Half the children in rural Malawi attend no school at all. Only 20% go beyond 5th grade. The rural village schools are overwhelmed with the lack of classroom facilities. Most children who do attend school do so in “tree classes.” Outside, weather permitting, with a single teacher and 75 or more students.
Like many schools in the rural villages of Malawi, there were not enough classrooms in Nansenga School so the children were taught on the porch or outside under a tree, weather permitting. When it rained the children did not go to school at all.
In 2008 Warm Hearts funded a project in Nansenga village which built 4 new classrooms, a staff room for teachers, lavatories, a well, and a soccer field. The result was transformative. Like children across the world kids from Malawi know that education is the key to a better life. The vision of Warm Hearts founder Lori Wood Knapp and the generosity of our donors transformed the dreams of hundreds of excited children. When they saw their new school, cries of ZIKOMO! (Thank You!) rang through the air.
In 2013 Warm Hearts funded the construction of a two-room block of spacious classrooms plus new lavatories and a well at Mchoka School. In 2014 we accomplished the same goals at Chaona Junior Primary School by joining hands with the villagers in constructing a new school building which will enable 200 children to attend classes inside for the first time, as well as new lavatories. Another expedition, along with World of Difference, to Chaona to construct a school building which will make it possible for the school to expand and to become a full primary school with classes to 8th grade is in the planning stages for summer 2015.
Solar Lights for Malawi
Without any electricity, the rural villagers use firewood and expensive kerosene in their homes. Both are dangerous, unhealthy and provide very poor light at night for work or reading. Solar lanterns provide a safe, economical alternative.
In 2014 we have distributed over 700 solar lanterns in three projects. The first project helped 8 schools with over 8.000 children create after-school programs by means of solar lighting so that kids can read and study. The second established a pilot program of helping businesses start solar lighting retail sales by providing training and initial inventory. These businesses will introduce the solar alternative to the villagers and allow them to replace the dangerous and unhealthy kerosene lanterns by purchasing solar lanterns through micro-financing.
We also have begun a project to provide solar lanterns to teachers so that they can perform nighttime reading, review student assignments, and prepare for the next day’s classes.