Hi ELA’s friends, how are you?
After a 3-week vacation (ELA’s centre was, of course, in operation and my team ran the holiday workshops all the time), Malawian children went to school again, as the 2nd semester began. During the holidays, my teachers did a survey among parents and most of them asked if their children could receive umbrellas this time. This year, the rainy season is really relentless and it rains heavily every day, from February onward. Umbrellas are really necessary, so that children will not come to school drenched and then freeze all day in wet uniforms. This is how so many of them catch colds, and because they don’t have the right medicine, many get pneumonia, which is really not to be trifled with, as it is often fatal here.

This time, each sponsored child received one large umbrella, two 100-page notebooks, a pen or pencil, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

All prices, from the food that is cooked daily at ELA’s centre for 50 children with special needs, to school supplies, are rising insanely, the currency is weakening and inflation is getting worse  by the day. When I came to Malawi in 2011, we got 210 Malawian kwachas for 1 EUR, but now we get 1,200, and you can really tell that the economy is barely afloat. Everything we buy is now at least 1x, and some things are already 2x more expensive than they were a year or two ago. But because I know how important gifts are for the well-being of our children and daily lunches as well, of course we will not give up and will continue to take care of these innocent hearts with our sponsor’s loving and caring support. 

Of course, regular attendance at the ELA centre is still a condition for the children to be on the sponsors’ list. At ELA we offer daily free workshops where they learn mathematics, Chichewa language, English, writing and reading. They also play a little with different blocks, board games, cards, and draw with different materials (which is especially important for the fine motor skills of younger visitors). Of course, playing outside at Ela’s playgrounds and playing soccer and basketball are also not missing. We are in our 11th year, organizing free 3-hour morning workshops for 50 children with learning disabilities who have reduced cognitive abilities, attention deficit disorder, dyslexia and need couple of years to complete 1st grade. My team really works hard with each of them and the progress gets better every year. Certainly, the excitement of visiting the centre (that the children come to my centre for extra 3 hours every day after lectures in grade 1 finish at 11 a.m.) and perseverance are also helped by the tasty and huge free lunches that our always happy cook Maggie prepares with plenty of motherly love. Our dear sponsors help us buy food and we are so extremely grateful. 

You can become sponsor too; www.ela-africa.org/sponsorship

Stay blessed in all that you do and enjoy  in a beautiful spring. 

With love and gratitude, 

Jana, Ela’s team and Ela’s angels

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