"Welcome to our FIRST EVER Servas Malawi Newsletter"
APRIL 2001 This newsletter is 'yours', so do please send any articles, ideas or stories to
D Lewis POBox 211, Blantyre, Malawi.
WHAT'S BEEN HAPPENING IN MALAWI?
1990Only 1 Servas Host known in Malawi - Chris in Dedza. Chris joined Servas by post after noticing an advert about Servas in a magazine.
1997 Demelza arrived in Malawi, (an active British Servas host and traveller) and contacted Chris. They met in Blantyre formulated a plan to develop Servas in Malawi, created a logo, headed notepaper and agreed on Demelza being the ‘main Malawi contact’.
1998 Servas Malawi then advertised its aims via a radio programme on capital FM and a low-key poster campaign. This resulted in the numbers of hosts slowly beginning to increase. Servas Malawi’s 1st 1998 February; meeting took place.
1998 2 travellers join, info is sent too their countries.
1998 First 2 outgoing Malawi Servas travellers leave.
1998 CLOSE OF YEAR STATISTICS
10 Malawi Hosts 7 visiting incoming travellers.
2 outgoing travellers (Majid & Dackson)
1999 JanDemelza visits Cape Town Servas secretary
1999 March 13th 2nd Servas Meeting
1999 July/ August Servas Malawi went "on air".Demelza visits Mauritius and the Southern African region Host list Organiser – Rey JOSEPH Servas Malawi website on-line
1999 October Demelza comes up with the idea of a ‘sponsored travel scheme’ for longstanding hosts and Chris is awarded. He leaves on his first travel outside of Malawi to visit the country and hosts of Zimbabwe
1999 CLOSE OF YEAR STATISTICS
8 Malawi Hosts 6 visiting incoming travellers.
3 outgoing travellers (Chris, Demelza, Gordon)
2000Servas Malawi prepares for conference in Zimbabwe but conference is cancelled.
2000 CLOSE OF YEAR STATISTICS
6 Malawi Hosts 5 visiting incoming travellers, 2 outgoing travellers (Demelza, Cat (American) )
WHERE ARE PAST MEMBERS NOW?
Dackson M (brother of below)
Mark U (brother of below)
J MEMBER ACTIVITY J
Servas Malawi Travellers: Majid AYAMI, Christopher KHWIMANI, Gordon BENBOW, Demelza LEWIS who visited and stayed with hosts in the following countries: Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa, Switzerland, England, Mauritius, Reunion.
Welcome to the Servas family!
George and Carla in Lilongwe interviewed by Demelza and Sandy – our first Lilongwe hosts – hurrah – at last! Who will be next? J J J
* * * * * *
è 2001 What is our future? ç
Where are we going as Servas Malawi, where should we go?
BY Demelza Lewis
"It appeared to me back in 1998 that the majority of Servas members world-wide seemed to be quite financially well off. Indeed it would be difficult to host and travel for shear pleasure if you were actually very financially limited.
Many of the hosts I read about in the Africa Host list appeared to be of European descent or Europeans of temporary residence in those countries. In Europe most hosts are nationals of that country they are hosts in. I thought it might be easier to build a strong long-lasting network of hosts if you long-term residents or nationals of the country in which you were a member. So, how could I go about encouraging the growth of Servas in Malawi among actual Malawians, if I believed this observation of mine to be true? It was a difficult problem to solve. How to act?
I’d noted in ‘97 that Chris had been a Servas member (Malawi’s only host) for over 8 years and that he’d never even travelled outside of Malawi. So I proposed to Chris that I sponsor ($150) him to visit Zambia and Zimbabwe as a Servas Traveller and he agreed. Getting Chris a passport took lots of pleading smiles and then his college couldn’t decide when term holidays would be – I thought he might never go! Eventually he left for a 2week+ trip in October 1999. Zimbabwe and Zambia Servas hosted him really well and he had a great time and seemed very positive about the experience when I hosted him upon his return to Malawi.
We’d agreed he’d write a report in return for sponsorship but sadly L and somewhat to my surprise he failed to do so. This is such a shame, quite personally hurtful and puts on hold any further ideas I had about requesting international, European support for such a ‘sponsored Servas travel experience’ programme.
Chris is presently completing his secondary teaching Certificate at Domasi College and is presently can only a Day Host during weekends"
è ATTENTION ATTENTIONç
Day:Saturday 12th May 2001
Where: Blantyre Demelza’s House. (See host list details).
(I can host and help out with some travel costs.)
SERVAS AIMS as stated in its charter….
…to help build world peace, goodwill and understanding by providing deeper, more personal contacts with people of other cultures and backgrounds.
…to share the hosts’ life and their concern in social and international problems, their interests in creative activity, and mutual responsibility for their fellow men.
"We may have come in different ships, but we are in the same one now! We must speak to each other to understand each other."
Martin Luther King.
SERVAS MEMBERS SPEAK OUT. . . . . . ‘YOUR VOICE’
"I am Majid, a Malawian by nationality. I was born in the early 70's and had my education in the small village called Mwamadi in Zomba. In fact, I grew up in Zomba and I met my English friends when they came to live in Malawi in 1997. They came to a tourist resort where I used to run my artisan carving business. We talked a lot about Servas. I was very interested because it was the kind of organisation that I never suspected existed. After I had read more on Servas I got the forms, sent them off, got interviewed and joined as a Servas host. By the time I was filling the forms, I already knew what Servas was about. In ‘98 I was loaned money to visit the UK for 6 weeks.
I was scared arriving in London. It was so busy, so fast, so many cars everywhere and many tourists. Once I got on electronic escalators and I did not know what it was and I got a bit panicked and tried to get off by going in the opposite direction – I must have been funny to watch. I found bread in England was fantastic, the yolk of eggs not very yellow, as if they don’t get enough sun. The super-markets were enormous and the weather dodgy.
I went to Wales to do a voluntary community environmental WORKCAMP project. It involved the construction of footpath for disabled people. I was based in a small village called Llangain, … I enjoyed it immensely …there was one Italian boy who was particularly good at communication and a crazy Japanese man who could not pronounce the work ‘beautiful’ he said ‘beau-who’ all the time and he made me laugh. I really liked the fact that I exchanged and learnt about other cultures. It was very nice for all of us having different kinds of food being cooked at the camp by people from different parts of the world with different tastes. It was very nice for me to meet different people in the different welsh villages and to find I could make so many friends from around the world"
(SEE THE MALAWI WEBSITE FOR THE FULL UNABRIDGED REPORT. MAJID WAS ALSO A SERVAS HOST AND IN JULY 1999, HOSTED 2 SERVAS TRAVELLERS IN HIS VILLAGE.)
TIPS FOR TROUBLESOME TRAVELLERS
Remember how Servas works!
It is not a matter of exchange. A Servas traveller need not be a host. As a rule, a traveller may spend two nights with a host, unless invited to stay longer (some countries have specified exceptions). It is also possible to be a day host without offering accommodation. A host may always refuse a traveller. Servas opens for possibilities, but it does not give guarantees. Servas is run by volunteers; it is not a travel agency.
û Never accept a traveller with an out-of-date "letter of Introduction" , decline to host them.ü Clarify house rules or have a list for them to read ü From the start ascertain the date of their departure - you can always offer ‘longer-stay’ later if YOU want to!
ü You may ask to hold travellers’ passports while they stay with you.
ü If you have any problems with the behaviour of the travellers, sit down with them as soon as possible and explain how you are affected by the problems. ü Do not be afraid to ask the traveller to leave if you do not feel comfortable having them in your home or they have blatantly broken important house rules eg: no smoking / phoning. J There is NO obligation at all to host!
ü Verbally or preferably in writing report any concerns/problems to your Servas main contact and they should be able to advise or help you. ü Request/make a copy of their introduction letter