Touchstone team takes direct action
Touchstone supports a wide range of charities and last year donated over £100,000 to charity. The charities supported are broadly those dealing with housing, young people and the environment.
Whilst continuing to maintain our level of financial contributions to charities we want to engage the business and our people more directly in helping others Touchstone has, therefore, partnered with Habitat for Humanity to support their orphan and vulnerable children programme in Malawi.
Mainly due the HIV and AIDS pandemic, Malawi has over 1 million orphans, representing around 17% of children. The goal of the programme is to improve the living conditions of orphans and reduce their vulnerability through the construction of decent, durable houses and the provision of complimentary interventions such as malaria prevention training, HIV prevention training and property rights training.
The partnership is a three year project which will involve Touchstone staff traveling to Malawi to build 6 houses each year for orphans. 11 staff will be leaving for Malawi this year on 4 June and will build 2 houses in the Salima District on the shores of Lake Malawi, about 2 hours’ drive from Lilongwe. They will experience first-hand the need these vulnerable children have for decent homes and will interact with the homeowners and the local community. Staff are contributing personally to the costs of the trip.
We recognise that unsanitary, temporary housing conditions such as mud floors, thatched roofs, poor ventilation and no windows characterises much of the housing in Malawi. Poor housing facilitates the spread of disease, particularly among children. When parents die the basic security and health afforded by a hole are lost leaving children vulnerable and with little hope. Touchstone staff have decided to roll their sleeves up and do something about this. We will let you know how successful we are.