SOME BACKGROUND, by Jenny Spence

“Abba’s Rest Orphans, now a registered Scottish Charity No SC033166, started as a result of Peter and Kirsi Poole’s trip to Malawi in 2000. They saw poverty on a scale which is hard to imagine: children eating thrown away banana skins from the dust, mice being eaten as food and clothing for many children merely rags. On their return to Carsphairn, I heard about them and invited them to speak to us at one of our meetings at St Ninian’s: several members were interested so we decided we would like to help. We soon knitted blankets, jumpers, hats, woolly toys and sewed skirts and trousers, which were boxed up and sent to Malawi in a container via The Raven Trust charity. They were collected by local managers to distribute to the orphan centres and, as we received newsletters and photographs, we know they arrived safely and intact.


“The numbers of orphans have increased over the years – from 23 in 2000 to more than 300 in 2009 – and so the work is continuing. We have collected knitting and sewing machines, and have sent wool and materials, so they are now self-supporting. Many fund-raising events have been held in Galloway, as well as donations from St Ninian’s, including a coffee morning which helped to buy food and provide education for the children.

Photo of children at the Centre, taken in 2004

“Several members sponsor children, with a group of members sponsoring three children: Dorine, Humfury and Zione. It’s wonderful to receive news and photographs of them and to know we are giving them a better life and a future they would not otherwise have had.

“Thank you all on behalf of the children, who cannot speak for themselves. May we continue to love and care for them and keep up the good work.”

Update since Jenny’s account above:

In 2014, Trustee Richard Willis demitted his post – with thanks from the team for all the hard work he did on behalf of the charity – and new Trustees were recruited. The current team is named on our ‘Who We Are‘ page.

Since 2017, Abba’s Rest, as Care & Share Malawi, has concentrated its support on the community at Chiringa, where no other charity is operating. Other pages on this new 2019 website will increasingly showcase the projects which your financial help is achieving.