Pilot Project

The area near the school is quite beautiful. However, getting building materials into these hills is challenging. The muddy roads are strewn with boulders and full of gullies, and are really meant more for use by donkeys.

Although building the school got off to a slow start the pace gradually picked up.

We have installed 6 windows which are 150 by 120 cm in size. The reason for the large size is to insure enough light. There is no electricity – only sunshine. Just before we left Malawi we discovered that we could also get transparent roof panels which could replace some of the tin sheets. We installed four of these.

By chance we met an Englishman who is helping to develop low-cost solar power in Malawi. He says that for $200 it would be possible to get a complete package including batteries that would light the school. This would allow it to be used in the evenings too.

Here is a drawing of the school. When the walls and roof are in place, the floor will get a final layer of concrete which will make it smooth. The inner walls will be covered with a light coloured plaster.

The windows have glass and there are locks on the doors.

A row of pine trees has been planted which surround the school property.

The carpenter is finished building the desks shown here. They are quite simple, but should do the job. The desks will have different heights to accomodate legs of different length. There will be 24 desks with 2 children per desk.

He has also installed a blackboard.

There is also be a desk for the teacher.

 

 

Here are some of the neighborhood kids who are curious about everything we are doing.

While in Livingstonia we spoke to the matron at the University who told us that only 50% of the children in her home village actually went to primary school. Even though the government pays for primary school education in Malawi the schools are often located far from the village and the parents tend to keep the smaller children at home. In our minds, this re-confirmed the value of the project.

 

Wedson Chisambo is the chief in the village. Here seen next to the construction of a pit latrine. There will be two pit latrines. One for boys and one for girls.

The distribution of boys to girls is roughly equal.

Piped water will soon be connected to the site.

I think that we can confidently say that the money which has been donated has been well spent. We have had the good fortune to work with industrious and motivated people. We look forward to the next phase of adding buildings for grades 3 through 6.

Latest news: the school term has started (fall of 2011) with the first and second graders and their teacher.

Toilets for boys and girls
First and Second Grade
First and Second Grade The next building: The teacher's living quarters.