Making our monitoring visits sustainable

September 15, 2018
During our latest visit to Malawi (August 2018), we wanted to develop & strengthen systems for making Medic to Medic locally sustainable so that we are investing in Malawi businesses, people and systems and not reliant on outside resources from the UK.

This is just some of the ways that we are becoming locally sustainable on the ground in Malawi:

  1. Meet Dyson, who works at Electronics 4 U in Lilongwe. He helped us refurbish our second hand laptops and load Microsoft Office to the new laptops that we gave to our students.  We're supporting local businesses on the ground.  Dyson is also a point of contact for our students should they encounter problems or need repairs with their laptops in the future.
  2. Big shout out to our driver, Daniel Banda for helping make our monitoring visit possible!  Daniel helps us to run errands, drop off equipment, makes sure we make it to our meetings on time and more importantly enables us to visit all our 5 universities travelling the length of Malawi and clocking over 1000kms! (He also has a special talent for packing all of our luggage containing books and equipment into one boot).  One of the ways Medic to Medic is making the most of local expertise!
  3. This visit we collected our ATM cards from FDH bank in Blantyre. This means that we can be safer and fully accountable during our monitoring visits without travelling with large sums of cash. We can also transfer allowances to our students directly.  Thank you to Steve and Chabekha for meeting us and talking us through new systems!   FDH banking is just one of the ways we’re becoming locally sustainable.
  4. We shipped 150kg of donated medical textbooks to the College of Medicine via Malawi Air Cargo.  There is no medical bookshop at the College of Medicine, meaning these donated books are invaluable to our students!  By using Malawi Air Cargo we are able to send large quantities of books and distribute these to our students.
  5. During our visit we also collected the curio Christmas gifts that we will be sending out to our regular donors in December from Mount Mulanje.  This way all our donors have a special piece of Malawi to share at Christmas time and can help promote us to their family and friends, increasing the number of donations that we receive. Thank you to Emmanuel for arranging logistics!!  Another way that we have been investing in Malawi, buying promotional materials and gifts where our students are based, instead of using online resources in the UK.
  6. Thank you to Jeremiah, Jayson, Silvester, Levison, Maria and Elizabeth for creating some great promotional Medic to Medic photos!  During each visit we organise a student party in each of our main locations (Blantyre and Mzuzu) for our students to build the community on the ground in Malawi.  Our students are not just names...they are part of our family.  Graduates and older students often provide mentorship to our younger students.

We will continue to strengthen these systems, so that Medic to Medic continues to become locally sustainable.