Hull couple launch appeal to build orphanage in Malawi
A COUPLE have launched a campaign to help thousands of children in Malawi.
Philip and Deborah Irvin are appealing for help after heavy flooding in the southern African country left more than 3,500 children homeless.
The west Hull couple joined forces with their Malawian friends Suzen and Hastings Zidana to set up Christian charity Shine Relief Trust UK in 2008.
The charity feeds more than 400 children a day and provides clothes and toys to help the children's development.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
Now, the couple are hoping to raise money to build a resource centre and orphanage in the devastated city of Zomba in southern Malawi.
Deborah, 46, said: "The flooding has struck all across Malawi but it has badly damaged the area we are working in.
"We have seen how it has affected families in Zomba.
"People have lost their homes, schools have been forced to close and hospitals are very poorly supported at the moment."
More than 3,500 children have been forced to live in camps in Malawi – with only one maize-based meal a day on which to survive.
Their makeshift shelters have exposed them to malaria and dangerous weather.
Deborah, a mother of two, said: "We have encouraged churches in the area to provide blankets, food and mosquito nets, but it's not enough.
"We are hoping to build a resource centre that will help hundreds of children in the community. It will provide basic meals, clothing, medical services and educational programmes, such as HIV awareness.
Deborah and her husband Philip, 45, who runs a Hull lighting company, also hope to build an orphanage.
She said: "There are 72,000 people in Zomba and one child in every six is an orphan.
"But there are no residential facilities for orphans in the area at the moment.
"We hope it will be able to sleep up to 50 children. It will be one big complex."
The couple took their children Luke, 18, and Hannah, 17, to Malawi a few years ago to meet the people who are helped by the charity.
Deborah said: "The children were shocked because of the level of poverty.
"It was quite difficult for them, but they were both interested and like to keep themselves informed.
"They are really involved with the charity now. Luke produces all of our newsletters and Hannah helps out at fundraising events."
The charity held a sponsored bike ride from Cottingham to South Dalton last year to raise money for Malawi students.
It raised £2,500, which was used to buy bikes to help the students get to school.
Deborah said: "Even though we are a small charity, we are making a huge difference to the lives we touch."
To support the charity, visit www.shine-relief.org or text SHNE13 £2/4/6/10 to 70070.