oct 24, 2020
The school is open! Nyaudzudzu Junior Primary School in Muona, Malawi opened its doors for the first students on the 12th of October. Five teachers and 140 pupils started the semester in the two finished classrooms.
The construction work still continues. In the summer we were informed that to open the school we would need to provide a work space for the teachers. Thanks to our local contact person John Alimoni the building could be completed before the opening. The kitchen and lunch hall buildings were finished just in time for the semester start as well.
The Covid-19 pandemic is visible in the everyday life of our school. The semester kicked off a little later than expected as all schools in Malawi had to close. We are also currently not allowed to organize school lunches. Instead every student is given a monthly portion of soy-corn flour blend to bring home.
The school opening has been a significant experience for the whole community. The children’s joy and eagerness to come to school has been immeasurable. Teachers, parents, community leaders and school officials have also expressed their excitement. The donated school supplies like paper, pencils, books and teachers’ office supplies were received with enthusiasm. Parents, teachers and pupils have been given guidance on the use of the eco toilets and composting.
The big opening day is getting closer! Or goal is to start our first semester in September 2020 - depending on the Coronavirus situation in Malawi.
The first school building is complete and the first teaching positions have been filled. Buildings for a teachers’ office and a kitchen/lunchroom are currently under construction. We are working on a plan for drilling a well and aim to have it working by spring 2021. The next item on our list is constructing another school building with two more classrooms. Muona would then have its own four-grade Junior School and the children of the village could start their school journey at a local school.
All 66 mahogany and steel desks are now done. The manufacturing of the desks at a local workshop has been great way to include local expertise and craftmanship into the project and has sparked excitement about the school in the community. Two eco-friendly outhouse toilets have also been completed.
Handing the school over to the local authorities is an important future milestone that we are working on. After the handover Malawi school officials will hire the teachers and pay their salaries. Our organization will still be responsible for providing the school lunches and uniforms. We want all the children to have an equal opportunity to take part in the education, without having to worry about food or clothing. 200 school uniforms have already been made by local tailors in Muona. The meals would be cooked and served by volunteers.
The global CoVid-19 pandemic is taking its toll on Malawi as well as our process but we are getting very close to starting our first semester!