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S&J Eagles update - Christmas 2019 meeting

Here’s a little Christmas update from us – please do let us know your news as well!

First, I'm sure many of us are feeling disillusioned and anxious from the lead-up to and following the election, whichever way we voted (I certainly had a very tearful and panicked Friday morning!), but just an encouragement from Eagles - every day, we see proof that positive change does not have to come from central government and that the greatest transformation can be wrought from unity, love and collective effort in our immediate communities. I've learned to never underestimate the power of mobilising those around you to pursue a vision for something better, and I hope you are inspired by these stories from communities doing amazing things even in the political chaos of Malawi:

I know many of you already give so generously, but I also just wanted to let you know about an exciting new opportunity to partner with people in villages here in a different way, more personal and rooted in mutual respect. We were wondering if you, or a group of friends, would like the opportunity to catalyse the transformation of an entire village for £40 per month over three years? We are attaching a brochure giving more information about this opportunity. Any group or church that do this will get updates and photos of their activities from the local pastor every six months, and will be free to ask questions too. Please let me know if you want to find out more!

Due to climate change, the situation here is getting worse. Malawi is the fourth poorest country in the world and many children face on-going hunger as their parents cannot grow enough food - 37% of under-5s suffer from chronic malnutrition. Children are also at risk of violence: 47% of girls are married before 18; 65% are abused; and 1 in 4 children are involved in child labour. Even in these terrible circumstances, what Eagles does really works: it’s genuinely sustainable and brings lasting change for the whole village (especially the most vulnerable) and the environment. There is well-researched evidence here that shows Eagles’ approach works and can be 27 times more cost-effective than traditional development projects.

Some other updates:

I (Steffie) have been doing advocacy work about what makes Eagles’ approach unique. We’ll soon be publishing the article in the ‘Development in Practice’ journal about the cost-effectiveness of Eagles’ work which I hope will raise their profile internationally and encourage others to adopt their mobilisation approach. Eagles is passionate about seeing all NGOs achieving sustainable impact not increasing dependency, as some projects do, and this work is building towards that aim.

We also held an advocacy event based on the photos taken by the youth whose village was hit by Cyclone Idai (see here), attended by district government officials, local government, other NGOs, traditional leaders, church and Muslim leaders. This event gave the youth the opportunity to share their experience and all attendees committed to take action.

Jonathan has begun a pilot project with a village in Chikwawa to build solar rope pump without external material resources – if effective, this will provide a model that can transform the food security of thousands of farmers. For more detail, please see the regular updates on the crowdfunding website. As the technical manager, he also gives input into the technical elements of any of Eagles’ other projects.

We also share updates about Eagles’ work on their Facebook page, so please ‘like’ and ‘follow’ if you are interested! 

Wishing you a Christmas of hope and creative community building! Once again, please email me if you are interested in finding out more about Catalyse!

Steffie & Jonathan xxxx