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February and March
The following activities were supported with funding from Concern Worldwide:

  • Data collection for trees, verification of doe goat kraals.
  • Procurement of farm inputs such as common beans, ground nuts and soya beans.

Data collection for trees, verification of kraals
To promote agro forestry in order to improve soil fertility and reduce cost of production. All beneficiaries were encouraged to participate in agro forestry activities. Soil fertility improving agro forestry species and fruit seedlings were provided under this intervention. Fruits improve nutritional status of the beneficiaries and promote household income. The fruits promoted per household were; 5 seedlings of improved mangoes, 5 seedlings of oranges, 5 seedlings paw paws, 5 seedlings of peaches and 5 seedlings guava.

Each of the targeted beneficiaries receives soil enriching trees which they plant in their individual fields. The types of tree species provided are:

Tephosia Vogelli
Moringa Moringa
Faidherbia Albida
Acacia Polycantha
Albisysia Lebec
Senna Spactabilis

The John C Thomas Foundation, Malawi (JCT) provided doe goats on loan to increase livestock assets at household level, so that beneficiaries can sell offspring following breeding campaigns.  The finance raised contributes to school fees for these vulnerable children.  After loan recovery, JCT will pass the goat to another waiting beneficiary household. JCT staff visited beneficiaries and verify whether the kraals are productive and in decent working order. This verification was conducted in all the villages we are working in Lilongwe.

goats on loan to increase livestock assets at household level

Procurement of farm inputs such as common beans, ground nuts and soya beans.
To promote food diversification to 500 vulnerable household who are keeping orphans and vulnerable children, JCT provided each household with a loan of soya beans, common beans and groundnuts to plant.  After harvest the household repay the same amount back to JCT so that they can be passed to another waiting beneficiary household within the same village in Lilongwe. 

common beans, ground nuts and soya beans

April and May
The following activities were supported with funding from The Friends of The John C Thomas Children’s Foundation in the UK (JCTUK):

  • Group dynamics training 
  • Right to food training
  • Meal planning training

Group dynamics training
The Group Dynamics was carried out in order to equip new elected village committees.  They were trained on the election of the leaders, development of a constitution and the definition of the constitution. Five beneficiaries were selected from 25 villages making a total of 125 beneficiaries trained. The selection assessment was done by the office bearers of the village; Chairperson and Vice Chairperson, Secretary and Vice Secretary and the Treasurer.

The selection took place at an open forum. The training was conducted at Ukwe EPA and Nankumba Primary School in Lilongwe. At Nankumba we had 40 participants, 19 male and 21 female; Khudzumba 45 participants, 19 female and 26 male; Chinyama 40 participants, 20 female and 20 were male. The training was conducted by Government Extension Workers.

Right to food training
The training was one of the activities proposed by JCT aimed at building the capacity of the beneficiaries on their human rights. The participants were trained to understand their roles and responsibilities of right holders in the fulfilment of rights to food and participation. They were also trained to understand the roles of duty bearers in the fulfilment of right to food and participation. The training group was attended by 81 females and 94 males.

The trainings were facilitated by the JCT Field Officers.

Defining terms (right holder and duty bearer)
The participants were trained that right holders are all people who had valid claims, while the duty bearer is anyone who have duties or obligations to ensure that the right is realised.

Responsibilities for right holders to fulfil right to food
The participants were asked to think of the responsibilities of right holders to ensure they have enhanced fulfilment of these rights:

Right to Food
Carrying out all farm operations on time (e.g. planting and weeding on time), asking and following services from extension workers and buying fertilizer and making manure.

Right to Participation
Attending community meetings and participation in relevant community leadership.

Responsibility of Duty Bearers in fulfilling right to food and right to participation
The participants were asked to find out what they think are the roles of duty bearers in fulfilling two rights and the answers were as follows:

Ensuring that farm inputs are available on time.
Inviting poor people to the meetings.
Including poor people into local leadership.

Meal planning training

Meal planning training
The training was one of the activities proposed by JCT, aimed at building capacity of the beneficiaries on food planning, meal diversification and positive strategies to be used during the times of food insecurity. The training was attended by 163 women and 124 men, making the total of 287. The training covered the following topics:

Household food requirement.
Causes of food losses.
Strategies used during food insecurity.
Meal planning.
Food storage and preservation.

Before training, beneficiaries knew only three groups of food required for their households instead of six groups. The participants discussed some of the main causes of food losses in their communities which lead to food insecurity, and the following were some of the common causes:

Overdependence on maize for consumption and for selling.
Traditional ceremonies.
Poor storage practices.
Over preparation of food at one time.

After the training, participants knew how they could preserve and store some foods like vegetables, maize, fruits and meat. They were also trained on how to develop a work plan.
The training took place over three days at Ukwe EPA and Nankumba Village, Lilongwe. The first training session was attended by 77 beneficiaries, the second by 135 and the third by 95. The training was facilitated by the Government Extension Worker from Ministry of Agriculture.

The following activities were supported with funding from JCTUK and Action Aid:

  • Child rights training targeting 30 volunteers.
  • Held 3 campaign meetings focusing on prevention of violence against women and girls.
  • Established 20 girls’ clubs and a girls’ conference.
  • Sexual reproductive health training for 60 participants.
  • TOT in treatment literacy.


Child rights training targeting 30 volunteers
The training aimed at increasing the capacity of JCT volunteers to support the rights of children. Lilongwe was chosen as one of the districts worst affected by child abuses in form of child labour, cultural practices, forced marriages and tobacco farming.

The training helped to reduce child abuses in the families and community at large, while promoting child rights to equitable access and quality education. The training empowered participants to build capacity of the children to recognize and report cases of abuses taking place in and around the community.

Held 3 campaign meetings focusing on prevention of violence against women and girls
Women in the areas JCT support are fully dependant on the males within the villages and are therefore subject to abuse due to this unbalanced status.  They are subjected to violence and are unable to defend themselves against disease and HIV/AIDS.

This is a common occurrence among girls from traditional authorities of Mtema, Chitukula and Kabudula.  Girls seek employment to support their families and some are sexually abused by their employers, but they suffer in silence for fear of losing their job.

JCT know how imperative it is to support these women and girls and hold campaign meetings such as these to eradicate violence within the villages. 

Established 20 girls’ clubs and a girls’ conference
Girls in the rural areas of Malawi, especially adolescents, are facing sexually transmitted diseases at a much higher rate than their male counterparts.  They are simply not aware of the consequences of infection and HIV/AIDS, yet the boys are knowledge of these facts.

The girls clubs organised by JCT enable them to share their experiences, discuss circumstances and situations openly, enabling them to understand and be aware of the serious effects.  

Sexual reproductive health training for 60 participants
JCT with support from Action Aid trained participants in sexual and reproductive health.

TOT in treatment literacy
JCT with support from Action Aid conducted Trainer of Trainers training in treatment literacy for the people living with HIV/AIDS virus in order to equip them with knowledge on how they can take medications and food. The training was attended by 20 people living with HIV in Nsanje and Lilongwe. After the training everyone was given a task of training people who are positive in their villages.

From funding provided by JCTUK a program for the growth monitoring and weighing of children in all of the four districts was established.

Growth monitoring and weighing of children
This program enables JCT to understand the type of food and quantity to give to each child.  Most of the children we support are very young mainly below the age of six years old and are from child headed households. We do have a large number of children who have HIV/AIDS are in desperate need of Anti-Retroviral Therapy.

Growth monitoring and weighing of children

With funding from JCTUK, the Community of Mutu village mould bricks to construct a kitchen at our school.

construction of the school kitchen

Employees of JCT across Malawi are advocating for the elimination of child labour in tobacco farms.

Many of Malawi's estimated 80,000 child tobacco workers suffer from a disease called green tobacco sickness, or nicotine poisoning. Symptoms include severe headaches, abdominal cramps, muscle weakness, breathing difficulties, diarrhea and vomiting, high blood pressure and fluctuations in heart rate, according to the World Health Organisation

Below is a photo of a shelter used for drying tobacco that is being used as a temporary school.

shelter used for drying tobacco being used as a temporary school.

With funding from JCTUK high-grade piglets were distributed to farmers across our four districts and some additional large households have also benefitted from the project.


From funding provided by JCTUK a program has been established across the four districts to establish a children’s register which includes their name, age and a photograph of their face.

JCT child registration is extremely important for monitoring an analysis purposes of the charity and for Malawi governmental statistics. The JCT exercise started in Lilongwe, Nsanje and Chitipa respectively.

This is not only a vital program for the children supported by the JCT across Malawi, but will also benefit the universal birth registration campaign.

Children registration in Malawi

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We are currently looking for individuals or teams of runners willing to take part in a number of fundraising events during September – November, including the Wolf Run, Bristol Half Marathon, Cardiff 10k or Half Marathon and Birmingham Half Marathon.

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…to Julia Beamud, illustrator who published Miss Escotofina in 2013, has once again very kindly dedicated her time exclusively to the JCT for new a book titled La pandilla Natilla and the Puchi's missing shoe which is an amazing children’s story available for purchase at a cost of £6.99.

Every single penny of the proceeds from the sale of Julia’s books will be donated directly to the foundation.

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Cheltenham Half Marathon, 25th September 2016

The JCT is being supported by runners taking part in the forthcoming Cheltenham Half Marathon which is taking place on Sunday 25th September 2016 and we have a number of places available -

The foundation will cover your entry fee and all we ask for in return is to raise a minimum of £150 in sponsorship

If you would like to get involved, please email for a runner registration form and instructions -

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