Celebrating 10 years of ZAP

editorial image

DID you know that there is a little part of Coleraine in an African city?

The link between Zomba in Malawi and Coleraine celebrates ten years this year.

At Tuesday night’s Council meeting, members looked back on the ten years, with many recalling emotional visits to the African city.

At the meeting, Rev Terry McMullan, chairperson of the Zomba Action Project and Secretary, Paul Snelling highlighted how money raised by Coleraine people has been used in the developing country.

Money raised here in Coleraine has helped with text books for schools, rural development, goats, wells and bicycles, which are also used as ambulances.

Mr Snelling added that voluntary contribution by Councillors and Council staff have led to the building of a bridge, a baby clinic and the building of football terracing at the local football pitch.

Mr Snelling paid tribute to a number of councillors, but had a special word for UUP councillor William King, who stood down from the ZAP committee after ten years service.

Mr Snelling told the meeting that the people of Zomba held councillor King in high regard and referred to him affectionately as ‘King William’

Councillor King told the meeting: “It has been a pleasure to be association with the charity.”

He recalled his first visit to the country when he called with a local family who were working as missionaries. Councillor King said: “I gave the family £20 and they told me that it would feed them for two weeks.” He added: “We have raised £50,00 each year for the past ten years and the projects that we have funded have all been worth while.”

Independent councillor David McClarty congratulated councillor King and the ZAP committee.

DUP Alderman Maurice Bradley, who also visited the country and has been involved in collecting unwanted strips for the people of Malawi, was also full of praise for the charity.

“I wish you all the best for the future.

“The links benefit the city. Bringing Council officers from Malawi here to Coleraine has had a huge benefit to the people. I was lucky enough to visit Zomba, the people have nothing but they cherish it, unlike us here in the western society.”

Alderman Bradley recalled visiting an orphanage describing it as “ one of the hardest parts of the trip.”

He went on to pay tribute to councillor King for his “dedication and work”.