Cup-of-Joe with Joe

Meet Joe.

Three things you need to know about Joe – aside from being a finance whiz and excel guru:

1) a talented musician (played double bass at Temwa’s Autumn Ceilidh night)

2) never says no to office snacks

3) he’s been leading a very brave troop for wild swimming throughout winter.

Time in Malawi.

As Temwa UK’s Finance and Systems Manager, Joe’s been working closely with the Malawi team on all things budgets, forecasts and planning. We caught up with him over a cuppa. Here are some of his stand-out moments:

“I was based in Temwa’s office in Mzuzu – the capital of the Northern region of Malawi.

It was nice to be more than just a tourist whilst being there; I went about ordinary life, going to work, to the market, for a drink where the locals went, and I also got to see impacts of the fundraising that I am part of.

Although I was aware of the bleak facts and figures on Malawi that make it the third poorest country in the world, actually going there demanded me to see how crucial our projects are.”

When reality hits home.

Joe saw firsthand the complex challenges to daily life that many experience living in northern Malawi.

“There is barely any money in Malawi, which forces much of the peoples’ lives to be self-reliant. People grow their own food around their homes and that is what they have to live on. Most is for their own consumption and some is for selling. Their vibrant fruits are all laid out before them; mangoes, pineapples, papaya! Tons of stuff.

But people also use the same water for everything, including cooking. This water, we know and they know, is infested with all sorts of bugs and parasites. It just shows that simple water filters create a massive difference.

I met a boy in Mzuzu who politely asked for money to continue his education. He showed me his work he completed so far in primary school. It’s a sad truth that Malawi only provides free schooling up the the age of 11, so our education programme is crucial – it makes the difference for students getting a professional job and earning an income.

Hopefully a generation of educated young people can create change for the country as a whole.”

Deeper Determination.

Joe’s time in Malawi has also spurred on his determination in Wild Swim Winter. An icy challenge where brave swimmers plunge into cold waters throughout winter to raise money for Temwa. 

“…I’m really enjoying it!  I have always liked swimming in the sea and being outdoors but NEVER experienced it in winter.

I think my two main motivations are the same as most people! I was interested in stretching myself and, in doing so, meet like-minded people and have a good time with them. 

Seeing life in Malawi and seeing how quite a small thing can make a huge difference  makes it clear that the personal fundraising makes a difference. That is satisfying!

The other side of motivation is to simply do a good thing.”

Swimmers braving the icy waters, Winter 2018. 

Look out for WILD SWIM WINTER II this year among our #TeamTemwa events. Not your thing? We have loads of different challenges and extravaganza’s, you’re bound to find the one that suits you.

Get involved, together we can make a difference.

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