Local Education Partnerships
Supporting local schools and increasing the overall standard of education in the Chilumba area is important, not just for the success of our sponsored students who attend these institutions, but also for their peers and the community as a whole. This is why we remain engaged in both the infrastructure and management of the area schools we partner with.
Quality nursery school education has been proven to help build a strong foundation for a child’s physical, mental, emotional, and social development. Unfortunately, there are limited resources available for nursery schooling in Malawi at this time. A large-scale survey evaluating nursery education in the Chilumba catchment area found problems such as underutilized school curriculums, little teacher training, and a lack of funds.
In response, D2D helped build, and continues to be involved with the running of, four local nursery schools. This has included constructing school infrastructure, developing school curriculum, providing school materials, and administering teacher trainings. To date, over 2,800 nursery school aged children have benefitted from this initiative.
Access to adequate nutrition early in life is crucial to children’s health and educational outcomes, with nutrient deficiencies in childhood having been shown to lead to learning and behavioral problems alter in life. To combat hunger and poor nutrition, we began a two-year school feeding initiative in 2015, providing nutritious meals of likuni phala, a fortified porridge, for students at Tilipo and Phulano nursery schools. Over 2.5 million nutritious meals were served to nursery and primary school through these D2D feeding initiatives between 2015 and 2017.
Learn more about our nursery school initiatives from one of our local partner nursery school teachers.
Our feeding initiatives also benefitted students at two area primary schools, Sangilo and Hara Primary, giving them the energy they need to focus on their education. In addition to feeding initiatives, we have taken measures to improve sanitation at Sangilo Primary through the construction of a kitchen and latrines. Poor sanitation practices lead to the spread of waterborne diseases like cholera, making sanitary kitchens and toilets crucial to improving students’ health outcomes. Finally, we have offered support in the form of donating footballs and other sports equipment to the surrounding primary schools.
To further support sponsored youths’ education, we have established and continue to maintain partnerships with area secondary schools (high schools). We have supported the local school, Khwawa Community Day Secondary School, by electrifying the whole campus, building two classrooms which are used by 400 students each day, and establishing latrines. We also have contributed to Khwawa, Thunduti, and Fulirwa Secondary Schools in the form of books, science equipment, desks, and teacher trainings. As a member of the Parent Teacher Association and School Management Committees, our staff maintain our relationship with the local secondary schools and ensures they are meeting the educational needs of the youth who attend them.