This year buildOn partnered with Madonna and Raising Malawi to build ten schools in villages chosen from a list of communities in need of new infrastructure. We said we would build all ten schools within 18 months. We did it in 12!
Malawi is one of the economically poorest countries on the planet; only 12% of women complete secondary education and nearly half of adult women are illiterate. Literacy is a life-changing gift that will transform the futures of girls and boys across Malawi and that will change the economic future of their nation.
Six of the schools are already in use and all ten will be up and running in January 2013. Students who attend these schools will no longer have to walk miles to reach a school in a neighboring village. They no longer have to learn math under a tree, or study their ABC’s under a thatched roof. They can go to class even when it rains. And because of our focus on gender equality, girls will attend the schools in equal numbers to boys.
“I am overjoyed that my commitment along with buildOn’s to help educate the children of Malawi has come to fruition. In a country where girls have little opportunity for education, it’s additionally inspiring to know that more than half the students attending will be young girls. The fact that nearly 5,000 children in Malawi will get to go to school next year is a tremendous step forward for their individual growth and the growth of Malawi,” commented Madonna in a press release.
View buildOn Raising Malawi Schools 2012 in a larger map
Learn about schools eight, nine and 10.
Mkoko is buildOn and Raising Malawi’s eighth school, and was built in Chorwe in mid-November, two weeks ahead of schedule! The school’s chairperson, G. Banda, 48, said the school will attract more students to learn at the school and deter them from dropping out. And because there is now a physical structure for learning, there will be more classes for the students. Traditionally, the students of Chorwe studied outside.
Our ninth school was built in Longwe and was completed in late November. The community worked collaboratively and quickly to finish the school. One particular volunteer who stood out was J. Gambatula, a member of the School Management Committee, which manages the day-to day-affairs of running the school after it’s built. From the very beginning, when we started having meetings, to the completion report writing day, he never came late nor was absent to work. He organized chiefs and local community members, and made sure buildOn Staff had something to eat while in the community.
Gambatula is not educated and his family lives off a small farm. This is why, he said, he is committed to bringing education to his village. “I feel pain because I am not educated,” he said. “I don’t want my child to be like me in any way.” Gambatula is looking forward to enrolling in buildOn’s Adult Education Program so he can finally learn how to read and write.
Mkoma Chilolo School
Mkoma Chilolo, a school named after the village with the same name, was finished finished in mid-December. Here’s how members of the community responded to the building process:
“The community illiteracy rates will be reduced by attracting more kids to school. Seeing this beautiful school, more kids will be attracted to enroll as they will be able to learn under good conditions,” said the school’s Head Teacher, Jim H. Phiri, 48. “This project has also united the members of the community and increased cohesion from people of different villages within the community. All the people of Mkoma Chilolo, coming from different village Group Heads, came together behind a common cause: that of building a school for their children. And through this, various people formed friendship and relationships with bonds that will last for a long time. ”
Mishek Mpeleka, 9, will be attending the school when it opens. He wanted to thank buildOn and Raising Malawi for building the school. “I have been learning under a tree and will from now on learn in a beautiful classroom,” he said. “I never thought this would happen, so I am excited to have people show their willingness to help us learn in better conditions.”
Many more students in Malawi need our support and there couldn’t be a better time to help them. This holiday season, our goal is to fund two more schools in Malawi. Right now, with the support of Teza Technologies, any donation made toward this effort will be matched dollar for dollar. Every gift, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. A donation of just $15, matched, can provide access to education for one child for an entire year. Please make a donation to change a life today.
Posted December 26, 2012 in News by buildOn