Pupils and staff from Cardinal Wiseman School, Coventry, returned to Britain after a successful mission in Malawi

Pupils and staff from Cardinal Wiseman School, Coventry, returned to Britain from Malawi on Sunday July 10, exhausted but satisfied with their very successful mission.

Assistant headteacher Mark Dettmer said: “There were a number of challenges to overcome this year: lack of fuel due to a national shortage in Malawi, cancelled accommodation and power cuts. But Cardinal Wiseman students held firm and delivered on the project without complaint. I’m extremely proud of them all.”

Retiring assistant headteacher Sean O’Donovan provided some details of how this year’s record funds were used.

He said: “The health programme that we began at Bunda primary school last year was doubled in size from 20 students to 40. Every student on the programme was examined by a doctor and their treatment paid for. This included a boy with an enlarged spleen who may be in need of an operation. Cardinal Wiseman Malawi project is able to fund this also.”

The team also reported that every child on the health programme received a pair of shoes and that the nutrition programme was working well.

Twenty children currently receive a daily cup of porridge made from maize grown in the school grounds. The project has provided more seeds this year with the aim that Bunda school will produce enough so that an amount can be sold in order to maintain funding of the feeding programme. The team also inspected the vegetable garden grown from seeds donated by the project and were pleased to hear that children and staff benefit from its produce.

In addition, this year the team visited a Catholic primary school in the Bunda region called St Matthews. There, they witnessed a greater degree of poverty than that seen at Bunda. Due to the amount of money generously donated, the health programme has been expanded to include 10 children from St Matthews and it is hoped that this will be increased next year.

Head girl Julia Bergin said: “It was clear that the children of St Matthews are very impoverished. We purchased crucifixes for the headteacher’s office and the school chapel as the school could not afford these for themselves. I would encourage everyone to consider donating to the Malawi project so that we can help more schools.”