Racing the Rains Blog

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  1. In September this year I am attempting to be the first woman to walk the length of Malawi, more than 620 miles, ahead of the start of the rainy season!

    I am director and founder of Inspire Malawi, a grassroots education charity, which aims to support, promote and enhance education in rural Malawi.

    This is an enormous challenge, both physically and mentally, and will see me travel across varied terrain and through six tribal areas; from the Tumbuka tribes of the north to the Sena peoples of the south. To further add to this adventure I will be relying on the hospitality of the infamously warm Malawian people, residing each and every night in my tent in the compound of each tribal chieftain that I pass. I will be joined on this journey by my friend Gibson of Khmobwe village. He is a true son of Malawi and will aid me with communication as we navigate the more rural areas of this incredible country! My route sees me starting at the northern most border with Zambia, crossing four national parks, down the length of Lake Malawi, skirting round Mount Mulanje and finishing south of Nsanje at the border with Mozambique (hopefully) in time for Christmas and the start of the rainy season! 

    Why me?

    I fell in love with Malawi following a gap year teaching in rural Ntcheu district back in 2003 and have returned each and every year since that time, leading more than 130 volunteers to the country and supporting development in several rural schools. I have lived in Mlanda village, off and on, for more than a decade and have been welcomed with open arms by the community there. I have spent years exploring Malawi, building strong and lasting friendships and doing my level best to support education in this part of Africa. As a teacher myself, I am passionate about education and feel privileged to be able to support children in this wonderful country in such a hands-on, effective way.  

    Why now?

    In January 2015 Malawi was devastated by floods in its southern region. Nearly a quarter of a million people were displaced as land was ravaged, livestock and crops swept away and disease left to spread. Many of the displaced sought refuge in schools, disrupting the education of some of the poorest children in Africa. With more than ten years' experience in the restoration of old (and construction of new) schools blocks in rural villages, Inspire Malawi is in a position to support the regenration of the south in providing a new school block to Nsanje - one of the worst affected areas.

    Why Inspire Malawi?

    Inspire Malawi is a grassroots, hands-on charity and completely not-for-profit. Every penny raised goes straight into the charity with all work undertaken using locally sourced materials, labour and with the full support and co-operation of the communities in which we work.

    Thank you in advance for your support. I have never attempted anything of this nature, or magnitude, before and need all your support to help me reach my target - enough funds to build a new classroom! :)

    Zikomo Kwambeli! (Thank you very much)

    Michello x

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