Hello, Christian here.
I’ve just got back from a self-funded trip to Malawi with charity, Be One Percent – my head is still spinning from what we saw out there. The trip was rewarding yet humbling, we saw lots of happiness but also great sadness and hardship.
Be One Percent are a collective of individuals who give 1% of their income every month to help the world’s poorest people.
We went to Malawi as quite a motley crew. We were Steve Pilgrim – Co-Founder and drummer to Paul Weller, Matt Johnson – Co-Founder and CEO of Mando Group, Ben Waldron – Be One Percent website creator and Creative Director at Igoo, Chris Norman – Photographer and Owner of Oomoo Coffee shops, along with myself who was tasked with filmmaking duties.
I went equipped with a backpack stuffed with a Canon 5D along with 3 lenses, audio recording equipment, lightweight tripod. At Curly we are used to working with a minimum of a 3 man crew, so this was going to take a little bit of getting used to!
Once out in the country, we visited a huge range of projects that Be One Percent supports or is looking to support. We visited:
- an irrigation system that helps a village farm their crops 3 times a year as opposed to just once
- Several villages that now have water bore holes installed, meaning villagers have access to fresh & clean water.
- Micro Finance initiatives that allow villagers to lend and borrow money to increase savings.
- A stove project that teaches villagers how to build clay stoves themselves, which are much more efficient than cooking over an open fire, saving firewood and reducing accidents.
- School feeding programmes with Mary’s Meals. They are able to feed a child a school lunch every school day for just £7.00 per year – incredible. This means children actually want to go to school as this may be the only guaranteed meal they get in the day, meaning they get a decent education.
I was blown away by the friendliness of the Malawian people, and the welcome that we got in each and every village that we visited. The people and children of many of the villages that we visited literally have nothing except each other. An empty water bottle was a prized possession for many children, yet they all had a huge grin on their faces for us. Talk about putting things into perspective.
Over the next few weeks we will be posting a series of videos filmed at these projects. If you would like to find out more about Be One Percent, please visit http://www.beonepercent.org.uk
Photographs courtesy of Chris Norman.