Welcome to the TME newsletter. Read on to find out what we've been up to since the last update!
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Well, its been a very exciting and challenging few months- we'd better get on and tell you what we've been up to! At the bottom of this email is a list of all the new lessons we have published, but we should mention especially that we're really pleased to now offer the first DVDs in Kirundi and Arabic.

'Life After Ebola' update

We reported last year on the grant we received from the Isle of Man for our 'Life After Ebola' project in Sierra Leone, Liberia and other affected countries. We are delighted to report that work to translate and record ALL our lessons in Krio, Mende and Temne (the three major languages of Sierra Leone) is well under way. This will mean that almost everybody in Sierra Leone will have access to health education in their mother tongue, or a language that they use everyday.

This work is being led by Alpha Kamara, a freelance journalist based in Sierra Leone and Senegal. He's worked for the BBC and OXFAM, so is able to help with the recordings locally, as well as recruiting professional translators. This is a huge challenge because there are only a few people who can translate written English to written Mende! 

As the new lessons become available we'll be distributing them to existing and new partners, so that as many people as possible will have the opportunity to learn how to keep themselves healthy and as safe as possible from malaria, water-borne diseases, HIV and more.

Below: Photo by Alpha Kamara: Ebola survivors helping spread the message to others.
Ebola survivors, by Alpha Kamara

ZIKA virus

There has been a lot in the news recently about the Zika outbreak and the suspected link to an increase in babies with birth defects across South America. Our lessons on "Avoiding Malaria" and "Bednets Can Save Lives" do not mention Zika specifically, but all the information is very useful to reduce the risk of being bitten by infected mosquitos. Both lessons are available in Spanish and in Brazilian Portuguese - please contact us if you know anyone who could benefit from these.
Website improvements

Part of the reason you've not heard from us since Christmas is that we had a big problem with our website which left us offline for over a month. We are so grateful to our friends and partners at Safe World for Women who've lent us their experience, skills and hours of time to solve the problems and restore the website. We're going to be working much more closely with the team at Safe World for Women in the future. We'll continue to provide DVDs to their partners, which are mainly small, local organisations, working in exactly the kind of circumstances that our DVDs are made for (one example is COFAPRI - you can read more about their work in the Democratic Republic of Congo below). We'll also be sharing resources and using their help to make sure our website is as easy to use as possible.
John Hacker
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of John Hacker

"I have been a trustee of Thare Machi Education for over ten years now and having semi-retired I have the time to do something I've always wanted to do, and I have the opportunity to raise money for this great charity. 
In April/May I will be doing a sponsored walk from Lands End to Wych Cross, East Sussex. The walk is over 600 miles long and I will be walking along the South West Coastal Path, up through the New Forest and along the South Downs Way.
" - John Hacker

We think this might be the LONGEST Thare Machi fund-raising challenge ever attempted! A nice walk in the country might sound relaxing, but it's not going to be easy for John. The route is very hilly in places and the British weather is very unpredictable at any time of year, so he's going to need plenty of encouragement.

Sponsor John on his mad walk here
John's route

John also has a Facebook page where you'll be able to follow his progress, and of course we'll let you know how much he raises later in the year.

Marathon Man & Christmas Carols

Also raising money for Thare Machi this spring is George Dewhirst, a student from Warwick University. He's been involved with us through a couple of projects at the Univeristy, so we're delighted that he's got a place in the marathon and using it raise money for us. George is aiming to run in under 3 hours, a seriously impressive target. We wish him all the best, and again if you'd like to sponsor him to encourage him you can do so through his Charity Choice page.....

Sponsor George here
Our thanks also to Warwick University singing group, the Leamingtones, who raised £50 for us with some informal carolling before Christmas.

Hal Cruttenden's Sport Relief Challenge
Congratulations to our Patron, Hal Cruttenden, who took part in this year's Sport Relief Challenge. Sport Relief is a two-yearly nationwide, televised fundraising event in the UK (like its partner Comic Relief), raising millions of pounds for projects in the UK and worldwide. Although we've not received funding directly from Comic Relief/Sport Relief, some of our partners will have done.
This year, Hal was part of a celebrity team sailing from Belfast to London on a racing yacht, their progress was followed daily on the BBC. He told us beforehand that he was excited and terrified by the challenge - we're really proud of him for being part of a team that raised over a million for good causes! You can read more about the challenge here

We are so grateful to everyone who donates, raises money, gives their time for free to help us - it is such an encouragement. With your help we've achieved things that seemed impossible. Thank you.

Rwanda, Burundi, DRC and the Isle of Man

Last year, we conducted research in Rwanda to find out whether the messages in our DVDs make a difference to people's health and lives. What we found out was really exciting. In places where the DVDs had been shown, cases of childhood disease such as worms and diarrhoea were reduced. As a result of this, the Rwandan Ministry of Health have asked for ALL community health workers in Rwanda to be trained to use the DVDs! Our partner Hormisdas, who led the research in Rwanda, has now embarked on a challenging programme with the Ministry of Health to train the health workers and to provide each health centre with a set of DVDs (the Ministry of Health will provide suitable equipment so the DVDs can be used). This work is funded by the Isle of Man grant, and we expect it to take three years. 
Health workers in Rwanda learn how to use DVDs

In neighbouring Burundi, we also have a new and exciting project underway. Last year we were contacted by Jean-Claude, below, to ask if we had any plans to expand into Burundi. We explained that we did not have any lessons in Kirundi so he started translating them. He's now translated nearly every lesson into Kirundi, and negotiated with a local recording studio to let him record the scripts at a greatly reduced price. As a result of this incredible effort we've been able to publish our first lesson in Kirundi - and of course the first copy got sent to Jean-Claude. Over the next couple of years we'll be working with him to finish this task, and then to distribute the lessons to organisations in Burundi who can make use of them.
Jean-Claude has translated all the scripts into Kirundi
Bednets Can Save Lives, Kirundi

Meanwhile, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, our partner Mugisho has been sending amazing reports of the impact the lessons are having. Mugisho and his wife Bahati run COFAPRI, an organisation which specialises in supporting women who were victims of rape during the civil war, and their children, as well as the wider community. If you follow us on Facebook you may have already seen the links to the incredible article they sent us - if not then here's a quote:

“We madly love this big mirror with moving and speaking people; they are amusing. They are saying things we often see in our villages here...  Many people are changing after they have watched these things” - Mihingano Alphonse.
You can read more of this article here.

In order to reach more people in such a remote area, we'll be working with Mugisho and the team to translate and record lessons in the local language Mashi, as well as providing more support (again funded by the Isle of Man) for showing and distributing the DVDs.
Children in DRC watch a DVD
Bahati Valerie, COFAPRI founder, shows a DVD
King William's College team celebrate
To donate to Thare Machi's work, click here
King William's College team present Thare Machi to the audience
Manx schools supporting
Thare Machi

Once again this year we've been delighted to link up with schools on the Isle of Man. Tom Clarke, our Technical Manager, recently spent a week working with a group of work experience students from schools on the island who wanted to help Thare Machi. He taught them how to turn a local language recording into a finished DVD. Between them they made 14 lessons in just a week! In the meantime, at another school, a group of about 8 students meet every Wednesday lunchtime, also to develop their IT skills while working on making new lessons.

We were also delighted to be represented in the One World Charity Challenge by a team of students from King William's College. For the charity challenge, students have to research their chosen charity and then make a presentation about its work, competing for the chance to win money for the charity. We are delighted that the team reached the finals of the competition and won £1000 for Thare Machi, an amazing achievement!

The Starfish Effect - your feedback

“The languages was clear and easy to understand, so the concepts explained in this material were understood” - Colombia

“I am very happy after receiving your DVD'S. I really appreciate your social work. Thank You so much for such a fantastic job you are doing” - Pune, India
Duplicating DVDs in the lab
India programme achieves amazing results

Last year we wrote about plans to scale up the programme in India with a one-year project with Goodwill Social Centre in Madurai. Lessons have been shown to villages, schools, social workers, NGOs, corporates and Health teams in Madurai and the surrounding five districts. Clive Dove-Dixon, our associate involved with the project, travelled to Madurai at the start of the year to see how it has progressed.
Showing "Looking After Your Teeth" Tamil
Goodwill Social Centre have set up their own DVD duplication lab in Madurai so that they can quickly produce DVDs for the many partners they are working with. We hope to investigate how this could be used to have an impact on our wider work in the future. In addition, they have established a link with the Ministry of Health locally, and 72 sets of DVDs have been provided (that's over 2300 individual DVDs) for use in health centres. The initial reports (subject to confirmation but we believe they can be trusted) suggest that over one million lesson viewings have happened as a result of this year-long programme! 
And finally….

Discs sent out since last newsletter:
Burundi 94
Cambodia 98
Egypt 2
India 463
Kenya 118
Lesotho 23
Malawi 6
Nigeria 107
Pakistan 11
Rwanda 714
Sierra Leone 97
Sri Lanka 149
Sudan 1
Tanzania 9
Uganda 247
Zambia 3
UK/unknown 280
TOTAL 2422

New lessons available: 10
Ateso - Human Trafficking
Karamojong - Cholera
Karamojong - Avoiding Ebola
Spanish - Avoiding Malaria
Runyankole - Human Trafficking
Romanian - Looking After Your Teeth
Setswana - Looking After Your Teeth
Krio (Sierra Leone) - Avoiding Malaria
Kirundi - Bednets Can Save Lives
Arabic - Living with HIV
Total number of lessons now available: 815
TME lite subscribers worldwide: 644  

To request copies of these new lessons, or any of our other DVDs, please visit our website where you can also sign up for TMElite or make a donation to our work.
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