Borderers urged to keep their eyes on the African aid ball

L-r,David Cockburn, Andrew Mitchell, Kieran Martin and Jack Halls all U-15's at Gala Fairydean model tops donated by the club for their Malawi aid appeal.
L-r,David Cockburn, Andrew Mitchell, Kieran Martin and Jack Halls all U-15's at Gala Fairydean model tops donated by the club for their Malawi aid appeal.

A KIRK-LED mission aimed at sending aid to Malawi has raised £8,000 to foot the bill for dispatching a container.

And now the Church of Scotland’s Presbytery of Melrose and Peebles is appealing to Borderers to donate equipment and materials to fill it.

Day-to-day existence in the Zomba region of Malawi can be tough for many

Day-to-day existence in the Zomba region of Malawi can be tough for many

Churches from Bowden to Upper Tweeddale, to West Linton and Carlops financed the container which will be leaving Walkerburn for the Zomba region of Malawi on March 21. Congregations hope it will be filled with bicycles, football strips, school text books, sewing machines, gardening and woodworking tools, office equipment, musical instruments, knitting needles, wool and blankets.

The churches have had links with the landlocked African nation for a number of years and through these information was gathered detailing items which were needed on the ground.

Appeal spokesman Colin Hanley told us: “We are not looking for new items, only things which are in good condition and no longer required.”

Mr Hanley asked Gala Fairydean for football equipment – and they came to the rescue by donating strips.

He explained: “We are asking Borders folk if they have any spare used items (listed in the advert on page 12) which can be donated. Blankets have a double use as they will be used for packing the donations and then will have a further use in homes when the container has been emptied. The items should be in a good condition and every item will be appreciated in Malawi.”

Donations can be delivered to the Old Parish & St Paul’s Church in Galashiels. They can also be taken to Walkerburn Church on Saturday, between 10am-1pm.

Explaining the need for aid in Malawi, Mr Hanley said: “While families in the Borders are fighting against the downturn in the economy and the affect on day-to-day living, it is distressing that African countries are hit even harder and they have nothing to fall back on.

“Over the last year, the cost of living has increased by 40 per cent. An average villager’s income would be £15-£20 per month, with £5 per week required to clothe, feed and educate their family. If we fill a car with fuel, this may cost us £70 in Scotland – however, in Malawi to fill up the same car will cost £170.

“It is hoped that when the container arrives we will be emailed pictures of the items in use, which we would like to share with the readers of TheSouthern as a thank you for their help.”

For more information about the appeal, contact colin.hanley@scotland.gsi.gov.uk