Despite some difficulties in meeting rising Malawi-based costs (see my letter, July 2020), Open Arms started 2020 positively.
Through hard work in 2018/9, we had managed to find family homes for all the children (3-7yrs) in Harrogate House. With the continued support of Social Welfare Departments in the future, we plan to bypass ‘transition’ and reintegrate all babies direct from our Infant Homes.
Developing their ‘individual plans,’ some of our older children have been enrolled onto vocational training programs to start to prepare them for independent adulthood. We will be following-up by looking for work experience opportunities in 2021.
Then in March came COVID-19 and its inevitable negative effect on fundraising, forcing us to re-organise operations and sadly make some staff redundancies. We have also missed the support of corporate and school visitors who visit Open Arms every year but we are hopeful that some of these kind people may return next year.
But through the ‘gloom’ there have been some ‘highlights.’ SMBC Aviation Capital replaced an old vehicle with a new one and ‘the Ancient Mariners’ broke an Ocean Rowing record, raising funds for Open Arms.
Then there are too many of you to thank for your contributions to our COVID-19 appeal, which allowed us to operate residentially and keep the infection out of all seven Open Arms Homes and Houses.
We do wonder in Malawi about the problems you are all facing around the world but we also hope that you’ll be able to continue supporting us into 2021.
From the babies, children, staff and trustees, many thanks for your generosity and continued support; we wish you all a very merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.
Director Open Arms Infant Homes