What's happening with Skate Malawi
Updated: Mar 4, 2018
Hello. Hopefully some of you will have been following this slightly sporadic blog and will already know a little bit about our project. For all the new readers, here's a quick summary of who we are and what we've been up to. Skate Malawi was an idea, like many, formed over a post work drink. Until recently we worked as full time managers and roller skating teachers at a permanent roller rink facility in Glasgow, Scotland. We have seen first hand the numerous positive effects of roller skating for people of all ages. Skating creates strong communities, builds confidence and improves health. Having seen smaller mobile rinks work at festivals in the UK and Europe we got to thinking how great it would be to bring a roller disco to Malawi's Lake of Stars Festival. So we got a concept drawing together and sent it off to the Lake of Stars team. We received a overwhelmingly positive response and also a question. Why not make it a permanent facility in Lilongwe? There would be so much work involved in importing skates, and building a rink, it would make sense to try and make it a longer lasting, more sustainable project. Of course this was a much larger undertaking than we had initially conceived, but we love a challenge and an adventure. We decided that in order to assess the feasibility of the idea we needed to spend time in Malawi, seek out local people's knowledge and expertise. We also wanted local collaborators. So earlier this year we packed our bags and headed out to Malawi. Whilst there we met so so many brilliant people and received an almost universally positive response to the idea, we found great people to collaborate with and found a potentially brilliant site for the rink to be built on. The last few blog posts go into more detail about the people and organisations we met so if you want to know more about this skip back a few posts and have a read.
We finished the final blog having spent a weekend in Zomba at Set It Off Festival, which was a an absolute blast. Our final few days in Malawi was to be in the capital city, Lilongwe. This gave us the opportunity to check out a few more potential sites for the rink build and grab a final meeting with some of the friends and collaborators we had met. We wanted to make plans for the next visit and say goodbye to our new friends. It was sad to leave Malawi behind but we came away with a wealth of new knowledge, loads of new pals and the confidence that the project was not only viable but something that was going to happen. Here, I would like to mention that whilst in Zomba we met a very nice man called Stefan who offered us a place to stay in Lilongwe with himself and his friend Lucy. Big thanks and love to you guys! They work on an initiative called The Malambe Project. You can read more about the sustainable building techniques and educational programs they are running at the link below. I implore you to have a look, it's a really amazing project run by incredible people. http://themlambeproject.org/
So where are we now? and what are we up to? Unfortunately, we are back in very snowy Glasgow and less snowy Barcelona. Our immediate goals are; formalising Skate Malawi as a not for profit social enterprise and building the profile of the project through social media and a strong online presence. Then, beginning fundraising. As part of our fundraising efforts we are approaching Malawian and UK artists to contribute a track for an album of music we will be selling to raise money. We will be announcing the first wave contributing artists in the very near future. Keep an eye on our social media pages and on our website. We are also working on a range of t-shirts, hats and hoodies which you will be able to purchase through our website then rock at your local roller rink, skate park or even just when you pop out to the shops.
Our work on Skate Malawi is all done for free in our spare time and our trip out to Malawi was completely self funded. This is a passion project. We are a friendly bunch and If you want to ask any questions, offer advice/insight or help us #getmalawirolling please don't hesitate to get in touch through our contact page. Right now we are particularly interested in hearing from companies who might like to sponsor the project, donate roller skates/protective equipment (wink wink, big skate manufacturers). People in the roller skating communities all over the world who might like to run fundraisers. Ethical clothing manufacturers and last but not least technically minded people who have experience in solar powered P.A. systems and lighting.
Get us here - www.skate-malawi.org/contact
Big LOVE and stay positive everyone!
Skate Malawi x
p.s. Don't forget to check out The Malambe Project.