Alex Mackay tells us about the “Handbags for Malawi” fundraiser

Alex Mackay, Administrator at the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, University of Glasgow, is a tremendous supporter and friend of the MalDent Project. Alex has written the following blog post to tell us about a novel and exciting fund-raising initiative that she and her colleague Carole Rose have initiated. Here it is:

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Two University of Glasgow colleagues at the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation and the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, Alex Mackay & Carole Rose, have launched a fundraiser for Malawi. “Handbags for Malawi” seeks to sell pre-loved handbags and manbags on eBay and use the funds raised to support projects in Malawi.

Launch
Alex Mackay and Carole Rose launch “Handbags for Malawi”

Alex was approached by Dr Karl Seydel, a clinician at the Malaria Alert Project, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi to source some soft toys for his child patients on the malaria ward. With this in mind she married this request up with a very generous donation of 50 handbags from Glasgow Nurse Helen Urquart and “Handbags for Malawi” was born. The fundraiser will support the Malaria Alert Project by buying soft toys for them, support the Chisomo Orphanage in Blantyre by providing basic health care products and Christmas presents for the children. The fundraiser will also send small pieces of laboratory equipment out to the Scottish Government funded Blantyre Blantyre project.

The fundraiser has been fabulously well received, with friends and colleagues already donating spare bags. Messages of support for the fundraiser have been received from the UK Malawi Ambassador in London (Kena Mphonda), Director, Scotland Malawi Partnership (David Hope Jones) and recently the Scottish Minister for International Development (Ben Macpherson) showed his support for the fundraiser by visiting the “Handbags for Malawi” stall at the Scotland Malawi Partnership AGM held at the University of Glasgow.

Stall
“Handbags for Malawi” stall at the recent Scotland Malawi Partnership AGM
Ben Macpherson
Ben Macpherson MSP, Scottish Government Minister for International Development, supporting “Handbags for Malawi”

The plan is to also ask celebrities to donate a spare bag. We are aiming high and hope to approach Madonna, who has close links with Malawi, to see whether she might donate a bag to the fundraiser.

Alex said the support of the Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity & Inflammation (Prof Iain McInnes), the Director of the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology (Prof Andy Waters) and many University colleagues, including those at the Dental School, are allowing Alex and Carole to take the fundraiser from strength to strength.

The next aim for “Handbags for Malawi” is to send funds to the Chisomo Orphanage to allow the children to have a very special festive season. If you would like to support Alex and Carole in their fundraising venture, you may donate or bid for a bag (or two!):

To donate a bag please contact:

Alex.Mackay@glasgow.ac.uk or Carole.Rose@glasgow.ac.uk

Bid for a bag on eBay: Handbags­­_Malawi (seller name)

Follow on Twitter: @Handbags4Malawi

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