April 2009 Newsletter


(The full current December newsletter is available in PDF HERE)

 Orbus Orphan Care Ministry:

December 2008 Newsletter:


Food production commenced on Orbus’ land to feed the Namatete orphans.

Orbus site cleared, bricks cleaned and stacked on site ready for Stage One construction to commence.

Masterplan drawings completed.

New colour brochure produced.

Photos of Orbus’ land and food production and some general photos from and of Blantyre on Orbus’ website.


Some of the activities undertaken by and on behalf of Orbus recently include:

Food Production Commenced:

Crops were planted soon after the purchase of Orbus’ land with food produced from the fertile land being used to help feed the hundreds of orphaned children who come to the Namatete CCAP feeding and teaching program every Saturday.

The Orbus Boarding School for Orphaned Children:

Planning and site preparation has been ongoing for the development of the new Orbus boarding school, and community development centre on Orbus’ 100% owned 6.202 hectare plot of land in Ngumbe Village, within the City of Blantyre, Malawi.

Masterplan and Stage 1 drawings completed: Many thanks to Robert Boyle and Garreth Le Page and staff from Robert Boyle Design and Construction in Melbourne, who have kindly donated much time and effort to prepare plans and drawings for the project. Robert visited the site with his daughter Jessica in October as part of this process, and as well as producing some outstanding plans Robert and Jessica captured some photographs of the Orbus land, Blantyre generally and some local children (not necessarily orphans). A selection of these photos can be seen on the Orbus website as can copies of the Masterplan. The Masterplan captures the vision Orbus has of building a self-sustainable project to provide for, care for, love and nurture these beautiful African children who have lost their natural providers, their parents.

 Goods Shipped from Australia:

Many thanks to everyone who provided goods for the container sent from Australia in October. Among the numerous items for the orphaned children in the container are:


 New Orbus Brochure:

A new Orbus colour brochure has been produced, once again all by volunteer help and donations of time and printing costs. You can view the brochure online at the Orbus website at www.OrbusAfrica.org. Copies are being sent to many PCA and other congregations. If you do not receive any please email us in Melbourne at admin@orbusafrica.org and we will send some to you. Alternatively they can be picked up from South Yarra Presbyterian Church.

A House for Visiting Workers:

One of the buildings planned for the Orbus site is an accommodation block/house for visiting workers from Australia. This has been included because we see much value in having a regular stream of workers visiting the school to volunteer their time helping at the project. Each visitor will need to be approved by the Orbus management group in Australia.

Your Prayers:

We would appreciate your prayers for:

 Financial Report:

For the period ending 30th November 2008 there have been donations from 16 separate Presbyterian congregations from around Australia, and additionally from 54 different individuals/groups who have together donated a total of A$221,199.35 since Orbus was founded last year.

Funds are raised in Australia by the South Yarra Presbyterian Church (SYPC) and through World Relief Inc. 100% of funds raised by SYPC and 95% of funds raised through World Relief Inc are sent from Australia to Malawi.

On behalf of the children in Blantyre we thank you very much for your prayers and for what you have done for them with your support.

"Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed." (Psalm 37:3)

May God bless you as together we trust God and do good to these children who have lost their natural providers.


In and for Jesus Christ


Orbus Development and Aid in Central Africa Limited


Website: www.OrbusAfrica.org

Australia: Craig Manners craig.manners@orbusafrica.org

Ph: 03-9877 0312 (Melbourne)

To read more about Orbus, to sign up for our newsletter and see more photos please visit our website www.OrbusAfrica.org



Orbus Update - August/September 2008:

The Orbus Orphan School Project Officially Launched

On the 9th May 2008 Orbus purchased a 6.202 hectare plot of land in Ngumbe Village, in the City of Blantyre, Malawi. On the 18th June 2008 the Orbus Project was officially launched, and work commenced on the 30th June 2008.

Upon arrival in Blantyre on the 18th June, a mission team from Australia, led by Orbus director John Wilson, and including Orbus Advisory Panel member John Steendam, went straight from the airport to the Orbus land where they met with two of the local Orbus directors Colin Mbawa and Richard Chaponda.

As part of the official launch, the project was dedicated to God’s glory and for the benefit of the many orphaned children in Malawi. John Wilson read from Psalm 24, which reminds us that the earth belongs to God. Colin pointed out the boundaries of the land and both John and Colin launched the Orbus project and led the group in prayer.

A prayer meeting, attended by Orbus directors and a visiting mission team from Australia was held on site to launch the Orbus Project- July 2008

Orbus directors and a visiting mission team from Australia pray for the Orbus project on site at the launch- 18th June 2008

From John Steendam’s report from Malawi, July 2008:

"Site works have commenced, architectual drawings have been prepared, a quantity surveyor has been engaged and Orbus in Malawi is presently interviewing candidates for a Project Manager.

On the 30th June, the project commenced with the demolishing of the existing ramshackle parts of brick buildings which formed an old tobacco factory. As much as possible the existing bricks will be cleaned and reused in the building of the new Orbus school.

Work begins on the site of the Orbus School for AIDS orphans - Blantyre, Malawi - July 2008

Work commences on the Orbus site.

Many things still need to be done before actual construction will commence but the building phase for stage 1 (dormitories, classrooms, staff quarters, dining/ kitchen hall and administration block) providing accommodation for about 100 orphans, initially, has now actually started.

Building construction is vastly different here in Malawi but houses and schools are functional and basically made from bricks made by cottage type industries and corrugated iron roofs (ceilings are not considered an essential item).

The Malawi Orbus directors have extensive experience in the building industry and it is surprising how quickly buildings can be erected in this country. It is anticipated that orphans will soon have a real home and future within the next few months."

Financial Report:

For the financial year to 30th June 2008 there were donations from 12 separate Presbyterian congregations corporately, and additionally from 50 different individuals/groups from at least 24 different congregations (mostly PCA), who have donated a total of A$209,905.95.

Please continue to pray for the orphans in the Namatete orphan care program, and for the speedy, safe and solid development of Orbus’ plans.

On behalf of Orbus and these children we thank you sincerely for your love, your prayers and your financial support.

Orbus Development and Aid in Central Africa Limited

Website: www.OrbusAfrica.org

Email: admin@orbusafrica.org

Australian contact: Craig Manners - Ph: 03-9877 0312 (Melbourne)

Click here for more photos in the Photo Gallery. Or visit www.OrbusAfrica.org


About Orbus:

“Orbus,” a Latin word derived from an Armenian word, in part meaning "help for orphans,” was established in June 2007. Orbus' mission arose out of the work of the Namatete orphan care program which feeds hundreds of orphans every Saturday. This program now has up to 500 orphaned children and is managed by Orbus director Rosemary Malaidze. It is for these children that Orbus are building the kindergarten, primary and secondary school and vocational training centre in Ngumbe Village, approximately 2-3 kilometres from Namatete.

Helping these children is the motivation behind Orbus, and it is the desire of the growing group of Orbus supporters to want to offer as many of these children as we can, a safe, loving, nurturing home and school where they can be protected, loved, cared for and trained, all on a foundation of love for God and for people.

To read more About Orbus please click here.



Orbus Update, May 2008:

Acquisition of Land Completed:

In our last update, in March, it was reported that we were in the process of acquiring a 1.5Ha (approx) piece of land in Blantyre, on which to build our first project. After the initial disappointment of losing out in our efforts to acquire the existing school we had originally worked toward, and having looked far and wide for another suitable site, we had resigned ourselves to having this smaller plot and having a smaller project.

However, just as we were about to pay for the 1.5 Ha plot, the Malawian government offered Orbus a very fertile, and well located, 6.202 Ha plot of land in Ngumbe Village, Blantyre.

On the 17th April we arranged for the full purchase price of A$70,000 (approx) to be transferred from Australia to Orbus in Malawi. It has normally taken 2-3 days for funds to arrive in Malawi when Orbus has done so previously. Well, this time was a bit slower. After almost three weeks, we were getting a little bit concerned. We missed the initial deadline of the 20th April set by the government for payment to be made, however they readily agreed to grant us an extension until the 9th May.

After many emails and phone calls, and after united prayer by the Orbus Board and Advisory Panel for many days, the funds arrived just in time for Colin to go into the bank on the morning of the 9th, withdraw the funds and go to the government offices to make full payment for the land. Praise God.

So, after a delayed start, Orbus is off and running with its own land on which to build a project which we hope will reach out to thousands of orphaned children over the coming decades.

The Land:

The 6.202 Ha plot has a stream running along one side of it which runs year-round, and is close to a main road which leads to Blantyre CBD. The size and fertile nature of the land will hopefully allow Orbus to implement its strategic plan of conducting an agricultural program for the economic self-sufficiency of the project, and as part of the skills-training centre where the older children can learn on the job agricultural training.

Orbus Land Blantyre Malawi

The Orbus Land - Blantyre

The Orbus Project in relation to Namatete CCAP, Colin and Shirely's home and Blantyre CBD

The photos above show the land Orbus have purchased. The one immediately above shows the Orbus land in relation to Blantyre CBD (about 8km, we think), the Theological Resource Centre, Colin and Shirley's house and the Namatete CCAP Congregation.

Site Plan

Ongoing Orphan Care Program:

As reported in March, Orbus are currently assisting thirteen vulnerable orphans, with school fees, uniforms and boarding fees for two of them. The plan is that these children will be transferred into the Orbus school project as soon as construction is finished.

Children Sponsored by Orbus

Bibles and Theological Books:

Another avenue for Orbus to make a difference in Malawi, and help these children, is in the distribution of Bibles for orphans and theological books for ministers and elders. Orbus has been offered the books, the extra funds (specifically for this purpose) and transportation from Australia to Malawi, to: 1- supply 250 copies of Louis Berkhof’s “Systematic Theology” (hardcover, 984 pages) to be distributed to every minister in Malawi (and some in Zambia), and hopefully to session clerks also; 2- to provide 200 orphaned children with a Bible each. It is hoped that these will leave Australia in August/September 2008.

Financial Report:

Orbus has raised a total so far of approximately A$176,000. Of this we have spent approximately A$70,000 on the acquisition of the 6.202 Ha plot of land and approximately A$7,000 on orphan care and preparations for the construction of the project.

Orbus will require a further A$150,000, approximately, to complete the project fully and manage it for one year, at which time it is envisaged that there will be some degree of self-sufficiency for the project, as well as an increased level of local community input.

Donations to Orbus:

Orbus Development and Aid in Central Africa Limited, although being a joint Australian and Malawian directed charity, is registered in Malawi only. There are two groups in Australia who raise funds for Orbus. These are: the South Yarra Presbyterian Church (SYPC) and World Relief Overseas Aid Fund.

There are no administration costs for Orbus in Australia. All activity conducted by the board and advisory panel is completely voluntary. There are no wages, no expenses, no airfares paid. Our goal is to assist these children and all our efforts are channeled into this aim on a voluntary basis.

Apart from the transfer fee charged by the bank, 100% of funds raised in Australia by SYPC is transferred to Orbus in Malawi (click here for details).

World Relief offers donors a tax-deduction for their donations to Orbus (click here for details). For this there are administration fees paid to World Relief. 90% of donations made to Orbus through World Relief are transferred to Orbus in Malawi. Apart from the tax-deductibility status, one of the benefits of the World Relief relationship is that Orbus are required to submit six-monthly audits to World Relief Inc, and Orbus receive input from experienced aid and development personnel from World Relief in assessing the initial and ongoing operations of Orbus projects.

Subscribe Online for Orbus Newsletters:

Orbus now have an automated subscription facility on its website where you can register to receive the “Friends of Orbus” Newsletters. Please register, as we will not be sending any more newsletters to people who are not registered (as it may be unwelcome or considered spam).

Please continue to pray for the 350 (approx) orphans in the Namatete orphan care program, and for the speedy, safe and solid development of Orbus’ plans.

On behalf of Orbus and these children we thank you sincerely for your love, your prayers and your financial support.

In Christ

Craig Manners


Orbus Development and Aid in Central Africa Limited



Ph: 03-9877 0312