Balcarras school supports our link school in Malawi
Balcarras School has created a life changing link with a school in Malawi called St Andrews school. It is a well-developed private school, which is helping Balcarras raise money to help and support a neighbouring school called Nyambadwe School, which is in need of support. This school is located in a village called Blantyre.
We are mainly working with members of staff and a charity from Chirandzu. The first part of the project is sponsoring 5 students. Each of the houses (and the 6th form) at Balcarras has adopted one of these students. Each student goes to Nyambadwe secondary school .
There is a group at Balcarras that meets every week with Mr Constance to look at developing this project. They talk to the students, through Skype and have asked them how and where they need Balcarras School’s help. Today is Malawi day at school and the canteen are serving food from Malawi. Also the mufti money from today will also go towards this project.
St Andrew’s school
St Andrew’s school, is a diverse community. The community is unified no matter the race or ethnicity. There is a mixture of culture and faith. At St Andrews they study very similar subjects that we do, at Balcarras School, such as: all 3 sciences, maths, ICT, music etc. They also study languages but very few study French, Spanish or Russian. They mainly study Arabic or Chinese. One girl, who we interviewed learns Indian. They all speak English as there second language, there first language is usually Chichewa.
But St Andrew’s school is still developing. Most of the time they don’t have any electricity so it uses solar power in some blocks of the school!
Malawi is a fun and exciting place to be. They celebrate lots of different festivals like: Diwali, Bonfire night and Christmas. The one celebration they don’t celebrate, even banned, is Halloween because they believe that there are Witches who are bloodsuckers.
If you’re more interested in food than Malawi is a great place to be because they have everything. They worldwide dishes, from: Italian to Indian to Traditional African to Chinese.
In Malawi is very diverse not everyone is from Malawi, one of the teachers is from Zimbabwe. Some of the languages have clicking noises in them, this affects names and everything. The teacher that was from Zimbabwe’s middle name is Cxhetshelihile.
At Nyambadwe School, they don’t the resources or equipment to teach the students to the best level. They don’t even have chairs to sit on! They are also short in staff compared to the amount of students they have, about 20-25 teachers and over 2000 students. The only chair and desk in the room is the teachers, which is really small. The one thing that these students do have is the best work ethic. All they want to do is learn and make a better life for themselves and families.
Tables that have been bought with support from Balcarras School
A lot of the students that go to Nyambadwe are orphans so they don’t have any money. This really put things on halt on buying books and pens and going to secondary school. Some of the students that go to St Andrews come and help teach at the school and bring loads of textbooks, writing books and pens just so the students can do work.
The school really lacks in some of the necessary things every school needs. One of the girls we interviewed said ‘I want medicine’. The school doesn’t have medicine or access to a phone to call in the parent or guardian of the student to collect them. Another student said ‘We need better toilets’. One of the girls from St Andrews said ‘No, we won’t even talk about them. There bad.’ Lastly, there is one water pump for over 2000 students! This needs to change.
As it was mentioned earlier, lots of the students are orphans and very few go onto secondary school due to the cost of fees. The lowest school fees price in Malawi is £15 a month but the most common and highest prices are £70 -£150 a month and the minimum wage is £28. The result of this is that they start working very young. Most 11-18 year old girls drop out of secondary schools.
These are some of the reasons why Balcarras school have decided to join forces with St Andrews to try and help these girls and boys to have a better life for themselves.
If you would like to get involved talk to Mr Constance or go along to a meeting every lunch time on a Tuesday in 5a5