About the Malawi Initiative
The Malawi Initiative aims to help support development in a number of ways:
The main aim is to help foster educational improvements by providing teaching resources, beds, desks, power provision, satellite internet connection and through the building of classrooms at various schools as well as building a new secondary school.
The initiative supports medical improvements through the provision of equipment, such as surgical beds, glasses and mosquito nets.
The initiative also aims to help improve female empowerment by providing computer and sewing equipment to improve marketable skills.
The Malawi Initiative is based around an exchange between Aylesbury Grammar School and Malosa Secondary School in the Zomba area of Malawi. AGS has maintained links with Malawi for over 25 years, and has run an exchange since 2007, with 7 programmes completed so far. Part of the fundraising completes the second half of the programme, which involves paying for a number of Malosa students and two teachers to visit the UK and learn about UK culture, and education, which helps facilitate cultural links and educational development. The fundraising money is used to bring students from Malosa to UK (about 20% of the fundraising total) and the remainder being spent on development projects.
Why donate to Malawi?
Malawi is a landlocked country in south-eastern Africa. It has commonwealth ties with the UK and has been independent since 1964. It is a stable democracy with relatively low levels of corruption, considered a safe and peaceful country and regarded as the "Warm heart of Africa". It is unfortunately not lucky in its availability of natural resources, which has contributed to Malawi being the 3rd poorest country in the world.
Like many, less economically developed countries, one of the key factors leading to development is education. Unfortunately, several issues make education improvements difficult:
Less than 9% of students finish secondary school.
More than 10% of all children are orphans.
Almost half the population is aged 15 or less.
More than a third of adults are illiterate.
Less than 1% of adults have studied at university.
A population of 20 million, which will double in the next 16 years.
Malawi's annual education budget is less than the UK spends on perfume in a month.
Therefore, the Malawi Initiative aims to do what it can to assist development in Malawi through education.
Where does the money go?
The 2019 Malawi Exchange completed the following projects and provided the following resources listed below:
A new Pre-school was built at Yassin
A new pre-school was built at Kazembe
The pre-school at Napoli was redeveloped
A new toilet was built for Napoli village
New toilet blocks were also built at Dawa Primary, Misewe pre school and Mapalo Primary School
More than 30 computers were given to a range of schools in the Zomba area to help teachers prepare and teach lessons, complete administration tasks and improve communication
New classroom blocks with 3 classrooms each were built at Mchilingano Primary School, Makungulu Primary, Gawanani Primary School and Mkanda Primary School (12 blocks in total)
Netball posts and equipment was installed at 10 schools
In addition Sewing machines, medical equipment, teaching resources and water coolers were given to a number of schools and other institutions
The 2017 Malawi Exchange completed the following projects and provided the following resources listed below: Construction of two classrooms at Msalanbani Primary School and a donation of portable blackboards and teaching resources.
Construction of three classrooms at Makungulu Primary School and a donation of portable blackboards and teaching resources
Construction of three classrooms at Mchilingano Primary School, construction of a new toilet block and a donation of portable blackboards and teaching resources
Rebuilding of Misewe Pre-school and a donation of portable blackboards and teaching resources
A new roof at The Seventh Sabbath church near Malosa
AGS donated 5 adjustable surgical beds, 50 mattresses, 500 bed sheets, 600 pairs of glasses and assorted medical supplies to St Luke’s hospital
30 new desks, 60 beds and 380 mosquito nets were donated to Malosa School. In addition, laptops, IT equipment, sports and teaching resources were donated
Mosquito nets being installed in Malosa School
Toilets are have been constructed, a see saw has been installed, a water pump is being reinstalled and a donation of portable blackboards and teaching resources were given to Napoli Pre-School
15 Hoes, 15 watering cans, 15 sickles and 15 panga knives were donated to Kazembe Village for farming
Laptops and IT equipment were donated to St Luke’s Nursing College. Laptops and IT equipment were donated to Mchengawedi Primary School. Laptops and IT equipment were donated to Mchengawedi Primary Teacher Training Centre. 11 Sewing Machines, textile resources, Laptops and IT equipment were donated to Chilema Ecumenical College
The 2015 Malawi Exchange completed the following projects and provided the following resources listed below:
AGS students help deliver 400 new books to improve the availability of textbooks for the school library. They also handed over new exercise books, pens, pencils, and whiteboards for Malosa School. AGS students also replaced 220 damaged mosquito nets and put in place 60 new bunk beds in the boys dormitories to vastly improve the sleeping arrangements for the students.
In addition, at Malosa School, a second ICT suite was prepared and resourced and the satellite was re-established and improved to provide improved internet access for the school
At Msalabani Primary school AGS students helped paint new blackboards around the classrooms and provided each student with an exercise book, pencil and pen. AGS also provided 30 new desks so students can complete their school exams on proper desks. We also replaced a roof on one building to restore a classroom back to service. Two solar panels were also installed along with wiring and sockets to allow the school to use electricity for the first time. AGS donated laptops and a projector so a classroom can be used in the evening for study or lesson preparation
At Chilema Ecumenical College and St Marks Nursing College, laptops were donated to allow Chilema to have an IT room for the first time and the St Marks IT facilities were significantly upgraded with the donation of 13 more laptops. Chilema administration staff also received laptops to improve their IT provision
At Napoli Pre-school, which is not funded by the government, a new roof was built to allow the school to operate when it rains and the school was given whiteboards, books, toys and sports equipment, as previously it had no resources. At St Lukes, AGS students were able to hand over laptops for the administration staff as well as a significant volume of medical supplies. We were also able to donate 70 mosquito nets for hospital and 30 new mattresses for the new ward.
AGS also started a link the Malawi Cycling Federation, where we can support a very popular sport in the country. AGS was able to donate a race bike, equipment and training aids. Given that when Malawi arrived at the Commonwealth Games they needed to borrow bikes from a Glasgow cycle shop, it highlights the need for support
in 2013, AGS students helped put up 700 mosquito nets for all the students at Malosa School to ensure the students do not suffer with Malaria. 200 mattresses were also provided to improve the sleeping conditions of the students at Malosa. Twenty laptops were also donated to the IT department at Malosa to replace obsolete machines to ensure students can complete their examinations. Sports equipment was also donated to Malosa School and Msalabani Primary school. A donation of several boxes of medical supplies was also given to St Luke’s hospital along with 70 mosquito nets for all the beds in the hospital.
In 2011, AGS students were able to oversee the development of a second ICT suite, which could be used as a community internet facility, as well as the installation of a satellite internet link. A new weather station was also set up and 100 new beds were installed in the dormitories. Murals were also painted in the school chapel.
In 2009, AGS students worked with Malosa students to paint murals in the school hall and continue work on the ICT suite.
In 2007, AGS students set up the computers in the first networked ICT room and supported the local hospital with medical supplies.
The acute shortage of secondary school places is a real problem for Malawi, with only 9% of students finishing secondary school. Our target is to build a new secondary school. We have the site, the permission from the education department, we just need the funds to complete the task.
Our Project has now begun and the building and ground works have started. We hope the school is operational for the start of the new academic year in September 2023.
Discussing the site layout with the building committee:
Planning the buildings and plans with the Building Committee
The first classroom block construction is underway.
The student toilet block (long drop toilet) under construction
The site of the new secondary school at Msalabani
How You Can Help
Our students take up to 2 tonnes of resources over to Malawi on each visit. We are currently collecting resources for our next exchange in 2023. If you or anybody you know has any of the following items, then please bring them into Aylesbury Grammar School as soon as possible:
Laptops, projectors, school textbooks, computer screens, sewing machines (Electric), pre-school learning toys, Pre-school sports and games equipment, primary teaching resources, pencils, pens, mini-whiteboards, board markers, primary and secondary school sports equipment.
Also the following medical equipment: Oxygen concentrator, portable ICU cardiac monitor, surgical theatre equipment, surgical masks, surgical clothes, ibuprofen, paracetamol, other painkillers, pulse oximeter, dental compressor, dental forceps, dental scaler, dental hand pieces.
If you would like to sponsor the exchange, you can make a donation and we can add you to the webpage and put your logo and business details on our newsletter, which goes out to 1300 sets of Grammar School parents every 3 months. For details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If you would like to raise money for us, by climbing a mountain, completing a marathon or any other amazing feat, and then please be aware we can pay some of your expenses, which may be able to make your fundraising endeavour possible. For details, please contact email@example.com
The Malawi Initiative would like to thank our sponsors for contributing towards our development programme.
If you would like to sponsor the exchange, you can make a donation and we can add you to the webpage and put your logo and business details on our newsletter, which goes out to 1300 sets of Grammar school parents every 3 months. For details, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You can donate in several different ways:
If you would like to donate Computers, Medical equipment, books or any other equipment please get in touch at email@example.com
You can also donate money via our button below. Every penny you donate will enable us to complete more projects in Malosa