Over the last 2 years, we have gone from buying a plot of land in rural Malawi to having a school ready to be opened come January. We are very thankful for the hard work of the construction crews that enabled the building work to be completed. In total 4 classrooms, 3 teacher houses, 2 toilet blocks, an administration block and a science block have been built. Unfortunately one of the double classroom blocks is still unfinished due to the remaining building materials being stuck in Mozambique. However, this is a quick fix once the materials arrive.
Although this is the end of construction for now more construction is planned in the near future. It is awesome to be able to take a break and reflect on the work that has been completed and be able to see our vision come to life.
For many of the builders it is a bittersweet moment. Although it is awesome to see the school on the verge of completion for many of the local builders this is the end of their regular income. Many of these men will struggle finding jobs due to a lack of work available in the job market and will revert to going back to agriculture.
Hope4Malawi had the privilege of being able to give these local builders some fertiliser. So that the locals will be able to prepare their fields and by the new year be able to reap the benefits of their harvest – hopefully more plentiful that usual due to the fertiliser that they would be unlikely able to purchase themselves. Hope4Malawi were also able to give 60 of these builders and assistants Chichewa (local language) bibles.
Over the last week, Sara and Mark along with the aid of the Ministry of Education in Malawi spent some time interviewing potential Headmaster’s and Deputy Headmaster’s for these positions at Hope Secondary School. After a couple of days they came to the decision of appointing Steven (right) as the Headmaster and Douglas (left) as the Deputy Headmaster. Both of these men will look to move into their teacher housing on the school site next month before school is due to start in January. The rest of the teachers for the school will be selected nearer to the start of school in January.
Since the drilling of this new borehole in June, and the attachment of a submersible pump powered by solar panels, there has been running water in both the primary school and secondary school as well as the surrounding village. The borehole automatically pumps water to a 20L bucket which is connected to a number of taps. The locals have benefitted greatly from the taps by reducing the time spent collecting water drastically. One local even stated that “now we have running water, we are no longer a village, we are a town.”
We are partnering with the Malawi Learning Partnership to bring learning online in Malawi. A donation of 20 smartphones has allowed students at Chipwepwete to be the first learners in Malawi to use the online learning unique to Malawi; an app with the Malawi curriculum on. We are videoing Malawian teachers bringing lessons, complete with content and review questions. Currently we are working on the curriculum for the top year of primary before tackling the lower years.
If you would like to help us develop the app or provide phones for learners to use please donate here
With schools closed since March, many of our sponsored students are really keen to get back to school. Restrictions have lifted slightly so we are now meeting them in groups of up to 10, which everybody has enjoyed. Most struggle with Maths and Chemistry so it’s a pleasure to be able to go through some of the topics they have missed or to revise some. We have also been able to provide text books, soap and fruit which has been much appreciated. Thank you to everybody who has provided these extra resources during Covid.
Progress with building the heads house has been huge this week. Walls are complete and the roof is ready to go on. The building team are working hard to complete this by the end of July.
This three bedroomed house has an incredible view from the main bedroom window.
An exciting new way to help students to engage more widely with learning in Malawi is the development of an app. Chris Scutt, who has taught and been involved in education in Malawi for over 10 years, has developed the MLP app, which Hope4Malawi is partnering with, to bring the Malawi curriculum to children in rural schools.
The app will provide videoed lessons by Malawian teachers along with other lesson content, illustrations and quizes. Each subject will mirror the primary school curriculum so that children can recap on lessons taught or catch up on ones missed.
Most students in the rural communities do not have access to phones so we are working with schools to develop ways that they can use the app.
Currently we are in the process of creating lesson content for the app. Although all involved, including teachers, are volunteering their time, we are covering the costs of travel, refreshments and resources. We are raising funds to cover these costs as well as for much needed phones so the app can be used in schools. Please support this exciting new project here.
The first classroom block at Hope CDSS is complete (apart from painting!) which was an excuse for celebrating with the builders: Chicken and Rice lunch, singing, dancing and photos…and an afternoon off was well deserved.
The classroom block will enable 50 students in Form 1 and Form 2 to attend secondary school. We have had meetings with the education managers this week who are pleased with progress and who are excited that the school will be ready to open in September.
Due to the rural location of Chipwepwete, being 6kms from the main road, providing housing for teachers is imperative. Currently we are building the heads house and later will build an additional 2 houses for other teaching staff.