We send letters to the children in Malawi about life in the UK. For example, we have shared the games we play at school and at home, the food we grow and eat, the different ways we travel around our country. As well as letters and projects, we send stationary, school jumpers and play equipment.
We have supported our link school by raising funds to sink a bore hole. Many communities in Mkhalapadzuwa are unable to access safe water and only have:
Water holes – a very shallow hole dug in the ground and left completely unprotected
Shallow wells – a hole dug to water level but left unprotected
Broken borehole – this is a safe water source but the pump is broken so the water cannot be drawn properly.
The provision of clean water enables the children to attend school and for their local community to all stay healthy and safe from disease.
St John’s heard that many children were unable to attend school due to the poor road system in the village and a lack of safe transport. This inspired our children to spearhead a number of fundraising events in order to raise funds to help purchase a new minibus. The children of Mkhalapadzuwa are so happy now to be able to travel to school safely.
One of our fundraising events focussed on girls in education. We wanted to encourage more girls to be able to attend school like we do in the UK. We raised money for uniforms and school stationary.
This year, due to the pandemic, schools in Malawi closed in March 2020 and re-opened in October. Unlike in the UK, there was no online teaching so for nearly seven months children had no education whatsoever. Now schools are open but with restrictions. All children must wear a face covering although many poor families cannot afford to buy one so their child must stay at home.
This summer, we will be busy writing letters and fundraising as we want to let them know that we are still thinking of them. We plan to send reusable masks and other items needed for school.