The event was hosted by Lord Ian Blair, a friend and supporter of the charity Medic Malawi, the School’s partner in this project.
In his welcome, Lord Blair said how special it is that every penny given to Medic Malawi actually goes to the projects it supports, with no UK running costs, salaries or expenses at all. The focused work of this dynamic young charity is transforming lives, and hopes, in one of the poorest countries on Earth. The eye clinic will attack preventable blindness, a particular scourge in Malawi, with regular monthly clinics to reverse cataracts and stop trachomas.
Building the eye clinic has cost about £14,000, which has come from the School’s charity fundraising, and Stephen Drew, the volunteer Director of Medic Malawi, sincerely thanked Shrewsbury School. The need now, he said, is for funding for the regular eye surgeries, which will cost about £1,800 a month but, he pointed out, “In two years of monthly surgery, the equivalent of the whole population of Shrewsbury School could be cured of blindness.”
During the Reception Mr Turner met this year’s Speech Day guest, Henry Olonga, the former Zimbabwean Cricketer, who is another great friend of Medic Malawi, and the two men heard Stephen Drew talk of his next ambition for Medic Malawi – a ‘hospital on wheels’, going out to the villages to find the sick and dying – a new vehicle to become a ‘don’t call us, we will call on you, ambulance’!
Lesley Drew commented, “It is great to know that the fundraising at School produces such wonderful, direct and tangible results and we are proud to be committed to Medic Malawi as one of our partner charities each year. Nineteen students and five staff are increasingly excited about their visit to Malawi in July.
To find more about Medic Malawi please visit www.medicmalawi.org