Following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Causeway Coast and Glens Council and Zomba City Council in Malawi in 2107, Councillor Stephanie Quigley will make a short working visit to Zomba in April this year.
Travelling at her own expense, she will meet Councillors and staff in Zomba Council and, as a member of the Zomba Action Project (ZAP), will be visiting a wide range of projects funded by ZAP.
She will be accompanied by Yvonne Boyle, who in her role as a Councillor in Coleraine Borough Council and a member of ZAP, instigated a Street People Project that was funded by voluntary contributions from Councillors and staff; also accompanying Stephanie will be Paul Snelling, secretary of ZAP.
Stephanie will be in discussions with Zomba Council to identify a new project that would be suitable for Councillors and staff in Causeway Coast and Glens Council to fund, again through voluntary contributions.
Before Stephanie travels to Malawi she is hoping to raise funds to provide two bicycle ambulances with the help of Causeway Cycle Club and her family and friends.
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community Stephanie said “Rural villages in the Zomba region would have between 100 and 500 people living in them. Many of the families would be outside the money economy, living on the crops they grow, with little if any surplus to sell. That is, many people in the village live at subsistence level.
The nearest health clinic can be up to 10 or 15 miles distant; this facility is usually provided by a nurse who has very limited resources. None the less the health clinic can provide advice and treatment for minor illnesses and can also provide a triage facility so that worse off patients can be sent on to the nearest hospital. If someone is sick in the village, they either walk or are carried to their nearest health clinic.
A bicycle ambulance provides a practical means of transporting a sick person to the health clinic. It is safer, more comfortable and faster than being carried. Most rural villages want a bicycle ambulance so the need for them is great.
The bicycle ambulance costs around £500 because it is an international commodity, usually imported from China or India. In a village that is pretty much outside the money economy, this is a cost the people could not meet themselves.
The ambulance also acts as hearse.”
Causeway Cycle Club are donating all proceeds from their Easter club runs to help raise funds for the bicycle ambulance.