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Thursday, July 16, 2015

07/13/2015 - People Giving Back: A Malawi Story

Slow Living salutes Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone for the work they have done in Malawi, and previously in Mexico.  Recognized by the Dalai Lama, Rob has brought dental health to thousands of villagers who would never have had a chance to see a dentist. His work in Malawi led his wife, Claudia, an accomplished culinary professional, to help a village build a school, farm, orchard and develop healthier eating habits to give a ray of hope for the future of their children, and their own quality of life. Truly an inspirational story!

Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone
United Village Transformation

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

— African Proverb

Since 2007 Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone have been traveling to Malawi. Initially to establish the first ever dental clinic at Daeyang Luke Hospital but then on a recurring basis to administer dental care, deliver supplies, and otherwise support the ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for the people of Malawi. In 2014, Rob was among those honored by the Dalai Lama through the non-profit organization “Wisdom in Action" with the “Unsung Hero Of Compassion” award for his philanthropic endeavors.

When friends heard what Rob and Claudia were up to, they knew they had to get involved. What started as a conversation between friends has expanded into an opportunity to develop a scalable, repeatable model for modernizing a village in the developing world.  Thus  "United Village Transformation Foundation"  was born.

When Rob and Claudia began making their annual pilgrimage, these villages had almost no infrastructure. In Malawi there is an average of one dentist for every 1.5 Million people. Because of the efforts of Rob, Claudia, UVT and their supporters the Daeyang Luke Hospital is able to provide training for 32 Dental Nurses from rural villages annually. 

In the United States, we take for granted that the systems governing our lives--the production and availability of food, education, healthcare, sanitation, and arts & culture--are readily available and working in harmony.  For those living in rural, impoverished areas of the world, it has proven to be quite challenging to modernize their way of life, despite ample resources being invested in improving the lives of the world's poor.  At UVT, they apply a holistic approach to village transformation because they believe that it takes all of these systems, developing in an integrated manner, to truly transform lives and communities.

Their pilot village transformation initiative in Dothi Village, Lilongwe, Malawi was designed in collaboration with the people of the community and other organizations actively working in the region.  

The program pillars are:

Adult, Early Childhood and Primary Education programming and facilities

Agricultural practices

Water Quality and Sanitation

Healthcare and Dental Care

Economic Development

We are seeking to make the following impacts:

Train dentists and nurses at the Daeyang Luke Hospital Dental clinic

Complete construction on Dothi Village’s very first preschool and early childhood education program

Provide books and resources for respective classrooms

Educate the children of the village on nutrition, gardening and farming at an early age

Provide women with solar cooking kits and instruction on safe, healthful cooking techniques

With your support, they  can truly transform the lives of the people in these communities.

In 2014 with funds raised from UVT volunteers  Dothi Vilage was able to construct a 24 foot by 30 foot building to house the villages first ever daycare center and preschool. Villagers volunteered to become teachers and the first class convened Sept 2014.

Also in 2014, Dothi Village developed the first garden grown during Malawi's dry season in 40 years. From April through October Malawians experience drought-like condition with no rain fall. Upon instruction from UVT volunteers Dothi villagers were able to dig a hole deep enough to hit water. Enough fertilizer and manure was purchased with funds from our volunteer fundraisers to help support the village food storage supplies.   In their next phase UVT will help the villagers establish a "bore hole" well to create an irrigation system for the garden and villagers.  



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