In 2006 the Kirk Session agreed to look for a project St Kenneth's could get involved in as an outreach. A team of four elders were given the task of finding this project. It could be in Scotland or overseas, as long as it was a project to help and support someone other than ourselves.
On the team's recommendation, Session looked at various options and we decided to develop a personal connection through a Malawian minister Rev Levi Nyondo, who had spent time in Scotland and now worked in Mzuzu. We made a contact and initially we helped with a range of small-scale building projects spread over a wide area, as Levi was mission convenor for his area. We put roofs on various church, school and manse buildings. These early projects were useful and much appreciated, but haphazard and didn't create lasting links.
One of the larger projects involved flooring and roofing a church building and community meeting place in Lusangazi, a village several miles from Mzuzu. At that time Lusangazi was one of around 12 prayer houses in outlying areas served by St Andrews Mzuzu. The creation of this new building led to Lusangazi (with about six of the small prayer houses) becoming a new congregation in its own right. After a vist in 2007, it was decided that St Kenneth's would enter a partnership with the new Lusangazi congregation and focus our attention there.
Over the years that followed we built close links and friendships in and around Lusangazi. A partnership team was developed in Lusangazi so that anything we did was a joint project using the ideas and experience of our Malawian partners. A range of practical projects followed, including, among many others, the building of a new school block in Lusangazi, help towards a new school building in the remote village of Mosanto, supporting the training of a local primary school teacher, support for a deaf girl to go to a special school, boreholes to provide clean water supply in two locations, income generation projects and a range of other activities.
Over the years there have been a number of visits in each direction, strong personal friendships and connections forged, and a direct community-to-community link established. Support for the partnership has come from far beyond the congregation, and has included schools, community groups and individuals. Since the partnership began well over £85,000 has been expended in shared projects of various types.