MaSP News Bulletin – 31st March – 11th April

  1. Education Strand Meeting

A reminder that the Education Strand meeting will be held on Tuesday 15th April 2014; Click here to register for the meeting if your haven’t done so already.

We kindly ask that those attending prepare a one summary of their project, highlighting the progress they have made and the challenges they face and way forward. We will have Rebecca Phwitiko the Education Strand Leader who will also provide ministerial updates.

2.    Capacity Building

Thank you to all those that have registered for the upcoming Project Management Cycle Training; we have received an overwhelming number of the registrations. We are finalising the details and all those that have registered will be contacted with further details. Please also be advised that places will be subject to availability and MaSP can’t guarantee a place for all those that have registered however we will endeavour to ensure that there is a good representation of organisations at the trainings

3.   Website

The MaSP website is fully operational.  We encourage members to check the website regularly as this will have all the latest information from within the network.

4.   MaSP meeting with EU Delegation

This week, MaSP met with the governance team of the EU Delegation to Malawi. The meeting looked at commonalities between the two organisations and identified areas of collaboration. With the EU preparing for the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), MaSP is keen to be part of the dialogue that takes place in the development of the 11th EDF

5.    Scotland Malawi Partnership advocacy

In previous bulletins, we informed you of the work Scotland Malawi Partnership was doing on raising the many challenges Malawian including partners of Scotland organisation in applying for a UK visa. We would like to thank SMP for their work on this matter as I am sure every Malawian who has applied for a visa has experienced how tedious the process of applying can be. SMP made some headway by having these issues heard in the House of Lords Debate – below are extracts from the SMP bulletin relating to UK visas in Malawi

 

  • UK Visas – House of Lords Debate

 

The Scotland Malawi Partnership is keen to thank Lord Steel for raising the issue of UK visas in the House of Lords.  He tabled a one-hour debate on the 26th March, asking  “Her Majesty’s Government what is their assessment of the operation and accountability of UK Visas and Immigration”.

Lord Steel’s comments (highlighting the issues and experiences of SMP members) were joined by similar accounts and concerns from Baroness Neville-Jones, Lord Berkeley, Lord Phillips of Sudbury, The Earl of Clancarty, The Lord Bishop of Chester and Baroness Smith of Basildon.

The SMP is somewhat surprised by Earl Attlee’s comments that, as UKVI now, visa issuing is “committed to creating a culture which is consistently competent, high performing and customer-focused”…”making consistent and quality decisions about people’s right to come and stay in this country”…and his assertion that “We are also increasingly leading the world in the provision of high-quality tailored visa services”.

This seems to be in very stark contrast to the experiences we have heard across Scotland, Wales and England.  We understand that there will be a further written response from the UK Government which we hope will provide a more informed response to the concerns raised

 

  • UK Visas – new additional charges for Malawians

 

The SMP is dismayed to see that, at the precise moment the House of Lords was debating the operation and accountability of UK Visas and Immigration, it was announced that the UK Government will now charge an additional £59 for UK visa applications from Malawi.  This is the result, we understand, of the UK Government contracting out to a different private company, who have in turn out-sourced the work back to the same private company that is doing the work at the moment, but adding a new additional £59 charge (roughly two months average Malawian wage) for each application.  The Scotland Malawi Partnership Board is dismayed and outraged at how Malawians applying for UK Visas are treated by the UK Government.  We encourage Members to speak with their local MP on this issue.

We have spoken with the British High Commission in Malawi who have passed our concerns to the visa handling office in Pretoria.  We attach here the response from UKVI in Pretoria

6.    Education in Malawi

The latest EFA Global Monitoring Report 2013/4 analyses the challenges teachers face on a daily basis to provide a quality education that will ensure children in their class emerge with at least the basic skills.

Further down the page there are contributions on Malawi with regards to Education under the Education for All. You can also follow the discussion under the #TeacherTuesday

 7.    DFID Malawi Spring Update:

DFID Malawi have published their Spring 2014 update. This includes a link to their Malawi operation plan Please follow link to access:   www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/297658/Malawi.pdf

8.    New Addition to the Team

MaSP has a new team member. Clement Masangano is the new Programmes officer.  Clement brings with him 7 Years’ experience in project management with a focus of advocacy and governance as it relates to areas of Education, Agriculture and climate change, Water and Sanitation.

Clement started on 1st April 2014, and is shadowing Margaret Banjo (Nee Thindwa) during her last month with MaSP. Margaret is leaving MaSP due to changes in family dynamics. We wish her every success for the future.

Click on the link for Clements full Profile

Bulletin

Malawi Queens in Commonwealth games “fair” group

Nyasa Times 11 April 2014

Malawi Netball team have been handed a fairer Glasgow Commonwealth Games group on the run from July 23 – August 3.. Malawi Queens are in Pool A alongside Jamaica , New Zealand , St Luke , Northern Ireland and hosts Scotland.

Derry doc Catriona swims for Malawi

Derry Journal – 04th April 2014

Derry born medical consultant will this week complete a ‘channel swim’ to raise money for a Malawi based charity which is saving the lives of babies and new mothers…. Catriona founded the Scotland Malawi Anaesthesia Project (SMAP) which was set up to deliver post-graduate education to healthcare workers in hospitals in Malawi.

 

Leading Kirk minister is backing a Yes vote

Herald Scotland – 6th April 2014

 A LEADING Church of Scotland minister has come out in support of independence, saying the growing divide in attitudes to welfare, immigration and the EU, north and south of the Border, have spurred him into a fundamental rethink.

Writing for the Sunday Herald today, Reverend Professor Ken Ross, former general secretary of the church’s Board of World Mission, says he has changed his mind after being previously unconvinced about the case for independence.

Ross, who is chairman of the Scotland Malawi partnership, said Scottish values could be better expressed outwith the UK.

 

 

Scotland faces £143bn debt after independence

The Telegraph – 09 April 2014

Yes vote in Sept 18 referendum would force Scotland to pursue tougher cuts than the Coalition’s austerity plans, economic experts warn

 New polls: indy support dips as voters grow more uncertain

The Herald – 10th April 2014

Support for Scottish independence has dropped in recent weeks amid rising indecision amongst voters, two new polls suggest.

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