After our trip to the villages, Jenni and Laurence headed into Mulanje to visit the banks. From all accounts it was a pretty fruitless trip as the machines were empty.
I had phoned ahead and asked to make a time to speak to the Head Teacher. The toilets at the school are badly in need of repair. The toilets are similar to pit latrines and in the girls’ toilet, the entire floor collapsed and in the boys’, it is the roof. There are 1400 pupils in the school and 3 boys’ toilets and 3 girls’. We have made no promises but we have asked the Head Teacher to cost up how much new toilets might cost . In Maslov’s hierarchy of needs, this is high.
During our discussion, I also discussed why there had been no feeding programme that day. The Head Teacher explained that the phala had run out and they were supposed to get extra bags but they hadn’t arrived. I asked if I could speak to the local distributor who explained that they had phala at other schools but didn’t manage to get it there. My fear was that this would be the case for the duration of the school term (school ends on the 12th). I had a robust discussion with him and explained that we were visitors to the area and indeed Jenni was instrumental with others to get Mary’s Meals into Southern Malawi and were very disappointed. I said that I would expect to see the programme running the next day and Mr. Banda made a promise to get phala to the school. Well a couple of hours later I got a call from The Director of Mary's Meals in Malawi from Blantyre telling me that I had upset his staff and that if I was visiting the programme I should let him know. I said that we weren’t actually visiting the programme but the local area and were part of a large community who were great supporters of the programme. We chatted a bit more and all was well. I did offer my apologies for upsetting the system in place. We have also arranged to visit the Head office in Blantyre next Friday.