural Project is located in one of the most genuinely remote regions of Africa and much of the area remains pristine wilderness.
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