13.01.2019 - Advance notice: Malawi Mission April 2019
The Kumbali team is already planning the next trip to Malawi for April 2019. Who is interested to join should contact us soon.
13.01.2019: 3rd Malawi Mission from 05.12. through 23.12.2018
Celine Dobler has returned from Malawi in good health. The continuous cultural and friendship exchange was consolidated, and Celine accompanied the daily work routine in the kindergarten (in particular concerning integration of the new teacher and her responsibility for the third class).
The field was cultivated. This is done by digging a hole in the ground barefoot with your heel, placing a seed grain in it and close it again with your heel. If the weather plays well, soya beans will be harvested in April.
03.10.2018: Publicity: Flea Market
Margarete Weiss represented the association on 21.09.2018 at the flea market "Forum Mitte - Familien-Bildungsstätte Waiblingen e.V."
03.10.2018 - 2nd Malawi Mission from 05.06. through 25.06.2018
On Saturday, 11th August 2018 17 members and interested persons met at "Schwaneninsel",
Waiblingen. Celine Dobler reported on her second Malawi mission this year: Zurück im warmen Herzen Afrikas (pdf, 15 kB, German language only) .
21.04.2018: Regular Assembly 2017
11 members, 4 guests und 1 kid met for the Regular
Assembly at Waiblingen. The board reported about the Malawi mission in February this year, and the proposed opening of a third Kindergarten class in September. The board was exonerated by unanimous resolution.
12.03.2018: Malawi Mission from 07.02. through 04.03.2018
This year's mission, attended by Grit and Celine, was once again very successful and
packed with innumerable activities. The most beautiful and important day was our celebration of the Kindergarten's sixth anniversary. Invited were the local
press (seePDF, 255 kB),
Achachanda Community Organization & Beautify Malawi (BEAM), representatives of the school committee, parents and former kindergarten children.
Furthermore, a movie day for the children and parents was organized, showing photos and videos of the last six years.
Together with the kids we labelled little sheep, prepared by the children's church of Beinstein, and in return we made bracelets from native tree fruits. The German nursery rhyme "Gott dein guter Segen (God your blessing)" was also rehearsed.
Numerous interested parents attended the courses "First Aid" and "Family Planning" - which Celine carried out as a trained nurse - and were very grateful for any advice and clarification.
In addition, there was an exchange of experiences with the parents who took out a micro-credit two years ago. 80 percent were very positive about their independence; they were able to improve their living conditions considerably as a result.
The Kindergarten field where we planted soya beans this year and which is growing well was visited. The next day we sowed tomato seeds with the children on the nursery school grounds.
What new goals have we set ourselves and how to realise them?
In September 2018 we will open an additional kindergarten group with 40 children:
To this end, a three-year extension of use has already been agreed with the Landlord, the conversion and expansion has been organised, cost estimates have been obtained from local carpenters, a cost plan has been drawn up for further purchases/equipments such as new school uniforms and dishes, interviews with new teachers have been carried out and a timetable has been drawn up together with coordinators, team, parents' committee and parents for a smooth course of events.
06.12.2017: Season's Greetings
If many little people,
in many little places,
do many little things,
they can change the face of the earth.
We wish you a Merry Christmas and
a happy, successful New Year !
16.07.2017: Malawi Mission from 25.05. through 17.06.2017
The local kitchen project - Cooking with the Sun - was successfully realised. Chairwoman traveled with 3 solar cookers to Malawi.
The equipment was introduced by local Trainer Mr. McDonald Ganisyeje. Present were members of the School Committee, Teachers, Village Chiefs, and Ethel Kapyepye of Achachanda Community Organization & Beautify Malawi (BEAM). We prepared Nsima with vegetables. Everyone was enthusiastic about this new cooking method.
A Video can be found at Solar cooking 2017 - YouTube (WMV - 03:38 - 31 MB).
29.04.2017 - Regular Assembly 2016
13 members and 5 guests met for the Regular Assembly at Waiblingen. Main topics were
the planned opening a primary school in September 2017 (reconstruction and extension of class rooms, purchasing furniture and teaching resources,
recruiting new teachers) as well as implementing the new local kitchen project (solar cooker, wood saving stove, biogas).
19.01.2017: Tree planting
Around 400 trees were planted by our present and former Kiga students with supporting from young people and parents from the community. Everything was organized by Achachanda Community Organization and Beautify Malawi (BEAM).
01.10.2016: Micro-credits to needy families
The August 2015 amendment of the association's articles facilitates the "Micro Credits" project. After one year of discussion, preparation and evaluation of business plans five parents started their small businesses and very proudly signed their contracts.
15.09.2016: Final Harvesting Result
A marvellous result: 56 bags of maize, 50 kilogrammes each, plus a 50+ kg bag of soya beans. The parents agreed to go ahead with the food project this year.
05.09.2016: New school term
On 5th August, 12 children left and got a certificate and some little gifts as they went to the primary school. With the new term, other kids were enrolled in their place.
26.05.2016: Regular Assembly 2015
Six years Kumbali Projekt - 13 members, 1 guest und 2 kids met for the Regular
Assembly at Waiblingen. The board reported in detail about the Malawi mission in April/May this year. Celine Dobler presented her own video clip:
Malawi 2016 - YouTube (FLV - 08:37 - 241.3 MB)
The board was exonerated by unanimous resolution and re-elected for another two years. Afterwards, 2016/2017 activities were discussed.
23.05.2016: Malawi Mission from 11.04. through 04.05.2016
Our volunteers - Grit, Michael, Margarete und Celine - were warmly welcomed by the kids and their parents.
In November 2015, the parents had started growing maize and soya on the Kindergarten's own field. Now it was harvesting season, all
helped with great commitment, and the crop yield showed that the effort pays off. The kids now get a hot meal every day.
At present, food is prepared in traditional way on an open wood fire. Since the women are permanently exposed to the smoke, and the method
is also not energy efficient, the association plans a new stove. Decision on optimum fuel (briquettes, gas and/or solar) is pending. Equipment for making briquettes
from paper waste, sawdust and water is available but of course can be used during the rainy season only.
In order to improve hygienic conditions during school lunch benches or tables are being procured.
After four years of usage maintenance and repairs are upcoming. Tables, chairs, windows and roof are being repaired, the solar
panel fixed, the pit drainage emptied and free standing handwashing stations installed.
First interviews were conducted for the microcredits project.
On parent's request, the establishment shall be extended by a first class ("junior primary school"). The coordinator will arrange for the
necessary legal steps. Then the rooms required will be renovated and furnished.
We maintained and deepened the loving interaction with the indigenous people in terms of international understanding. There were many shared activities, such as
The Association sponors the vocational education of our teacher Esther Msangu, who in turn enganges herself to continue with the Kindergarten for at least
three more years.
- Visiting Permaculture Centre
- Trip to the Wildlife Centre
- First aid course
- Knitting, crochet und handicraft courses
- Participating in church services
We also used the chance to exchange experience with representatives of
"with change in mind".
25.12.2015: Season's Greetings and Thanks from the Malawi-Team
We wish you a great Christmas season as well as a very successful 2016.
Thank you very much for your membership, love, care and support to the project, our children and the Malawi team.
Zikomo kwambiri for 2015, let's look forward to 2016!
Again merry Christmas & happy new year!!!
15.08.2015: Members' assembly
11 members met for an extraordinary assembly at VfL Waiblingen for discussion of and vote on the amendment of the asscociation's articles for the new project "microcredits to needy families". The amendment was adopted unanimously without abstentions:
Articles (German language, pdf, 26 kB)
12.08.2015: Farewell party
A year passes quickly … 21 children (11 girls and 10 boys) graduated from our Kindergarten. The ceremony was attended by parents, former kindergarten students, graduating students, remaining students, Mitsuko Tamura (a Japanese Volunteer), the village development committee chairperson and 3 chiefs from Landscape & Canada camp villages.
19.07.2015: Members' Meeting
The agenda 2015/2016 was the occasion for a meeting in which we discussed further prospective projects while having a good cup of real Arabica coffee from Malawi.
For example, we are planning to prepare a hot meal for the kids every day. For this purpose, a separate field will be managed by parents from the start of the rainy season (planting time) in November 2015.
We also intend providing microcredits to needy families.
31.05.2015: Malawi Mission 27 April - 22 May 2015
During Grit's latest mission all construction works on the roof could be finished, damaged doors, tabels and chairs were repaired and the bicycles too.
Four students from Bishop Mackenzie International School (Lilongwe) are presently working as volunteers at the Kindergarten as part of a six-week school project. They give support in painting and drawing.
Grit taught the children, teachers and parents how to make roses from paper napkins, tinkered small bracelets, took over physical education and even rehearsed a German children's song.
A very special experience was an excursion to the nearby Permaculture Center.
After a lecture on the importance of permaculture each child planted its own little tree - an Acacia polyacantha, or "Mthethe" in Chichewa.
25.04.2015: Regular Assembly 2014
Five years Kumbali Projekt - 12 members, 1 guest und 4 children met for the Regular Assembly at
"Vereinsheim der Gartenfreunde Waiblingen". The board reported about the development during the last year. Thereafter was a lively discussion about the next trip to Malawi, which starts tomorrow. This time Grit will travel alone.
12.02.2015: Kindergarten roof restored
Thanks to the good cooperation with our landlord the roof could be restored, just remaining with filling some parts on the walls, and the ceiling.
18.01.2015: Thunderstorms in Malawi
There were terrible thunderstorms at night between 2nd and 3rd of January 2015 in
Malawi. A lot of regions were suffering - unfortunately our Kumbali Kindergarten, too. Most of the roof and part of the framework have fallen off. Also the
new desks were badly destroyed. Thank God nobody was hurt!
The cleanup has already started and materials were ordered. But because of the heavy rain there is not much progress at the moment.
Meanwhile the teacher team has organised two rooms on the other side of the building that will be temporarily used as classrooms until the real ones are done.
18.12.2014: End of the School Term
At the end of school term there was a small party which included closing day,
celebrating two birthdays, with some of our old Kiga Kids who did well in primary school also attending. We prepared popcorn, peanut and honey/jam
sandwiches, small cup cakes, kamba puffs and sobo. Some of the items were sponsored by parents. All together we had 76 kids in attendance. We also gave
notebooks, pencils and crayons to those who passed with good grades.
15.12.2014: New Furniture delivered
04.10.2014: Special note from Malawi Team
We want to thank the association members for being able to be members. Their contributions and membership is contributing in changing and improving lives here. We so much appreciate every membership, and every contribution made.
17.09.2014: Farewell party
13 kids graduated from our Kindergarten this year. We gave them certificates, notebooks, pencils and crayons.
12.09.2014: New Ipads donated by "Onebillion"
Today we had visitors from Onebillion (
and they gave us five new Ipads that you see kids using on the photo below. They were impressed with the results from our Kindergarten.
16.05.2014: Malawi Mission 14 April - 01 May 2014
Barbara and Grit on site: after two years of intensive work shared by all parties
involved we could implement the second stage of our pilot project; altogether 60 kids are taken care of at Kumbali Kindergarten now.
Through the cooperation of members of our different cultures, the association’s purpose "exercise, comprehend and achieve international
understanding" is being consciously practised. In the course of the frequent visits by volunteers, the sense of trepidation vanished on both sides, and
an implicit relationship of trust emerged instead. The initial awe of communicating with "Azungus" is almost gone. During discussions, parents
were encouraged to think beyond their present horizon. The awareness of the importance of the simple and small but useful things the children learn at the
Kindergarten - such as washing hands and brush one’s teeth - could be consolidated. Adequate advice and reasonable hints are being accepted without
reservation by both sides. We learned for example how to light a fire or to weave simple wicker baskets.
16.05.2014: Kids plant trees
In March, Kumbali Kindergarten kids planted their first trees:
Passion fruit (Grannadila), Orange, Avocado.
Kumbali Kindergarten's Pride (pdf, 417 kB)
16.05.2014: Kumbali Kindergarten registered officially
Since 30 January 2014 Kumbali Kindergarten is member of Independent Schools Association of Malawi (ISAMA), thus officially registered.
08.02.2014: Regular Assembly 2013
Four years Kumbali Projekt - 14 members, 3 guests and 3 kids met for the
Regular Assembly at Waiblingen-Hegnach. Part of the board’s report were slide shows and brief movies informing about the development of the
association’s activities, the community service of December 2013, and the present situation in Malawi. The board was exonerated by
unanimous resolution and re-elected for another two years. Afterwards, 2014 activities were discussed. Thanks to
Reitergemeinschaft Hegnach-Oeffingen for providing their club house.
31.12.2013: Malawi Mission 05 - 24 December 2013
Despite starting rainy season and all alone, on the spur of the moment Grit travelled to
Malawi once again, in order to press ahead the pilot project. On the very first evening, 20 parents attended a parent-teacher conference.
In compliance with the parent's wishes, we will equip the second classroom with forms.
Our "wool programme" is already bearing fruit. With the wool and the many needles we brought in April, the parents learned knitting from each
other. Now they intend making sweaters (in the association’s colours) for the kids, as part of the school dress. The association procured green and yellow wool
for the purpose.
It can clearly be seen that the organisation of Kindergarten operations has been further consolidated. Coordinator Sai is on site daily; his wife
Cathy, and nursery teacher Esther together do the teaching, supported by two or three parents, who are also responsible for cutting the grass and for
cleanliness of the premises. In addition, caretaker Brian volunteers at sports.
In September, nine children advanced to primary school - with a positive feedback by its director: "The kids from Kumbali Kindergarten are the best!".
Of course the vacancies were filled immediately. The three to four years old novices are already well settled and fully supported by their seniors.
Highlights for all the children were a visit to the local Wildlife Centre and the Christmas Party, where the kids at first recited songs or poems by pairs.
Main feature was the performance of a nativity play. After lunch, all enjoyed singing and dancing at Malawian rhythm.
How do we continue? After Christmas holidays, the Kindergarten will re-open on 6 January. The service agreement with Saili und Cathy Mwale has been entended
until 21 June 2015.
The second classroom, the rooms designed for library and store, and the toilet building shall be all completed by end of February. Though some delays may occur due to the
rainy season we expect to start with a second class in April 2014.
As always, saying farewell was really hard ... "Goodbye, Goodbye - but not for ever!"
28.09.2013: Workshop "Sleep despite snoring" at Filharmonie Filderstadt-Bernhausen
Many thanks to the organiser Werner Waldmann for helping us to get an information desk. This time Nina,
Morten, Celine and Claudia were present; informed about Malawi, the village, the children and our association - and distributed homemade apple jelly and Kumbali socks. The best was
Celine's interview with radio channel SWR 1 - her first one.
11.09.2013: Open Round-table
Discussion at Vicarage Korb: "Where do our donations go?"
Barbara und Grit introduced our project to the very interested senior participants. The round was much attracted
by our activities and asked lots of questions about Malawi. Seven participants agreed to support our association through membership. And we can shortly expect some small donation.
24.07.2013: Result of the "Finnenlauf" at Education Centre Hohenacker
During their Africa-week mid May, the children of the Education Centre Hohenacker raced at the 350-metre
"Finnenlaufbahn" under the slogan "sprint for Malawi". Each child had looked for sponsors who donated a certain amount for each performed round.
After a small festive programme and the concluding service on the last day before summer holidays, Mrs. Magdalene Gucker, headmistress of the Lindenschule, presented the stupendous proceeds as symbolic
On behalf of the children in Malawi, Kumbali Projekt thanks the children of Hohenacker and all contributors for this first class performance!
25.05.2013: Positive Press Coverage
Under the headline „Things are moving ahead in Malawi“ our local press
„Waiblinger Kreiszeitung“ published a detailed report about our activities.
A translation of the report is available for display or download below:
Waiblinger Kreiszeitung of 25 May 2013 (pdf, 78 kB)
18.05.2013: Regular General Assembly 2012
11 members and 2 guests attended the Regular General Assembly on 13 May 2013.
The board’s report included an explanation of the organisational setup of the Kumbali Kindergarten and informed about the Malawi community service
2013 and the present on-site situation through a slide show and brief movies. The board was exonerated by unanimous resolution. Afterwards, activities
planned for the remaining part of 2013 were discussed.
10.05.2013: Malawi Mission 23 March - 14 April 2013
This time we were six who went to Malawi for visiting our children once again,
with more than 180 kg luggage containing school materials, tools, children's clothing and books.
The 30 children attending the Kindergarten now since one year show an excellent development. Those who are going to leave in September 2013 are well
prepared for the 1st grade of primary school. Most of them are able to calculate in the range up to 20 and to introduce themselves in English.
Children introducing theirselves - WMV (4,4 MB)
As intended, from the start-up one year ago, the Kindergarten is being operated not as an establishment of the Association but by the parents on their own
authority and supported through their voluntary assistance. For supervision and coordination, the parents have elected a responsible Committee. Because as
yet the parent's cooperation did not invariably work smoothly due to organisational problems, and there is also a lack of educated teachers, we have
postponed the proposed expansion by one more Kindergarten class for the time being.
Instead we concentrated on consolidation and improvement of existing operations and maintenance and repair of the premises.
In order to remedy prevailing organisational deficiencies, rules were elaborated together with the parents. Our Coordinator, Mr. Saili Mwale is supported
by his wife Cathy from now on, and the Association will be sponsoring a vocational training of the teacher, Ms. Esther Msangu.
The glue-bound distemper in the classroom could not be cleaned any more, and termites had caused considerable damage to the plastering of all rooms.
Therefore, after having plastered over the damaged areas, we repainted all rooms. For the lower ranges, washable glossy paints were used in the classroom,
and simple tiles in the teacher's toilet. The parents restored the mud floor that had been worn out and also infested with termites. For the second office
room, we procured a bookshelf and another small cupboard, and established a small library there.
27.02.2013: Project appraisal at Albert-Schweitzer-Schule Fellbach-Schmiden
Joannis Karigannis, Filomena Santoro and Desiree Dobler (Class 9 b) presented our project and used the occasion for collecting donations in the course of cake sales - a great success. Thanks!
16.02.2013: Members' Meeting
During the meeting at
BAV Waiblingen we discussed the trip to Malawi over Easter.
22.01.2013: Treffpunkt Mozartstrasse, 70734 Fellbach
Grit und Celine presented our project at "Treffpunkt Mozartstrasse",
the popular meeting place for seniors and retirees in Fellbach, in a well-attended event with gratifying resonance.
19.11.2012: Sign Post
It was a long way to go - but eventually: Happy to inform you that the sign post is now up ... (Sai Mwale)
13.11.2012: Apple Jelly
A good friend presented us with three crates of apples - so we prepared this
delicious jelly, as a small token for all who support our project.
03.11.2012: Members' Meeting
at Künstler Bistro Detail, 70734 Fellbach
Our new Flyers finally arrived - donated by viaprinto, 48161 Münster -
19.07.2012: Kumbali socks
Tri, tra, trallala - Malawi liegt in Afrika. Malawi is in Africa.
Dort gibt es Kinder so wie wir, There are children just like us,
die haben leider kein Papier. but they haven’t got any paper.
Ballspielen wäre wunderbar, Ball games would be marvellous,
doch sind die Bälle mehr als rar. but balls are more than rare.
In Afrika ist man meist arm - Most Africans are poor -
Kumbalisocken geben warm. Kumbali socks will keep you warm.
Tri, tra, trullala - Kumbalisocken für Afrika! Kumbali socks for Africa!
Some members are busy knitting socks in order to get some small donations. The
first pairs are already available at Fränzel’s hairdressing salon in Waiblingen. Who has got some wool to spare, or can help us knitting -
19.07.2012: Kumbali internal
For some reason our trips to Malawi happen to be suggestive of being financed from
the Association’s funds. That is not so - all particpants pay for flights, accommodation and subsistence from their own pocket.
19.05.2012: Regular General Assembly 2011
14 members and 13 guests attended the Regular General Assembly on 17 May 2012 that
simultaneously served as information event.
Part of the board’s report were slide shows and a brief movie informing about the Malawi community services 2011 and 2012. The board was exonerated by
unanimous resolution and re-elected for another two years. Afterwards, 2012 activities were discussed.
19.04.2012: Kumbali Kindergarten opened
Due to the fuel shortage in Malawi vacation through the previous tenant and
consequently reconstruction were delayed by three months - but on 2nd April 2012 the Kumbali Kindergarten could be opened for 30 kids.
Three Kumbali members had travelled to Malawi with more than 100 kilogrammes of luggage - backpacks, children’s clothing and sportswear, training shoes -
and made the finishing touches. A blackboard was made, numbers, letters and a picture painted on the freshly whitewashed walls,
and hooks for the backpacks fixed.
For the ceremonious opening, Swabian pancakes were served. Then teacher Mercy started the classes. On Good Friday the kids were invited to the zoo.
On the same day, we received also the school clothing in the association’s colours.
Highlights of the opening day can be seen from a movie at YouTube.
26.12.2011: Seminar at PH Ludwigsburg
A seminar group at Pädagogische Hochschule (pedagogical university) Ludwigsburg under
Prof. Dr. phil. Ulla Gohl-Völker has chosen the design of the outer area of our Kindergartenschool as subject. On 7th Dezember 2011 we had the chance to introduce our project and our
philosophy, and to answer a comprehensive set of questions. A few comments of the students are given below:
Stefanie Schroff: „I got to know about Kumbali Projekt through a very impressive lecture held by Mrs. Grit Wagner-Strohn and Mr. Michael Strohn during a seminar at the
Pädagogische Hochschule Ludwigsburg. Personally, I feel the approach of Kumbali Projekt appropriate, where life and culture of the people of Malawi are being respected and adopted.
There is no attempt to force a foreign concept but the project is based on the existing way of life. I found it fascinating to meet the people in charge of the project. I felt very touched to see how
much time and passion is being invested, and how many good things can be made happen. May more and more people commit themselves to an issue they really care about - through this
project I realised how much one can achieve... I would like to thank Mrs. Grit Wagner-Strohn and Mr. Michael Strohn for the lecture and their commitment, and to convey my compliments."
Angelika Lukacs: „I found it wonderful to have you there. I am really proud of my family..."
26.12.2011: Childrens’ Backpack Initiative
Following the newspaper calls in „Waiblinger Kreiszeitung“ and „Beinsteiner
Ortsnachrichten“ we received a considerable number of children’s backpacks - just as many as we can carry during our next trip to Malawi. We would like to thank all donators, in particular the
Catholic Kindergarten “St. John the Baptist" in Korb.
20.11.2011: Thanks for voting at "DiBaDu und Dein Verein"
We finally got 576 votes, and though we are ranked 2,980 only (of 19,329 participating
German non-profit organisations) and won’t get any money we still consider this a success. The children in Malawi and the association thank you for
02.11.2011: Kumbali Kindergarten: Reconstruction and start of operations
During this year’s activities in Malawi - while we had already started clearing and levelling the site - we got a much besser chance. The short-term
termination of a lease for a stud on Nature’s Gift’s property resulted in the possibility of using part of the existing structures for the Kindergartenschool,
requiring only some reconstruction. The owner of Nature’s Gift Ltd. affirmed his intention to provide land and facilities for the Kindergartenschool
if the association participates in the reconstruction costs. Compared with a new construction as initially intended, upgrading the existing structures
will not only provide the advantage of availability of drinking water supply but also result in a considerably larger classroom area of about 100 m².
We have taken the chance immediately and concluded a service agreement accordingly.
The Kindergarten shall be operational in January 2012. It shall be operated not as an establishment of the association but by the teachers in their own
responsibility; their salaries shall be raised by the parents as small school fee. However, a certain supervision and coordination will be required at
least in the initial phase. The association has assigned this task including employment of teachers to Mr. Saili Mwale:
02.11.2011: Malawi Service 2011: Waiblinger Kreiszeitung and Celine Dobler report
Though we were only three volunteers this year, our service from
12th August through 6th September 2011 was successful.
The reports of "Waiblinger Kreiszeitung" (our local press) and of our member Celine Dobler
are available for display or download below (sorry, both in German only):
Waiblinger Kreiszeitung of 22.10.2011 (pdf, 196 kB)
Azungu, Azungu by Celine Dobler (pdf, 536 kB)
07.02.2011: Regular General Assembly 2010
The general assembly for the year 2010 took place on 05. February 2011.
Besides the requirements according to the articles of the association - board’s report and exoneration - main subject were the 2011 activities,
in particular the Malawi community service in the summer holidays.
14.11.2010: Bank account
Due to a
bank merger, some of our account data are now different though not the account number itself:
Account No. 338 304 002 at Volksbank Stuttgart,
BLZ 600 901 00,
The sports club
FSV Waiblingen kindly allowed us introducing our association during the sporting event "Kids-Cup 2010". On Saturdays and Sundays from 4th through 12th
September 2010 we were present with our information booth. We also took the opportunity to treat participants and visitors with some snacks. On
visitor’s request we publish the recipe for the Leek Pita below:
Flan á la bourguignonne (pdf, 110 kB)