Supporting Local News

Galway couple host their annual event to raise funds for schoolkids in Malawi

A Galway couple are preparing to host their ninth annual team party in their home – to help make a difference for primary school children on the other side of the world.

Malachy and Mary Booth host their Tea Party on Thursday, May 23, from 11am to 7pm in their home in Stradbally North Clarinbridge, with all of the funds raised going directly to Project Malawi to support Matandani Primary School near Zomba in the southern part of Malawi.

This project was initiated by Andy Monaghan, Primary School Principal in Rushall N.S. Co. Laois and he has spearheaded the development of Matandani school over the last number of years. It is entirely volunteer led with every euros raised going directly to the school.

Over the last two years €26,400 has been raised in Clarinbridge to support this school and since our last visit four new classrooms have been built and equipped with tables and chairs which has greatly alleviated the overcrowded classes. Before these were built the average class size was 120 to 140 students which is hard for us to comprehend.

“The local community in Clarinbridge and surrounding areas also donated other educational resources such as pens and pencils, mathematical sets, wall posters all of which were gratefully appreciated,” said Mary.

“We also brought much needed medical supplies which we received from nurses and doctors here and these were delivered to the local Health Centre and the staff couldn’t have been happier.

“However, it was the four shoe boxes of glasses from Elaine O’Sullivan in Optique Opticians in Briarhill which caused the greatest excitement. Visits to the optician are commonplace for us but in Malawi eye disease is a regular issue and it is rare to see anyone wearing glasses. Our arrival with our shoeboxes of glasses was greeted with such joy that we will forever remember it,” she added.

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world with a population of 20 million. Life expectancy is around 60 years of age with diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, respiratory infections being the main causes of death.

Climate change is also impacting on the people in Malawi due to floods, drought, failing crops and deforestation with millions facing famine and increased levels of malaria due to the rise in temperatures.

All are welcome to come along from 11am to 7pm on Thursday, May 23 – or you can donate online at

Pictured: Malachy and Mary Booth hosting a previous Project Malawi Tea Party at their home – with Galway Paralymian rower Katie O’Brien doing the honours.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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