Glasgow's projects focus principally on health and education, aimed at improving access to modern health facilities and providing IT equipment and software and technical training to teaching and technical staff in schools, colleges and universities, local government staff, as well as medical and administrative staff in hospitals and clinics.
In 2004, the former Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow, Councillor Liz Cameron visited Malawi as part of a delegation led by the University of Strathclyde and including representatives from the National Health Services (NHS) Scotland and the former Bell College.
The purpose of the visit was to review a range of health and engineering projects undertaken by the University of Strathclyde, as part of an initiative called the Malawi Millennium Project, created as part of the University’s Millennium celebrations.
Following the visit, Glasgow City Council, through the Lord Provost’s and International Office, agreed to contribute financially to a new teaching maternity clinic, to be built as an extension to the David Livingstone Clinic located close to Kamuzu Central Hospital. At the same time, the Council began to give serious consideration to what they, as a local authority, could do to help and support Malawians in their daily lives.
Through the Lord Provost’s Malawi Fund, our projects focus principally on health and education, aimed at improving access to modern health facilities and providing IT equipment and software and technical training to teaching and technical staff in schools, colleges and universities, local government staff, as well as medical and administrative staff in hospitals and clinics.
We work closely with Lilongwe City Council. This city to city cooperation ensures that aid reaches those most in need and that all our projects are developed and delivered in partnership with our Malawian colleagues.
Recent projects include:-
• providing IT equipment and training to teaching and technical staff,
• the construction of a HIV/AIDS Clinic at Chikwawa District Hospital,
• a Prosthetics and Orthotics Clinic at Kamuzu Central Hospital and
• a Public Health Clinic, located in part of the former Lilongwe Town Hall.
Since 2004, we have shipped to Malawi:-
• 2463 desktop computers to Malawi
We also ship medical equipment and supplies to hospitals and clinics in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Mzuzu, Mangochi and Zomba. Since 2004, we have shipped:-
• 4208 items of medical equipment
• 9479 boxes of medical supplies
The computers are donated to such establishments as:-
• The College of Medicine The College of Health Sciences
• Blantyre Polytechnic Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH)
• Chikwawa District Hospital Lion’s Eye Hospital
• Daeyang Luke Mission Hospital The Leprosy Village at Utale
• The Interdenominational Pastoral Care Centre Lilongwe City Council
• Dedza City Council Dzaleka Refugee Camp
• Various schools in Lilongwe, Blantyre, Dedza and Zomba
• Mzuzu Central Hospital Zomba Central Hospital
• The Open Arms Children’s Home Kasina Health Centre
• Mtsiriza Women’s Group Kafulu Girls Organisation
• Mchinji District Council UNICEF Youth Projects (Blantyre)
• The Prosthetics/Orthotics Centres at KCH and Mzuzu
• Development and Integration of People with Disabilities
• Hope for Disabled Children Youth Organisation
• Karonga Central Hospital Police Service, Zomba
• Step Kids Awareness Zomba Police Children’s School
• Landirani Trust Blantyre City Council
All of our IT equipment is donated by Access who supply IT equipment to Glasgow City Council. A team of volunteers from Access refurbish the equipment and prepare it for shipment. Project costs are financed through fundraising and staff time is donated by Council departments, where applicable.
A team from Access and the Lord Provost’s and International Office visit Malawi every year to review and monitor the projects and seek out new partner organisations. This hands on approach ensures a close working relationship and enables effective monitoring.
Local government and international development
Glasgow City Council’s success in working with Malawi is due, in no small part, to the long established working relationship with Lilongwe City Council. This local authority to local authority cooperation has helped to cut through red tape and bypass bureaucracy to reach those most in need. In 2014, during a visit to Malawi, the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Councillor Sadie Docherty signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Lilongwe City Council aimed at formalising the technical partnership between Glasgow and Lilongwe City Councils
One area of need, which has recently been identified, (during the same visit) is that of training for newly elected members. Glasgow City Council held a very successful training event for newly elected councillors from South Africa in 2007, funded through the Commonwealth Local Government Good Practice Scheme) and would be very willing to undertake similar training. It would be of great benefit to Malawi’s newly elected councillors but requires funding assistance. Consideration should be given to establishing a fund for this type of local authority to local authority cooperation as Glasgow has shown what is possible, when local governments work together.
Meet the Team
• Gillian Walsh, International Officer, Lord Provost’s and International Office with responsibility for the Council’s Twinning programme and the Commonwealth and International Development programme
• Brian Kelly, former Director of Environmental Protection Services at Glasgow City Council, now retired and working on a volunteer basis, for the Lord Provost’s Malawi Project
• Sammy Birnie, IT Professional Officer
• Sam Byrne, Senior Desktop Engineer
• Robert McPhee, Senior Technical Analyst
• Maria Quintas Zon, Service Development Officer