Students in Mphowe, Malawi, celebrate in front of their brand new buildOn school

Mphowe, Malawi: A Community Transformed by Education

Mphowe, a small community in Malawi’s Kasungu district, is a striking example of the transformative power of education. Since 2017, buildOn’s partnership with Mphowe has yielded incredible results, and has changed the community for the better in so many ways.

Positive Change in Africa

Our journey together began with the community constructing its first school block in 2017. They followed that by building three more blocks, expanding access to education for students from grades 1-8. Today, Mphowe boasts five buildOn school blocks, catering to 1,327 students, 608 of them boys and 719 of them girls.

Building Mphowe’s school was a team effort for the entire community.

Spreading Education

In 2022, we began our Adult Literacy and Enroll programs in Mphowe, further igniting the community’s passion for learning. Our Enroll program successfully brought back 26 children who had previously dropped out of the classroom–one of whom was Successor Mwale.

Getting Students Back to School in Malawi

Successor, like all five of his siblings, dropped out of school in 7th grade due to financial constraints. “My siblings and I dropped out of school because our parents are just small scale farmers,” he explains. “They struggle to support us and pay for school.”

However, buildOn’s enrollment program provided him with a second chance to get a life-changing education. After completing primary school, he excelled in secondary school thanks to our partners at the Sonder Project, which helped pay his secondary school fees.

“I am very thankful to buildOn for providing me with catch up classes that have enabled me to get into secondary school. buildOn connected me with the Sonder Project to support my secondary education, which I really appreciate,” he says. “I promise to work hard and realize my dream of joining the military.”

buildOn’s Enroll Program got Successor Mwale back on track in school and in life.

Empowering Adults, Strengthening the Community

Mphowe’s Adult Literacy Program, which ran from April 2022 to December 2023, helped 80 adults learn to read, most of them women. Beyond just literacy, the participants learned a number of other practical skills:

  • Afforestation: Participants nurtured 2,000 trees around the school and their homes, promoting environmental sustainability.
  • Organic Fertilizer Production: The program equipped participants to produce organic fertilizer for their crops, improving agricultural yields.
  • Financial Literacy: Participants established a village savings and loan association, fostering financial independence.

Giving Back to Move Forward

The program’s impact extends beyond individual participants. They used their savings to purchase school uniforms for underprivileged children and planted trees to protect the school buildings.

Ezilina Levison, a 57-year-old participant, shares her experience: “Before buildOn’s Adult Literacy Program, I never knew how to write my name. Now I am delighted to say that I am able to write and read whatever comes into my hand. I can easily help my grandchildren with their homework!”

Our Adult Literacy Program in Mphowe helped community members find the power of literacy, no matter their educational background.

Mphowe’s story is a testament to the transformative power of education. Across the globe, we’re working hand-in-hand with communities to pave the way for a brighter future, one filled with opportunity and empowerment.

Help transform more communities like Mphowe by making a tax-deductible donation today to support our work.