Since 2004 the Galway Bay Golf Tournament, hosted by the Irish Restaurant Company, has helped the small community of the Holy Cross Parish in Nkhemenya, Malawi, Africa.
What brought us to this place? Well the simple answer is Father Alphie brought us there. Father Alphie is Uncle to both Michael and Fintan Galway and has served as a missionary priest in Africa for over 43 years the last eleven of which he spent at the parish commuting on a bicycle around the village. Father Alphie has now retired and has moved back to Ireland however his mission is still continued today by our efforts for the people there and what we are able to provide for them.
At first we sent the funds that were raised at each tournament directly to Father Alphie where he used it to build new buildings or put a new roof on the church. He purchased seed to grow crops with it in amounts for dollars that we could not even imaging getting in this country.
About two years ago at the 2009 tournament we joined with the South Anne Arundel County Rotary Club to combine our forces and direct our efforts to raising enough money to provide a source of fresh, clean water to this community. This is a need that is desperate in Africa and is part of the International Rotary Focus for all underprivileged areas of the world. Rotary International has a matching grant application that will also help us do a larger project than what we might be able to do with just the funds that we raise ourselves and although we will be unable to access it this year the work is being done to apply for it in the future.
When Father Alphie left Africa it was uncertain what the future would bring for our connection to the parish however we have been so lucky to have gotten Father Angelo Meja as his replacement. After a lot of difficulty in communicating with the parish Father Angelo has been diligent in his responses and communication and has been able to negotiate with a local engineer to actually perform the necessary work to drill the first bore hole well for the Holy Cross Parish. As a Rotary Club we have also established a connection with the Mzuzu Rotary Club approximately 191 km to the North of Nkhemenya, this communication with their members has given us a better understanding of what is required to do this work in this country and also has provided us security in the knowledge that the work is reputable and as a result will provided a sustainable source of fresh clean water and the training of the local people there to ensure it’s continued maintenance and operation.
The cost of this first bore hole is $10,139.05 of which the majority has already been raised – this year’s tournament will provide the balance needed and the basis for future projects like a badly need Maize Mill that we will be able to update you about as it develops.
This web page will remain active on the Galway Bay website and I hope to add pictures of the work that is being done as it progresses and then continue to update it with information about newer projects and what the funds you have all helped to raise are being used for so that you know that you have done something good today and that together we have made a big difference in a place that is in desperate need of it.
Thank you all for your continued support and donation of time.