Ailbhe and Evin answer your most frequently asked questions.
I WENT TO PAYPAL AND IT SAID 'BULEMU'. I'M CONFUSED.
Bulemu and Ulemu are one in the same, but Bulemu is the business name according to the Irish government. Evin set up the business before crowdsourcing the name and we all liked 'Ulemu' much better. All donations go straight to Ulemu.
HOW DO YOU PAY FOR YOURSELVES?
Ailbhe is a volunteer living solely off the savings from a previous job.
Evin was volunteering completely for the first year, living solely off his savings. When that started running low, he got an eight-month contract (through August 2021) with the UN to build up his savings again.
Most importantly - there are no overhead costs associated with Ulemu. Ailbhe and Evin's living, transportation, and recreational costs are all out of their own pockets, so every cent you donate goes towards the programs.
ARE YOU TWO RELATED?
Evin and Ailbhe are brother and sister.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE IN MALAWI?
Ailbhe lives in an NGO's house which was very kindly given to us, and where the Lifesaver's Club is located. It belongs to Network for a Better World.
Evin lives in a rented teacher's house for €10/month.
WHAT'S MALAWI LIKE?
The best way to describe it is Ireland in the 1800s but way more settled.
WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST WHEN YOU'RE AWAY?
Creamy pints of Guinness!
WHAT JOBS DO YOU EACH HAVE THERE?
Ailbhe runs the Lifesaver's Club, the Remote Healthcare program (which the Lifesavers members implement), and School in an Envelope where she leads the preschool training for nursery school teachers.
Since Ailbhe's arrival Evin has been focused on the COVID support (Masks for Malawi), especially as it relates to home-care support to give families money so they could safely stay in isolation.
WHAT DO YOU EAT THERE?
The staple dish of Malawi is this maize porridge called nsima (n-see-mah). There are lots of great vegetarian options, lots of fruit like mangoes and bananas, and we'll eat anything that's in season. Goat and chicken is also tasty as well.
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and half the population is children. So it was the perfect place to launch School in an Envelope.
WHAT DOES THE SCHEDULE LOOK LIKE FOR AUTUMN 2021?
Ailbhe will be home in Ireland from September 2021 to January 2022 working on fundraising and project planning.
Evin spent August and September in Ireland and will be back in Malawi beginning mid-October, 2021.