Harrogate’s Malawi charity going strong after 20 years

Children in the care of Open Arms, a Harrogate charity looking after orphans in Malawi. (S)
Children in the care of Open Arms, a Harrogate charity looking after orphans in Malawi. (S)

It is now 20 years since the Open Arms Malawi charity was set up, and 2015 will see even more orphan children given the care they need.

This year is also an anniversary for the former Ashville College teacher Neville Bevis, who took over as director in 2000.

Emma Varson is his daughter and fundraising manager for Open Arms. She said: “Sadly there is a constant need for us in Malawi. Whilst maternal mortality figures are falling, poverty is still huge a lot of our orphans are orphans because of the effect of AIDS.

“At this time of year there is always a rise in the number of children admitted to Open Arms because it is rain season and this year looks like it is going to be disastrous.

To support this work the charity is holding a fundraising ball at the Royal Hall on February 7, with live entertainment from The Nightjars, a raffle and an auction.

Open Arms needs almost £20,000 each month to carry out its work. The biennial event is hoping to raise at least one month’s costs.

The charity provides a transition home for orphans and cares for children who have lost their parents to AIDS, or are unable to return to their villages because of poverty, abuse, or illness.

For the ball there is one table of 10 remaining, at £80 per person, as well as individual tickets. To book, call 01423 530129 or email judith@openarmsmalawi.org

See next week’s Advertiser for a full feature on Open Arms’ work in Malawi.