Hi, my names Luca and in February I was lucky enough to go out to Malawi with Be One Percent and see with my own eyes some of the amazing work that we are supporting.

For this blog post I wanted to focus on the universal feeling of joy and what we experienced of that whilst in Malawi. The fact that even in the most arduous conditions joy can blossom from the smallest things, such as having a school meal every day, makes all the work being done seem even more important. We encountered joy everywhere we went.

On one of the first days, we visited Chitakale Primary School, funded by Be One Percent, in the Blantyre Rural district. During our time at the school we were able to see the children being served their daily porridge, supplied by one of our partners; Mary’s Meals.

Fortunately, we arrived just in time to see the porridge being made by volunteers from the local community, as we were watching the porridge being made the volunteers began to sing and dance, clapping their hands and singing an amazing song. All of them joined in and, we were even roped in to dance!

On the next day we headed out to the Mulanje District, so named after the magnificent Mount Mulanje. Whilst in Mulanje we visited a project organised by United Purpose, a Be One Percent partner, that helped village members with their nutrition and diet.

Once again, the feeling of joy was present with all the children, they were constantly laughing and smiling.

One part of the project was children’s nutrition and weight. The babies and under-fives would be weighed in, if they were underweight, they were put on a special diet which allowed them to gain weight to a healthier level, this would reduce the risks of diseases, boost the immune system and provide them with more energy. This definitely showed, as the kids would not let up, they always wanted to interact with us, never running out of energy or a smile on their face.

Another project that we visited was One Dollar Glasses. This was funded by Be One Percent and enabled members of the local community to receive glasses at an affordable price. During our time with them we met a group of trainee opticians that would be going out into some of the most rural and impoverished parts of Malawi to serve as opticians and provide sight to many.

These opticians were amazing, they were extremely enthusiastic about the work that they would be doing and were completely full of joy. I was struck by how thankful they were that we had inputted donations into their organisation’s projects and by how much it motivated them. Their collective optimism about helping others was awesome to see and be a part of.

My time in Malawi was amazing, all of the joy being brought forward by our partners Mary’s Meals, United Purpose and One Dollar Glasses was prevalent in everything we saw. The thing that impacted me the most was the simple smile of anyone we met, whether they were school children or opticians, it made me so happy. I would like to say a massive thank you to all of these people who helped with my fundraising and donated to the trip, thank you to you all.

Ed Ferris and the Burrells team
Kate Brady
Emily Sherwin
Keoni Burch
Grace Gilchrist
Rachel Escott
Zen Edwards
Nick Fulcher
Meric & Anne Srokosz
Dominic Knower
Sheena, Aaron & Naomi Danson
Isaac Downie
And the whole of the Johnson Family

Thank you all!

All photos courtesy of ChrisNormanPhotography