For the last 18 years, a container lorry has taken items donated by people in Birmingham from here to Malawi. This year the lorry is to be loaded on Saturday 17 June. The address for loading and instructions for accessing the site will be announced nearer the time.
People in Malawi value many items being sent, including children`s clothing and shoes (and sometimes adult clothing and shoes also), books written in English, stationery, basic first aid, materials, sewing machines, footballs and simple children`s games/toys and lap tops. A list of items especially requested by Malawian schools is available here. As a result of Cyclone Freddy devastating much of southern Malawi in March, pots, pans and basic kitchen equipment will probably also be useful to send this year to replace what people have lost. To avoid attracting customs` duties, however, most items should be second hand.
Because of the continuing uncertainty in the world fuel market, it is not yet known exactly what it will cost to send the lorry this year. However, the most recent estimate is that the cost to CofE Birmingham will be approximately £7 per cubic foot. Any contributions from those sending items or from any others (whether £7 per cubic ft or not) will be gratefully appreciated. If individuals wish not only to donate but also to gift aid their donation, better still! People will be able to make contributions on 17 June itself (and also to sign gift aid forms) but can also make them by contacting CofEB finance team. In the probably unlikely event this year that contributions exceed the cost of sending the lorry, the Malawi Task Group may use the excess to support other suitable causes in Malawi at its discretion.
To avoid running out of space on the lorry we do ask people who wish to use the container to contact Denese Ryan to book their required cubic feet of space by 31 May. When space is booked, Denese will give out instructions for 17 June including labels, forms, codes and, eventually, timings.
People may choose to send items to particular people, places or organisations in Malawi - in which case they will need to specify their chosen recipients to Denese. Alternatively, if people do not have any particular recipients in mind, they should inform Denese and she and the Task Group will then consider suitable recipients.
The items on the container lorry bring great joy to our brothers and sisters in Malawi every year. Please do consider contributing! If you have any questions the Revd Paul Bracher will be happy to assist.
Thank you from
The Malawi Task Group