When he’s not in his role as Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group, John Midgley has spent over 20 years working at Touchstone. When the time came to retire from Touchstone, he set himself a challenge to fundraise £12,500 to build a new nursery in Malawi, providing houses for orphan children.
Since 2016, Touchstone has been working with Habitat for Humanity to build safe homes for vulnerable children and orphans in the rural Chimombo region of Malawi. John has led three teams from Touchstone in building these homes and has become very attached to the people of Chimombo.
John has personally been providing financial support to Chimombo School including providing food and nourishment for the nursery for 2-5 year old children attached to the school. The nursery had, until then, almost ceased to function because food could not be provided. The provision of a single daily meal of maize and soya porridge has meant that the nursery now has a daily attendance of 94 girls and 65 boys. With this help the nursery continued to expand. But this success meant it had outgrown its rudimentary building.
John aimed to raise enough money to build a new nursery building to serve the villages overseen by Group Village Headman Chimombo. Today, he has an update…
John Midgley says:
“Thanks to the generosity of my industry friends, colleagues, and clients I am very, very happy to say that the nursery is now completed!! It is a fantastic building and my thanks must also go to the Wise and Holyfield from the Nakondwa Community Based Organisation and Habitat for Humanity Malawi who have, together, helped design the nursery and supervise the build.
“There are 256 children on the register of the nursery who will all benefit not only from pre-school education but also from being provided with a meal every day. Land has been rented and maize and soya is being grown to make sure that a basic meal can be provided in the long term. Staff have been trained and the Touchstone team who visited Malawi this year to build two houses have agreed to raise the money for a borehole. A revolving fund has been created to ensure sustainability of the nursery for the future and basic health training is being provided through the nursery to parents and carers and siblings.
“Many thanks for helping to make this happen. So many children will benefit from a massively increased opportunity this year and even more in future years.
“Mother Theresa said ‘At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or even what you have accomplished. It’s about what you’ve done. It’s about who you have lifted up, what you have made better. It’s about what you have given back.’
“Thank you for helping me make it better for the children of Chimombo.”
Although John has retired from Touchstone, he continues his work as Chair of the SAFEagent Steering Group.