In September, the students of the Shibaura Institute of Technology, located in Chiba Prefecture, organised a charity sale of Malawian coffee as part of their annual school festival. It was Seibo’s first ever collaboration and we had a lot of fun working with the students to ensure a successful event. In the end we raised enough funds to provide 1,400 school meals in Malawi. Donations came not only from sales of coffee but many kind people also made anonymous donations on the day and we answered a lot of questions about Malawi!
The event made a big impression on us for two reasons.
1.The students decided to create a cardboard cut-out of a Malawian businessman and father of 7, Timothy Pondani, known to most of us as ‘Mr. Woza Woza’, the name deriving from the hot sauce of the same name which is well known to our team in Malawi. By means of this life-size cut out the students were able to better explain the lifestyle and work style common to Malawi. In Malawi, Tim can be spotted selling his trademark ‘Woza Woza’ hot sauce while cycling the bike he purchased from BeeBikes in Chilomoni, a non-profit business that upsells donated bicycles from the UK in so doing providing jobs for local people. To learn more about Tim click this video link here.
2.The other reason is that the event was held in collaboration with another school located in Miyazaki Prefecture, namely the Miyazaki Gakuen High School. This school has been engaged in selling Malawian cloth (chitenge) goods for a number of years already. Borrowing some of the cloth and clothes created from the cloth from Miyazaki Gakuen allowed the Chiba-based students to make a display and helped explain more about how the people of Malawi dress to visitors on the day. You can read more about Seibo’s collaboration with the students of Miyazaki Gakuen in a separate article here.
Using the aforementioned innovative methods the students of Shibaura Institute of Technology were able to confidently introduce Malawi despite not having ever visited. Organising the event helped the students to understand better how they can be of assistance for the people of Malawi also. From event feedback we can honestly say that the students have not only contributed to positive change in our world but seem to have caught and lived out the spirit of volunteering. Well done to all involved. Don’t forget to invite us again next year!