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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Passionate about Programming 3D Video Games

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Rudo Mhango

Malawian student, twenty two year old Rudo Mhango, has developed a 3D video game called ‘Project Nyasa’  in his local language, Chichewa. One of over two hundred college students at the John Paul II Leadership and IT Institute, Rudo is achieving world-class software development in the middle of an impoverished African township.

JPII LITI was funded by US cellphone company, Mobal, through Krizevac Project, the unique charity created by its Chairman, Tony Smith. Tony explains, “Technology has the power to change the world for the better! As a landlocked country, Malawi is poorly placed to import or export anything, but with the fast internet connection which we’re providing this college, talented people like Rudo can sell software products and services to the world at the click of a mouse. We’ve made sure the skills and equipment are there to grow a world-class capability.”

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Declan Somers, Krizevac Project Country Director, Malawi teaching a class in business management.

Rudo’s dream of developing games began at primary school, and he’s amazed that his dream is now becoming a reality. The young computer geek  explained, “This 3D video game development has involved a range of skills: computer programming, 3D graphics designing, some mathematics and, above all, passion! I am still working on it. I want to add some more features so that it gives a more interesting game experience to all users.”

He also revealed that he will soon be working with some other students from other colleges in Blantyre, to develop a new 3D car racing video game that will capture Blantyre city as a racing ground. Imagine, globally, those who’ve never visited Malawi will be able to drive around it in a virtual game.

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The John Paul II Leadership and IT Institute is a three storey, 15-classroom, purpose-built facility with capacity for 400 networked computers. The bricks and building were made by the Beeehive Centre for Social Enterprise, the not-for-profit parent of JPII LITI.