Celebrating 2,000 Schools

Over the last 30 years, buildOn has partnered with rural communities around the world to build 2,000 schools! This inspiring milestone was reached in the fall of 2021 with the completion of the school in Chamalaza, Malawi. Watch the celebration video and read on for a look at this special school and why we’re celebrating this milestone.

Students in Chamalaza, Malawi, outside of their new school – the 2,000th school to be built in partnership with buildOn!

Like all buildOn schools, this school was built in partnership with the community, not for the community. The men and women of Chamalaza contributed the land and natural resources such as sand, water, and gravel to the project. A Project Leadership Committee consisting of six men and six women from Chamalaza were selected to oversee the school build. These incredible leaders not only helped to collect supplies but also organized crews to volunteer on the worksite each day.

After finishing construction on the school, the community – along with buildOn Malawi staff and local officials – celebrated the momentous opening of the new school with a grand ceremony. The event featured a number of honored guests, a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and lots of dancing.

Now, because of the hard work of the community, students are no longer struggling to learn in crumbling classrooms or outside under trees. They also now have enough desks in each classroom so that students can have a proper seat and not have to sit on the ground. The students of Chamalaza are very excited to be learning in their new classrooms and improved learning conditions.

Zerifa Banda, age 14, is in the seventh grade at Chamalaza primary school. She likes to study science because the topics her teachers cover in this subject have a direct application in her everyday life and the agricultural work of her family. Zerifa dreams of being a medical doctor when she grows up. “I want to become a doctor because I have seen the way people are being troubled with diseases which are regarded as incurable such as cancer, COVID-19, and HIV/AIDS,” says Zerfia. “My main focus will be on research work in order to find the remedies to these evils.” Zerifa is working hard in her studies in order to realize her dream. In the previous semester’s end of semester exams, she took position three out of nineteen students.

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Check out more photos of the construction process, completed school, and the celebration in Chamalaza, Malawi