Malawi night at CPIT will resource an orphanage

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18 Nov 2013

The food of Malawi is coming to CPIT’s Visions on Campus restaurant for one night only thanks to CPIT cooking student Regina Smedley’s passion for improving the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.

The Celebration of Malawi on 25 November features music and a buffet of food from daily staples to special food traditionally eaten at Christmas. While the event is a rare chance to sample the cuisine of the southern African nation, the funds raised will make a huge difference for an orphanage in the Malawian town of Liwonde.

Regina is from the same region as Liwonde and knows all too well the problems experienced there. In a region that suffers cruelly from lack of food when the rains fail, HIV has also claimed many lives.

With her kiwi husband Bob Smedley, Regina has co-founded the charity organisation Mphatikizo (meaning Join Together) to improve the lives of the villagers through education - teaching children in the evenings and teaching adults business skills, microfinance and food preservation techniques. The orphanage is also the focal point for Mphatikizo’s activities.

“The orphanage has been built but it needs mosquito nets, pots, a well, solar panels, blankets, beds! It’s not about aid, it’s about cooperation. The villagers made the mud bricks and built the orphanage themselves,” she says.  

Image of Malawian people 

Regina arrived in New Zealand with little English and a big mission. After studying English at CPIT for two years she enrolled in the School of Food and Hospitality. While her classmates might be aiming for careers at top restaurants, Regina aims to teach women back in Liwonde about food preservation for when hard times strike, as they often do. “The Diploma in Cooking is the key to this. This is my passion. When I think about African hunger it makes me very sad,” she says.

Knowledge about drying and preserving food has been lost in Malawi and the consequences in a country where 75% of the population of some 15 million people live below the poverty line (on less than a dollar a day) are dire. Regina wants to make a start on changing that.

Tickets for are $30, available through Vision's on Campus Restaurant: phone 03 940 8664 or email visions@cpit.ac.nz.

For more information about Mphatikizo visit: www.mphatikizo.org or contact Regina on 021 161 2570 or email info@mphatikizo.com.