Handbags for Malawi

Issued: Tue, 23 Oct 2018 14:16:00 BST

‌Alex Mackay and Carole Rose, members of staff at the Institute of Infection Immunity & Inflammation and the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, have launched an innovative international fundraising programme. Handbags for Malawi seeks to sell pre-loved handbags and manbags on ebay and use the funds raised to support projects in Malawi.

Handbags for Malawi Founders

Alex Mackay and Carole Rose

Alex was approached by Dr Karl Seydel, a clinician at the Malaria Alert Project, to source soft toys for his child patients on the malaria ward at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. Alex funded this request with a very generous donation of 50 handbags from Glasgow nurse Helen Urquhart - and so Handbags for Malawi began.

Healthcare products and Christmas presents

The programme will not only provide soft toys for children affected by malaria, it will also support the Chisomo Orphanage in Blantyre by funding the provision of basic health care products and Christmas presents for the children. Funds raised will also allow for small pieces of lab equipment to be sent out to the Blantyre-Blantyre Lab Project.

The fundraiser has been very well received and spare handbags are already being donated. Messages of support have been received from Kena Mphonda, the UK Malawi ambassador in London, and David Hope Jones, Director of the Scotland Malawi Partnership. The Scottish Minister for International Development showed his support for the fundraiser by visiting the Handbags for Malawi stall at the Scottish-Malawi Partnership Annual General Meeting held at the University of Glasgow on 8 October. 

Alex says the support from University colleagues has been extremely encouraging, citing Professor Iain McInnes, Director of the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, and Professor Andy Waters, Director of the Wellcome Centre for Molecular Parasitology, as key supporters, along with Professor Jeremy Bagg, Head of the Glasgow Dental School.

Both Alex and Carole are proud to have taken the programme from strength to strength, and are now beginning to encourage celebrity donations, starting with Madonna! The fundraising duo plan to send funds to the Chiosmo Orphanage before Christmas to ensure a very special festive season for the children. 

To donate a bag: Alex.Mackay@glasgow.ac.uk or Carole.Rose@glasgow.ac.uk
To bid for a bag: Handbags_Malawi on ebay