Newsletter September 2023

It’s been quiet a cold and rainy last couple of months over in the bay, but we’re so glad that September has come with abundant sunshine and a beautifully calm lake – hello summer! And hello to you!

Let’s get right to business, with our new workspace! This will be the perfect place for our interns, volunteers, and digital nomads to hide away while enjoying beautiful views of the lake, peace, and quiet at the same time.

It was made using mostly upcycled materials including timber, treated bamboo, and other sustainable, locally sourced materials, it is full of quirks and character. Our builder Frank is super happy and proud of his first building made using glass bottles and broken bricks!

We’re also delighted that our weekly events are back in full swing. Our Volunteer Coordinator Wendy organises weekly movies nights, quiz and bingo nights, bonfires, weekend parties, and hiking/boat trips! We’re glad we can offer some fun activities for all kinds of tastes and ages, keep a look out on our Instagram and Facebook for updates! 


Information and Media Center

This previously thriving space has been shut for the last three years due to several, well known issues, but Butterfly is now thriving, we have a new team in the centre  and more and more volunteers are coming through giving us massive potential again.  

We plan to have a re-opening of the media room in September of 2023 with line up of workshops on music production, DJing, songwriting and performance to be supported by; Chmba – a Malawian DJ/Producer who is rocking many world stages (including Madonna’s 2023 Oscar party!), and Ishan Cypital – a Malawian smooth singing reggae/dancehall artist. We also have our very own resident DJ (and volunteer coordinator) Wendy AKA WNDRZ who will be taking lead on these workshops.   

If you would like to support our media room reopening, check out our Chuffed page to make a direct donation. If you also wish to donate items directly, please let us know! Your generosity will directly contribute to fostering a vibrant and inclusive space where imaginations soar and ideas flourish.
Butterfly Space
Support the general upkeep and progression of all our Butterfly community development projects.
Disability Centres
Help purchase materials for vocational training sessions at Pundu & Mpamba disability centres.
Offset your carbon by purchasing a tree pack a school.
Youth Club
Assist with finishing touches for the building renovation.

Ripple Africa

Thanks to Ripple Africa – the lodge, Stepping Stones, and several of our staff’s houses have been fitted with eco-friendly fuel reducing cookstoves!  Oswald, who is a part of the Ripple Africa team, and works tirelessly to build cookstoves in people’s homes all over the region by hand.The stoves use just 1/3 of the wood compared to traditional cooking methods, which will help preserve Malawi’s beautiful forests. It’s been great partnering with Ripple Africa, learning how to make and install the stoves, and we are inspired by the work and impact they are having directly in the community. To learn more about their amazing work, click here.

Pundu Graduation and Fundraiser

 We have an amazing opportunity to get our donations matched! We need to raise £700 and a very kind wellwisher has offered to match this amount so that we can reach our £1400 goal! We can not wait to start our next projects there, which is to set up a solar powered information centre/library, run permaculture sessions, and vocational training lessons.

With your help, Pundu will continue to thrive – please donate to our Chuffed page now, to get your donations doubled!

Following the last workshops, we are excited to share that the recently graduated tailors at Pundu Disability Centre have just had 3 machines granted to them through a government based organisation called MACOHA. It’s so inspirational to watch the disabled community drive and push themselves and support each other so much.

Previous Volunteers

We had a great bunch of volunteers in the last few months and we are so grateful for all their hard work, brilliant ideas, and beautiful friendships. Luna and Amelie travelled from Belgium and the pair brought some new life and creativity to Youth Club with their innovative activities. Celia volunteered at Stepping Stones and took some amazing photos for the school yearbook, check them out on the Stepping Stones Instagram (and be sure to follow for more updates). 

Claire, a social entrepreneurship intern, dedicated herself to developing a social business guide that would help local entrepreneurs with ideas on how best to run their businesses, she also put together a list of socially responsible/eco-friendly businesses for a brochure in partnership with Buy Malawi! Kya focused on sports education and travelled throughout Nkhatabay delivering sports lessons, donating equipment, and immersing herself in the culture – her Saturday Sportsday was a huge success and we hope to continue this activity in the future. 

We also had a volunteer who is an occupational therapist in Austria – Ulli! Ulli has been doing a lot of great work in the community, visiting people with disabilities and performing physiotherapy exercises, offering health and wellness advice, and developing plans to assist with pain management and mobility. We are so grateful for all her work, and so is the community.

Lastly, Lauryn – a waste management intern – was with us for a great 3 months and not only did she help our Butterfly team with the onsite recycling and waste disposal management, she also partnered with a cool youth run local organisation called Eco-Bricks. They work on (you guessed it!) making eco friendly bricks from plastic bottles, and together the team built a bench for our youth club made from locally sourced clay and eco-made bricks. 

A big shout of gratitude to all our volunteers and interns!

Stepping Stones

Another school year has passed at Stepping Stones!

The Standard 8 students have left having written their exams, and were rewarded with a well earned school trip to the beach. We are waiting for the results that will come in late August.

We’ve also had a graduation at the vocational school’s beauty program. We partnered with TEVATA (Technical, Entrepreneurial and Vocational Education and Training Authority) who gave all students their certification –  all 10 students are  now working in various saloons and beauty parlors and have been able to get an income from the training.

The school reopens in September, and so do the new programs starting in tailoring, beauty and carpentry. 

The building of the school library is still underway, and we are still open to support for it’s completion. Consider donating here.

Urgent support needed

 This section is a special acknowledgement and call out to support our dear friend and long term Butterfly volunteer,  Patrick Gondwe – a local school teacher based in Pundu village. 

Some of you may know Patrick, he has been helping to empower, develop, and create opportunities in communities with Butterfly Space for many years at the disability centres and at the nursery schools.

Patrick himself has a prosthetic leg and strives to help vulnerable and disabled people to get support in his limited spare time. He is a real community hero.
Sadly, Patrick has cancer on his other foot and urgently needs radiotherapy treatment, which is not yet available in Malawi. We have decided to set up a fundraiser to help Patrick get this life-saving treatment. We have estimated, from a quote sent by the hospital in Dar Es Salaam,  that the treatment, travel, and costs will come to around £1200. His wife will be escorting and caring for Patrick, and we have managed to get his travel pass granted today. So now we just need some funds! Please consider donating here.

Thank you for your help, the Butterfly Team 🦋🧡

MSPC & kwanza Cocoa

Offset your carbon with MSPC
MSPC recently partnered with a Malawian Chocolatier – Kwanza Cocoa to incorporate their cacao tree planting into permaculture hubs all over Nkhata Bay!

Kwanza generously donated two cacao seedlings for each of the five main clusters of schools in the district (and two more at butterfly space!). These will be planted in the coming weeks as a demonstration for farmers who wish to become cacao growers in the coming planting season. Partnerships like these serve such a great purpose for not only the community but definitely also the planet and we are in awe of the work Kwanza does.

Thank you

Gratitude and Cheers to Our Incredible Donors! We are overjoyed to extend our heartfelt appreciation to all the remarkable individuals who have gone above and beyond in supporting our Pundu Disability Fundraiser: the family of Matthew, Nicholas and Petra Novotny; Steve and Jane – all previous volunteers. Your dedication to this project is nothing short of inspiring, and we are immensely grateful for your support.As we continue to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those with disabilities, we encourage you to explore our Chuffed and get involved. Every donation, no matter the size, brings us closer to creating positive change and empowering individuals with disabilities.

Wish List

Wondering what to bring with you or what you can send to help out? We are constantly working on project & lodge improvements and are looking for a variety of items that could assist in our community development. Check out our hefty Wish List for project specific equipment and materials.If you can’t source specific things but have space in your luggage, we could always use baby clothes, reading glasses, batteries, towels, bedding, first aid kits and solar charging headlamps/portable batteries. All funds raised will be put directly towards community development efforts. Follow the social media links below to stay up to date. We thank you for your contributions and extend our gratitude for your generousity and ongoing support!
Thank you to all who continue support Butterfly Space in various ways.
We wouldn’t be where we are today without your support! 😀
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