Big Charity Lift from Briggs, Cannock!

photo 1Gavin Wickham, Operations Director of Britain’s most successful forklift truck company, Briggs, was delighted to hand over the keys of a robust and reliable forklift truck to Resources Manager, Zoe Kasiya last week. “This forklift is a real godsend,” Zoe told us. “Our volunteer teams have been lifting and shifting growing volumes of equipment, often manually, so this fork lift truck will mean we can safely and quickly get the donated kit off to Malawi.”

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Chris, Krizevac Equipment Logistics and Storage Support Officer,

Krizevac Project logistical operations have become a significant international activity, annually collecting, storing, loading & shipping thousands of bicycles, hundreds of thousands of books, and specialised machinery & equipment.  Zoe Kasiya faces no-shows, late deliveries and disappointments with determined cheerfulness, and calmly rides the rough waters needed to deliver essential equipment where it is most needed.

Briggs, a company known for their good work in the community, have supported Krizevac Project since 2012 when they first donated a wide range of furniture. Timing of this donation couldn’t have been better since it came at the completion of a major Krizevac-funded construction project, the Mother Teresa Children’s Centre, which cares for children under 6 in the township of Chilomoni, Malawi.

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Krizevac Project has been shipping containers to Malawi since 2007, full of essential equipment securing growth and sustainability for enterprises. It’s a remarkable fact that , by the end of 2013, we have sent a total of 65 containers. In the last financial year we’ve shipped 4,588 bikes, 664 sewing machines and approximately 40,000 books as well as a host of plant and construction equipment..

TESCO Launches Recycled Book Support for Malawi

Showing that ‘Every Little Helps’, TESCO, has thrown its support behind Krizevac Project in a special book recycling project that is transforming the lives of some of the world’s poorest children. Customers of the Uttoxeter supermarket, or anyone wishing to help, are being invited to bring in their old books when they come to shop. Other branches of TESCO are looking to throw their support behind this great venture soon.

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Hands up who’d like some books to read!

Head of Tesco Customer Service, Hannah, was excited to launch the new scheme. “We’re keen to help this local charity and support members of our local community who want to help those less fortunate than themselves. We are making it easy for Tesco’s customers to clear space in their homes and recycle old or unwanted books while helping others. Customers can find the yellow collection bins at the back of the tills in TESCO Uttoxeter until further notice. We are encouraging everyone to support this worthwhile cause and bring in their old books, even if they don’t normally shop with us.”

Charity Resources Manager, Zoe Kasiya, has been encouraged by the news. “You can’t beat books as a way of helping. Some are used in Malawi for children’s reading and others are sold to raise funds. We send a 40 foot container of goods to Malawi every other month with thousands of books. Oddly, shipping books actually reduces what we pay in duty on other construction equipment we’ve been sending.”

Other book collection points can now be found in various locations in Abbots Bromley, Staffordshire: St Mary’s Catholic Church, Top Shop, Richard Clark Primary School, St Nicholas Church, The Church of the Sacred Heart, and the Krizevac Project Office in Radmore Lane.

Amazing Alfie’s Africa Challenge!

Four-year-old Alfie Toomey is setting the pace in a sports kit appeal for Malawian children. The active schoolboy from Northamptonshire heard that children in Malawi often have no footballs or sports kit from his teacher, Marc Williams, who had volunteered there with Krizevac Project. Alfie leapt in to help and asked all his school friends to join him and collect equipment… and so Alfie’s Africa Challenge was born! The brave little lad stood in the front of a school assembly and explained his challenge to his school mates, many of whom have promised to help.

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With a grin this good, who wouldn’t help with Alfie’s Challenge?

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Class sizes are huge in St James Primary School. These happy children have just received pencil cases from Krizevac Project.

Alfie’s Mum, Nicola, told us, “Alfie is a loving, friendly, cheeky little boy whose favourite thing to do is playing with his friends. He loves being active, enjoys being at the park and climbing trees!” The energetic lad is set to do well and is showing early dedication. His mum explained, “Alfie goes to tennis coaching every Saturday morning and is becoming very good at it! Like his daddy, he supports Liverpool Football club and loves to kick a football around.”

Malawi is known as ‘The Warm Heart of Africa’ and Alfie’s compassionate reaction will be so much appreciated there. This is not his first charitable endeavour and Nicola explained how her son has shown he too has a warm heart: “We were putting together a Christmas box for a charity, when Alfie heard that his school had only received half the amount of boxes that they had hoped for. This upset Alfie as he has the most amazing empathy towards others, so with help, he quickly made another to hand in to school.” Soon after, when Marc heard about how Alfie liked to help others, ‘Alfie’s Challenge’ was born. Alfie’s mum has set up a facebook page to help raise awareness of ‘Alfie’s Challenge’ to family and friends.

Marc Williams getting ready to play in Malawi!

Marc Williams, a qualified teacher, is one of nearly seventy people who have selflessly  volunteered their time since the beginning of 2009. Through the inspiration of Marc’s work in St James Primary School in Chilomoni township, Blantyre, the Krizevac Project has begun training 20 extended school workers to support the 23 teachers who grapple daily with the enormous task of teaching 1,800 pupils.

Zoe’s Volunteer Army… Ready for Action!

The British Army may be finding it difficult to recruit reservists, but willing and able volunteers are responding in their droves to the Krizevac Project’s rallying cry for help. Fourteen able recruits are now serving in the Uttoxeter Krizevac warehouse under the watchful command of Zoe Kasiya, Krizevac Resources Manager. “We’ve been appealing in the local press for support and I’ve been giving talks at local churches which have been really well received,” says Zoe. “Response has been brilliant! So many people appreciate the fact we’re not asking for money – many have their own charities they support but are now tired of being asked to give more. We’re simply asking for people to help us sort through donated books and post some for sale on Amazon. Our volunteers work happily and don’t earn a penny but have a lot of fun. We’re also getting through a fair quantity of tea bags! It’s heartwarming to see so many people offer their time and skills for the sake of others less fortunate.”Zoe & Book Volunteers 2

A quarter of all adults in Malawi cannot read, and Krizevac Project is addressing this in many ways. Not only have we built St James Primary School in Chilomoni township, Blantyre, but we’re using donated British books to make a big impact in different ways. Hundreds of thousands of underused or unwanted books have been sent to Malawi.  reading-time

The book project began in 2007 when St Joseph’s RC Primary school in Rugeley, Staffs pledged a large number of used books when updating their library. These were loaded onto a container bound for Malawi (instantly reducing the amount of duty paid on the shipment): some were donated to schools and others used as the start of a community book exchange scheme. This later gave way to the current low-cost bookshop. The children’s centre outreach team is now working to help every child in the township of chilomoni to join in the ‘Playing with Books’ project. shop inside

Our volunteers sort the donated books and then package them for different use…

5% – Mother Teresa Children’s Centre looking after orphans & vulnerable children.

2% – Childcare training books.

3% – IT library learning resources for JPII LITI.

10% – Sold on Amazon in the UK to raise funds for shipping.

0.1% – Damaged and unreadable – sold for pulp or reused in other ways.

1.9% – Mechanics training books for Engineering Academy.

3% – Tailoring training books.

75% – Sold in Malawi for a token amount for the Beehive Centre for Social Enterprise.

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Royal Mail Bikes for Malawi

We owe a great deal of thanks to the Royal Mail for their incredible donation of 20,000 bikes. Having decided these much-loved bikes are coming to the end of their useful life in the UK, we don’t think there is any possible better use than to give them a new life in Malawi where they’ll be so very valuable (see Beebikes).

Bikes are such a valuable source of transport in Malawi where fuel costs are rising every month. These Royal Mail bikes are perfect for Africa with Sturmey Archer 3 or 5 speed hub gears and hub brakes. They’re also real workhorses, hand made by Pashley in the British Midlands. It’s difficult to imagine a better way of boosting the life chances of rural communities in Malawi than with a Royal Mail bike.

Zoe Kasiya, UK Resources Manager

Zoe Kasiya, UK Resources Manager

We’d also like to thank customers and staff at Mobal Communications who have so generously pledged to fund the transportation of these bikes. The value of their donation is powerfully multiplied; the bikes sell in Malawi for twice the cost of the transport and we’ve created a number of jobs in the process.