It’s hard to believe that 2 years ago, we built the first school dedicated to Prince in Malawi. Here we are in 2018, and 2 schools now stand with another soon to be finished. The community was amazed to see us return, not only to lay the foundation of the new school, but also to live with them as we did before. This immersion gives us the benefit of learning about the community from the inside out, and then meeting their needs as they prioritize them. Their priority continues to be education.
“Success isn’t just about what you accomplish in your life; it’s about what you inspire others to do.”
With your continuing support, you’ve inspired us to dig deeper into these communities. To bring them not only education, but supporting services that will ensure the success of the school and its students.
As you know, Malawi is one of the poorest countries on the planet. Poverty, hunger and illiteracy are the norm. We also know that when families are poor, they cannot afford to feed their children. And when they’re not fed, children either miss school entirely or lack the energy needed to succeed. So, our founder advocated for several months for the villages of Ng’ozo and Chimbwinda to receive a new feeding program. As of the start of the school year in September, our new partner has ensured that every student receives a fortified meal daily before school begins. Full bellies = energized children ready to learn. As one girl said, “Now I don’t have to leave school early because I am hungry”
Lightbulbs & Cake.
Illiterate parents often underestimate the power of education to transform lives. Until they have a chance to be educated themselves. Then the lightbulbs go off and we see entire families energized around their children going to school. Your support has brought the adult literacy program to Chimbwinda, where men and women are learning to read and write in Chichewa and English. They’re also learning financial literacy and basic life skills. The icing on the cake? As part of the program, they’ve started their own community initiative raising and selling goats. And, while we were there in October, we launched a sewing workshop for the women in the program, led by our original IAPW ambassador, Kelsy Dominick.
I spent time each day in the classrooms of the original 2016 school, watching the same kids I met two years earlier progressing in their studies. Their English is getting better and they took great pride in greeting me each morning. As for me, my Chichewa isn’t as good as their English… and they got a good laugh at me trying to read from their text book! But I did surprise them by remembering many of their names.
A bird’s eye view.
In the center of this photo, just to the left is the original school built in 2016 in Chimbwinda. Next to it is the outline of school number 2. Our 30th school for IAPW overall!
The kids are incredibly excited to have another school in which to learn. That reddish brown mound? That’s a pile of fired clay bricks collected by the community as their contribution to the school construction. The bright blue to the right of the bricks is our covered eating area, next to basecamp. Our hope is that we can return to Chimbwinda over the years to continue building schools to accommodate all of the students hoping to attend classes in a safe and nurturing environment. Your continued support can make that hope a reality!
Future so bright, gotta wear shades! (My shades!)
There is so much more to come for Chimbwinda. First up, clean water. Because we know that water at school means girls don’t miss classes while they spend time fetching water from far away sources. Clean water also means more kids in school and less kids at home with water-borne illness.
It is my hope to also bring solar, permaculture + sustainable farming, self-composting toilets, rainwater harvesting and a school garden to Chimbwinda. Setting up the community to be self-reliant is the ultimate goal. One that we move closer to with each project.
It is my hope that you continue to stay involved with what has been started here. It truly is amazing to be a part of!
Thank you for sharing your loving words in remembrance of Prince. This plaque is a beautiful representation of your support, which I was able to personally take to hang in the school.
For your support. For your trust. For your desire to change lives. For being the change.
A sneak peek.
Check out highlights from our trip and all the beautiful faces you’ve helped to support! I’m sharing all of this with you before we update the L4OA project on our site. Enjoy!
December 24, 2018
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