What we do
Our mission is to provide a safe and suitable learning environment for the children of Malawi which improves attendance, academic performance and aspiration – ultimately offering a sustainable route out of poverty. In partnership and consultation with the Malawi Ministry of Education, local communities in Malawi and partners here in Scotland, we work with priority schools in Malawi to provide young people with the opportunity to attend school in a safe, clean and friendly learning environment.
Why we do it
In 1994 Primary School education was made free in Malawi. At that time there were 1.4 million children in primary education; this increased to 3 million children with no investment in infrastructure, leaving 1.6 million children learning outdoors.
Due to limited classroom space, pupil to teacher ratios in Malawi are high. The government target is 60 learners per teacher, the actual ratio is 124:1. In Standard One, the average ratio is 130:1.
Overcrowded classrooms are a catalyst of high drop out rates in Malawian schools. To enable all children currently learning outdoors to receive education in a conducive learning environment, based on government figures, 41,000 classrooms are required.
Only 58% of primary school age children complete the first 4 years – the completion rate to Standard 8 is just 31%. 8% of Malawi students go on to complete secondary school and of that, just 14.9% are girls.
We support Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Every child has the right to an education. Primary education must be free and different forms of secondary education must be available to every child. Discipline in schools must respect children’s dignity and their rights. Richer countries must help poorer countries achieve this.
How we do it
We work in response to direct community need, in partnership with the Malawi Ministry of Education to identify those schools in most urgent need of improved facilities. In consultation with community leaders, parents, teachers and local authorities we develop a plan for improvement for each school – with the support of fundraising from our amazing partners in the UK we are able to employ local tradesmen in Malawi (employing over 20 people indirectly at any time) to carry out necessary building and renovation works, usually in time for the start of each academic year.
We also facilitate volunteering projects on-site in Malawi, with volunteers from a range of backgrounds including schools, companies and community groups, working alongside the Malawi team to support the completion of work.
Since 2012 we have :
- Partnered with 31 schools across nine districts the length and breadth of Malawi
- Enabled 34,000 children to benefit from improvements to their learning environment
- Built and renovated 207 classrooms and education facilities
- Worked with 27 UK partners and over 1000 UK volunteers in the spirit of friendship and global citizenship
- Supported the advancement of WASH programmes to ensure better hygiene and facilities for both girls and boys in school