Two British citizens who are doing their work in Malawi are among the people recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours, Britith High Commission in Lilongwe confirmed.
Mrs Sylvia Avgherinos, Executive Director of Joshua Orphan and Community Care Centre in Blantyre has been recognised for her services to charity and the community in Malawi while Mrs Elizabeth Ottaway has been recognised for her services to improving health and education in Malawi.
The Member of the Order of the British Empire – or MBE were included in the recently announced 2015 New Year’s Honours List in the UK.
British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin said he was “ delighted” that two British citizens have been recognised for their contribution to Malawi.
“The awards symbolise a strong UK-Malawi relationship that goes far beyond the formal government-to-government relationship,” said Nevin in a statement made available to Nyasa Times.
He said the two people awarded by Her Majesty the Queen have given so much to health and welfare in Malawi, and have established strong ties to the country.
“The awards not only recognise their outstanding service to the community but should also serve as an example to others of how they too can help contribute to society,” the Nevin.
Avgherinos said she feels “ overwhelmed and very privileged “to have been selected for an MBE.
“Knowing how many other people are also working towards assisting vulnerable Malawians in various ways, I feel my contribution has been very small. Therefore, I accept it on behalf of everyone working in Malawi and the UK for Joshua and other NGO’s involved in development,” she said.
Joshua Orphan and Community Care Centre was established in 1998 by a group of Malawians in Pensulo Village and supports community driven sustainable development projects to assist HIV/AIDS orphans, vulnerable children and their families in Malawi.
Initially, Joshua established feeding centres in 19 communities, some of which are now supported by Mary’s Meals. They built 4 primary schools and helped to develop and support a number of government schools, as well as building their own secondary school.
Joshua has a large sponsorship programme to assist students. They also built a rural clinic in Pensulo Village, establishing too a Resource Centre and a maize mill and built two bridges that enable the villagers to access schools, health facilities, employment etc.
Their support comes from Trustees in the UK, USA and Malawi and various schools, church groups, Rotarians, volunteers and many others. You can find further information at http://joshuainmalawi.org.uk/
Elizabeth Ottaway, reacting to her award of an MBE, said “I feel very honoured to receive this award and would like to thank all the wonderful supporters who have enabled me to carry out the work that I undertake in Malawi, especially my husband Bill.”
Ottaway moved to Malawi in 2005 to work as a nurse at Nkhata Bay Government District Hospital until retiring in December 2011 in Mzuzu. Her work at the hospital included caring for wounds and sexually transmitted infections, long term care of hypertension and diabetes, screening for cervical cancer, and HIV counselling and testing.
She also become involved with Bandawe School for the Deaf where she continues to regularly carry out hearing tests and provide hearing aids and has assisted setting up vocational training.
Close to her Mzuzu home she has built a nursery school providing 25 pre-school children with education, lunch and clothing. An active member of the local Mzuzu community, Mrs Ottaway is also a trustee for Kunyanja Private Secondary School and for Kavuzi Scout Camp.
The UK honours system recognises people who have made achievements in public life or committed themselves to serving and helping Britain. They will usually have made life better for other people or be outstanding at what they do. Anyone can nominate someone for an honour.
A decision on whether an honour is to be given, and what type of honour, is decided by an honours committee in the UK. Honours committees are made up of senior civil servants (‘official members’) and people who are independent of government (‘independent members’). All honours committees have a majority of members who are independent. The committee’s decisions go to the Prime Minister and then to the Queen, who awards the honour.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :