Yvonne Boyle and William King, both representing Coleraine Borough Council (before the Causeway Coast and Glens Council came into being), as members of the Zomba Action Project, met staff in Zomba City Council in southern Malawi during their visit to Zomba .
Yvonne subsequently developed proposals with Zomba Council staff , initially with Social Worker, Annette Mkandawire and later with Busta Munthali for a project to help street people; these are people who are often homeless and maintain themselves mainly through begging.
The project encourages people to return to village life instead of being rootless in the city, supports children to go back to school, places adults with small businesses to train as tailors, carpenters, welders and mechanics; and trains adults as street traders.
The work is now nearing completion and, with a few exceptions, is helping to integrate 39 people into a better way of life, where they have more chance of fending for themselves The best outcomes to date are children back at school and persons being employed by the businesses that provided training for them
The project was funded by contributions from Councillors in Coleraine Borough Council (pre council re-organisation) through ZAP at a cost of £7100 which included outreach work and payment of tutors.
Previous projects funded by voluntary contributions from Coleraine Councillors over the past twelve years include a pedestrian bridge, a Mother and Baby Clinic and facilities at Zomba Council’s sports grounds.