About usOur Community ProjectsMalimba Community School

 
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Kukhala ndi kupunzira pamodzi - Living and Learning Together

Malimba is a rural village within the Mfuwe area on the edge of South Luangwa National Park in Eastern Zambia. Prior to the establishment of Malimba School there were no schools in this area and children were having to walk up to 6km a day to attend classes; even then there were often no places available for them when they got there.

In mid 2001 the community decided to start a school and with no outside assistance or funds they built a mud and thatch classroom and the school was opened!  For many children this was the first time they had the opportunity to attend classes and learn their ‘A,B,Cs’. The teachers were dedicated volunteers but not formally qualified at that stage.

Original Classroom Very soon they outgrew their small 'classroom' as nearly 100 children would regularly attend these basic lessons! The children had no desks, chairs, pens or paper; they sat on bricks and took turns writing with chalk on a homemade blackboard.

The community soon realised they needed help to make their dream of an education for their children a reality and came to Tribal Textiles for assistance and the Malimba Community School Fund was created.

The community made over 20,000 mud bricks by hand, and with the limited funds available timber, basic roofing material and cement were purchased and transported to the village; a local builder hired and soon a large class-room was constructed, and desks and chairs for 45 pupils were purchased.

The school was again quickly oversubscribed and classes were run throughout the day with grades 1-3 in the morning and 4-5 in the afternoon with three volunteer teachers.

The next big project was to provide water for the school and neighboring villages. This was completed in 2004 and the water-well with hand-pump was generously donated and installed by Rural Water Supply Eastern Province -KFW/DWA Project. Without this vital input no further progress on the development of the school would have been possible. The main project in 2005 was to build a teachers’ house which was completed to deadline!  Then the school was very fortunate in securing the financial support of the Zambian National Aids Network who donated substantial funds to build the government specification classroom block.

In 2009 Malimba School’s Dining Room/Kitchen was built using donations from the Make me Smile foundation, a charity set-up in memory of the very special Jo Harris who worked for Tribal Textiles for over three years. Thanks to the feeding programme at Malimba School, the children are also ensured at least one nutritious meal a day which consequently increases school attendance dramatically. Originally established by The World Food Programme, the initiative is now generously supported by The High Five Club. The World Food Programme also donated a large, practical and economical oven designed to use less firewood so it is cost effective and more environmentally friendly 

It is also the Fund’s aim to support the volunteer teachers in their quest to gain a formal teaching qualification and return to the area to continue the education of the Malimba Community School children.  Malimba’s headmaster, Mohammed Mphande, is a great example of this.  Originally from the Mfuwe area Mohammed was sponsored to go to the Chipata Collage of Education before returning as Malimba’s hugely passionate and motivated head master.  Malimba School now has two fully trained teachers, one trainee teacher and five volunteer teachers who are still hoping to gain their qualification.

To a large extent, thanks to the Malimba Community School Funds help in building classrooms, a teacher’s house and latrines, the Malimba Community School has been adopted into the education system so the government offers very basic support and assistance with the day to day running of the school.

This frees up community funds to concentrate on other essential areas such as:

  • Sponsoring trainee teachers’ through collage
  • Providing supplementary teaching aids
  • Helping maintain & improve school facilities
  • Helping sponsor extracurricular activities such as sport, art & literature
  • Sourcing books, pens, paper and other essential school materials.

The Malimba Community School’s motto is “Education for Success” and they need your help to achieve this for the children.

The first step for offering a better life for the next generation is the opportunity of a good education. The Malimba community rely mostly on subsistence farming and many families simply do not have the resources to formally educate their children. The voluntary efforts of Malimba residents together with assistance from their supporters is helping to give children access to that vital first step.

The school now has over 160 pupils all eager to learn. The children range in ages from as young as 5 up to 17 years of age. As many as 38% of these children are orphans and have no chance for a better future without the start in life that Malimba Community School can offer.  The Malimba School project is run by a small committee made up of local parents wanting the best for their children. The fund has received donations in cash and kind from many generous patrons and the school would not be where it is today without this support.

The fund is managed and supported by: Tribal Textiles, Adrian & Christina Carr and the Zambian National Aids Network.

 

 

 

 

December 2015

2015 is proving to be a good year so far for Malimba School. They received the Grade 7 school results from 2014 and they have improved significantly from the 87% pass rate achieved in 2013 to 92% last year. Now their aim now is to achieve 100% pass rate in the upcoming 2015 examinations.

These impressive examination results stretch outside of the classroom too. In June Malimba took part in an inter school quiz competition. Four students were chosen to compete against eight other schools in Science, Maths, English and General Knowledge. This proved a great success as Malimba School scored 15 points overall putting them in 1st place. The students were so impressive that two of them, Benjamin Phiri and Margret Mvula, were chosen to compete at district level. Teamed with the other students selected from the district their team came in second position.

Well done to these two clever students!

As well as a year of academic achievement the students have also been taking part in a number of sports activities. In June sports teams from the school travelled to take part in an inter school competition where the students took part in football, netball, softball and volleyball. Against the 8 other schools that participated Malimba came 2nd overall, a great result.

This year has also seen the introduction of a new feeding programme at Malimba School. Previously a meal of porridge at school was funded by the government, but due to political changes this funding was cut. Luckily, through two visiting tourists, the school managed to get aid from the High Five Club in the UK who offered to provide funding for each child to have a meal of rice at school.

Although the capital comes from abroad this initiative has been turned into a community organized program. The idea is that each day two volunteers from one of the local villages come to the school to cook the rice for the pupils break time.

The volunteers’ village is also responsible for collecting wood to make the fire to cook the food. A rota of responsibility was agreed by the community in an AGM, so the responsibility was spread equally. The meal is eaten at break in the Jojo Harris Dining Hall, built with funding from Make me Smile who also support the funding of teacher training and volunteer salaries.

The headmaster of the school, Mr Mohammed, tells us that he believes this program has been fundamental in this year’s success at the school. As many of these children come from very poor households they may not have the chance of a nutritious breakfast before school. So this meal is vital in giving the children the energy they need while studying. Mr Mohammed says the meal they receive at school has significantly improved the children’s concentration and performance.

Another benefit has been that Grade 7 students are now able to stay after school to study and do homework, whereas before they used to knock off to go home for lunch and then have to come back in the afternoon if they wanted to study at school. This gives them essential time to focus on work they have been given and prepare for upcoming exams.

Although overall this first half of 2015 has been a success for Malimba there are always struggles for a community school in rural Zambia. Currently the problem is finding a pre-school teacher for the pre-school opened in 2012. Although there are now 36 children who attend the pre-school there is no teacher to teach them. So Mohammed and other teachers have to cover the teaching of this class.

This is not an ideal situation; Mohammed would like to split them into different groups so they can learn according to their ability. He hopes that with funding he can find a good pre-school teacher.

Even if there are difficulties, for the most part, Malimba is growing as a school. The continuous improvement of Grade 7 exam marks and the academic and physical achievements outside of school are a proof of this. We thank everyone who supports us and it is our aim to continue to improve and strengthen the school.

September 2014

Time has flown by this year and it’s hard to believe we’re in September already! We’re delighted to be bringing you the latest news from wonderful Malimba School which has continued to flourish in 2014 thanks to the generous support if its incredible donors.

Book Bonanza!

To begin, we wanted to bring you news of Malimba’s budding school library. The library was opened in 2012 thanks to generous donations from Make Me Smile. The library is now a central part of school life: not only it is very valuable as a library, it is also home to Malimba’s pre-school, it hosts holiday revision sessions for the Grade 7 pupils, and is used by the community for adult study sessions when school is out. It is such an important, flexible space and Malimba’s teachers are over the moon to have it available.

Of course a library just isn’t a library without books. Until recently, books had been in very short supply and the teachers were struggling to find new reading material. Happily, the problem was spotted by Mary Pritchard, a friend of Gid and Adrian Carr. Moving to Zambia from Australia with her partner Siseho, Mary noticed a great need for books in schools so she started a book drive amongst her friends in Australia. She and Siseho knew that Gid and Adrian are involved in education projects in the Luangwa Valley so asked them to suggest a recipient for the collected books - naturally they chose Malimba! Mary organised the shipping of the books from Australia and Markus Weltin of Valley Lodgeistics kindly covered the last leg of the journey by transporting the load from Lusaka to Mfuwe for free.

In July over 600 books arrived at Malimba, much to the joy and excitement of the children! Mary is now in the process of collecting more books for the library, general ones this time, that the community will also be able to use. Many thanks to Mary, Siseho, Gid, Adrian and Markus for making this wonderful donation possible.

Mary graduates with merit!

More good news from Malimba School comes from trainee teacher Mary Nkhoma. Mary has been sponsored through her teacher training course through the generosity of Make Me Smile and we’re delighted to relate that she is a trainee no longer – she passed her final exams in November 2013 with a merit! Mary is travelling to nearby Chipata this month for her graduation ceremony which she is of course very excited about! Mary has been teaching full time at Malimba since January and tells us that she loves working with the kids and watching them learn. She always wanted to be a teacher and is delighted to be doing what she loves.

John’s Malimba story

We also wanted to bring you the story of John Mbewe.

John is 24 and is an inspirational figure at Malimba. He was in the very first Grade 1 class at Malimba when the school opened back in 2000. He went on to complete Grade 12 at neighbouring Matula School in 2012 . John has now come full circle and has returned to Malimba as a volunteer teaching assistant!

John tells us that he loved school thanks to the inspirational volunteer teachers who gave their time to educate him. Their dedication motivated John to become a teacher himself and he is now hoping to study for his teaching qualifications. In the meantime he is really happy to be back at Malimba again, teaching his favourite subjects English, Maths and Social Studies.

Over the years John has seen many changes at Malimba. When he first started school, there was no classroom; the pupils sat on bricks for lessons. There were no toilets, resources, books, sport or interschool activities. Fourteen years later and all these things have arrived at Malimba – and more. John tells us that he is most impressed by the co-operation he sees at the school - not only are there toilets built by the community now, there are also hand washing facilities provided by USAID. Each pupil’s household also donates one kwacha towards soap and toilet paper per term.

Liah Tembo, Malimba’s deputy headmistress says that John is an inspiration for the children and she would love him to undertake formal teacher training so he can go on to educate the next generation of John Mbewes at Malimba!

Fun Fundraising

Fundraising news now. As we mentioned in our last newsletter, all profits from the sale of Tribal Textiles’ Amaizing Bags have been donated to Malimba this year. So far this has raised over $2,000.

Tribal Textiles also has a new display dedicated to Malimba School and fundraising products; these include Make Me Smile’s fantastic baseball caps and cuddly safari toys.

We have also been busy designing a fundraising tea towel, with the help of Malimba’s very talented pupils of course! The tea towel shows an A-Z of safari animals, all drawn at school last month. It is being printed in the UK and will hopefully be on sale at Tribal Textiles in October. If you would love a fun, quirky and above all ethically conscious Christmas present or two, please just drop us a line at sales@tribaltextiles.co.zm.

Mrs Tembo looks to the future

Malimba has had a successful year academically. 53 pupils wrote the Grade 7 examinations in 2013 and Malimba had an excellent pass rate of 83%.

Mrs Tembo is really pleased with the progress of the pupils and how the school is developing. Her biggest concern is with the future of the teachers. Because there aren’t the accommodation and sanitation facilities for the qualified teachers, they risk being deployed to other government schools. This means a continuous turnover as volunteer teachers then have to be found again. She tells us that if there was sufficient housing and sanitation for teaching staff, the qualified teachers could hopefully stay at Malimba long term.

Also on Mrs Tembo’s wish list is an additional classroom block so that the library could be used exclusively as a library instead of housing the pre-school too.

And finally she dreams of electricity for the school so the children could be encouraged to stay and study longer in the evenings.

Thank you from Malimba!

Malimba has always been a small school making a big difference in the community. However in 2014 a momentous milestone was reached - Malimba now educates over 400 pupils! The school is not so small anymore, and the benefit it has for local families, giving children the vital first step of education, is huge.

With an average of 57 pupils to a class, your support is more important than ever and on behalf of all the children and staff at Malimba we want to thank all Malimba’s wonderful donors for making the school possible.

If you’d like to make a donation it couldn’t be simpler:
for UK based contributions, please visit http://www.makemesmile.org/donations/
or if you are based in the US, please visit http://www.generosityinaction.org/MalimbaSchoolFund.htm to make a donation online.

Please contact Tribal Textiles www.tribaltextiles.co.zm or Make Me Smile www.makemesmile.org to find out more.

August 2013

Welcome to a new Malimba School Newsletter, we are delighted to bring you our latest update on the progress of Malimba School in 2013!

We begin with news of exams! August was a very studious month for our Malimba’s grade 7 students, as official mock exams have been taking place. Our dynamic head master, Mohammed Mphande, really hopes that his students achieve the great results they deserve and that Malimba will be ranked among the top schools in the province. After all their hard work, the students have been looking forward to their holidays which began on 9th August.

The beginning of the school holidays also marked the end of Mary Nkoma’s teacher training at Malimba, training that has been funded since 2012 by Make Me Smile. Mary was over the moon earlier this term when an assessor from Jubeva College of Education in Chipata declared himself very satisfied with her Technology and Social Development lessons and told her to carry on doing exactly what she’s doing!

Mohammed was also very pleased with Mary’s progress and the support she has given the other teachers since she began as a volunteer teacher in 2007. He told us “We have learned a lot from her coming among us, and we hope that we were able to transmit our knowledge to her too. We tried to teach her how she can be the best in many different situations. The pupils like her very much!” The whole school wishes Mary luck as she heads back to Chipata to complete her last training courses ahead of her final exam in December. After this examination, she will spend a year teaching in a district chosen by the government. Then she will be eligible to return to Malimba, and she is already hoping to come back to continue this wonderful experience.

There is a popular saying in Zambia: “If you educate a girl, you educate the Nation.” With this in mind, we are thrilled that gender equality is such a high priority at Malimba school. The staff are so proud to promote equality within the classroom and beyond that they have made a poster for the office where they can monitor the percentage of boys and girls enrolled each month. Since 2012, the number of pupils has increased from 351 and there are now 383 pupils with 191 boys and 192 girls. In fact, the school is now looking for one more male pupil so that there can be an exact balance between the sexes!

Do you remember that the Malimba School library opened in September 2012 thanks to Make Me Smile’s fund raising efforts and the commitment of the local community? Well, the library now has doors, desks and quite a few books!  Helena, a young teacher in charge of the library, monitors the children, advises them on books, and registers their names to get an idea of the library use.

It’s fantastic that teachers have also noticed progress in reading since the library opened, and during the examination period the room is available for pupils who want to revise for their exams. Malimba are also very happy to have again come second in the annual reading competition held between local schools, a fantastic achievement which we hope will only improve with the opportunities for reading presented by the new library.

As is to be expected so early in its life, the Malimba School library does still need a helping hand in terms of resources and facilities. Tribal Textiles have plans to provide the library with more shelving and desks in the near future and thanks to the ‘Book Bus’ scheme - a volunteer organisation working with schools to encourage reading amongst junior pupils - the library has also received a new stock of books this month.

Unfortunately, the variety and quantity of books is still limited which is why we are launching a new book donation initiative in Zambia’s capital city Lusaka this month. The scheme will run hand in hand with Tribal Textiles’ sister company Jackal and Hide, who will collect pre-loved children’s books at their beautiful shop in Lusaka. The books will then be transported to Malimba, where they will help introduce a new generation of children to the magic of reading.

A very new and very exciting initiative has begun at Malimba this year:  the school now has a garden!

The garden has been created with the support of the local community in order to educate the children about growing vegetables without using pesticides. And what a success it is! The garden currently has 8 plots maintained by students from grade 5 and 6. Each pupil is responsible for a particular row and they learn through experience how to sow and grow various vegetable. 

Natural techniques are used that encourage helpful insects and organic school waste is recycled, turned into compost, and used in place of chemical fertilizers.  The community also helps by providing seeds and advice. When a crop is ready, the vegetables are sold in the village and the profits are used to buy furniture and equipment for the school. In the future the Malimba staff hope to extend these plots and produce enough vegetables to be self-sufficient at school.

And finally, some wonderful fundraising news! If you have been following Tribal Textiles’ activities online, you may have noticed an exciting new initiative: the Amaizing Bag project. Amaizing Bags are made by local men and women using recycled maize sacks donated by Zambia’s National Milling Corporation. Each bag is also given a unique ‘Tribal Twist’ to make it fun and stylish.

Amaizing Bags are sold in Tribal Textile’s shops and also by stockists around the world. The project donates 100% of the profits from sales of the bags to local charities. .

The fantastic news is that this year, all profits from the sale of Amaizing Bags will be donated to Malimba Community School! We are so excited by this news, and can’t wait to bring you the Amaizing Bag totaliser in our next newsletter along with details of how the money will be used to help the children and teachers of Malimba! 

We hope you have enjoyed reading about the wonderful Malimba Community School and their activities this month. Of course, none of these good news stories could happen without the continued support of our generous donors and the local community.

If you would like to donate funds to Malimba, you can rest assured that 100% of donations go directly to the school’s educational and training needs. And it doesn’t take much to make a big difference to these children’s lives: £70 will pay a teacher’s salary for a month, £40 will buy school stationary supplies for a term and with just £20 Mohammed can help pay the expenses of one of Malimba’s wonderful volunteer teachers. 

Making a donation couldn’t be simpler: for UK based contributions, please visit http://www.makemesmile.org/donations/ or if you are based in the US, please visit http://www.generosityinaction.org/MalimbaSchoolFund.htm to make a donation online.

Until the next time, please accept our thanks on behalf of all the children and staff at Malimba and the wider community for making the school possible.

Please contact Tribal Textiles www.tribaltextiles.co.zm or Make Me Smile www.makemesmile.org to find out more.

February 2013

We wanted to start 2013 on a high and what better way than to share the story of the Grand Opening of the Malimba School Library.

Thanks to the dedication of the Make Me Smile Foundation’s many donors this small school in the African bush now boasts its own library.  This is a particularly incredible feat as it is the first library of its kind in the whole district - a true joint venture with funding coming from Make Me Smile and the bricks moulded by the community themselves.

When we think of Malimba’s beginnings in 2001, when children sat on bricks listening to teachers standing underneath a tree with chalk and a blackboard, it is hard not to be proud of what the school has become.

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The Make Me Smile Foundation’s success hinges on the hard work and dedication of their sponsors.  Jojo Harris, in whose memory the charity was set up, was known for her ready smile and wonderful sense of humour.  It is therefore very fitting that the charity’s supporters came up with such fun ways of raising money.  There was the Music Night, where 80 people turned out to watch diverse acts including the London Glee Club.  The Summer Fayre, which raised money through a kid’s competition involving picking out corners from a map of Africa.  In fact the star attraction here was Jojo's dog, Cosmina, who drew in the crowds and was rewarded with endless affection.  And an ‘Africa Night’ which raised 2000 pounds mainly thanks to the volunteers’ conscientious approach to promoting champagne drinking. Coupled with regular standing orders from Make Me Smile’s donors money was raised to ensure the dream of a Malimba Library became a reality.

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The Library Opening was a momentous occasion in the village and was attended by hundreds of excited children, enthusiastic locals and important dignitaries including The Chief, District Commissioner and District Education Board Secretary. Gid and Adrian Carr were guest speakers having supported Malimba School since the very beginning as well as Tribal Textiles who have assisted the school through its growth and development.  Jacqui Harris, Jojo’s mother, and her husband Andrew also visited from the UK to mark this special event.

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It would be remiss of us not to mention the District Commissioner’s escort.  Dressed to perfection he ensured the event had a certain gravitas by performing his duties with aplomb.  He would regularly salute and when not protecting the District Commissioner herself he would focus his attention on securing the welfare of her hand bag!

If Zambians enjoy one thing it is a gathering and celebration of a big event.  Speeches are important in Zambian culture and were made by Gid Carr, the school’s headmaster Mohammed Mphande, The Chief, The District Commissioner and the District Education Board Secretary.  Jacqui also shared stories of Jojo’s commitment to helping the local community of Mfuwe and Make Me Smile’s aim of continuing her meaningful works. 

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The Headmaster proudly described Malimba Schools’ consistent academic success (over 80% of their pupils have past grade 9 again this year). He also expressed his sincere thanks to the founders and fundraisers for their continued belief and invaluable support in Malimba. 

The Chief and District Commissioner expressed their gratitude for a library that will improve literacy amongst their youth whilst also giving the Malimba Headmaster the opportunity to start his ambitious project of teaching adults in the community to read. 

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The library is already getting plenty of use and is doubling as a pre-school classroom. There is a small stock of books - but we need more! Books are a great thing to bring on safari for those looking for a truly meaningful way to make a difference.

All that remains is to thank Make me Smile for funding this library, as well as those involved in ensuring its construction from the Carr’s to Tribal Textiles and  the local community. 

We look forward to updating you on the impact the library has now that it is up and running.

www.makemesmile.org/  

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September 2012

It has been a while and we thought it was high time we filled you in on all the exciting developments at Malimba School for 2012.  School life is always busy and Malimba is no different as they manage building projects, teacher training, expansion of classes and sports sessions whilst continuing their critical education.

We are delighted to announce that, thanks to Make Me Smile’s funding and the local community’s commitment and work, the new Library has been completed.

   

The doors are not yet on but that does not slow down the forward thinking and dynamic Head Master, Mohammed Mphande.  Mohammed has organised a pre school for children between 4 and 6 and is using the library space as the classroom whilst they wait to put in shelving for the donated books. This is the first pre school ever to exist in the area and a huge step forward in children’s education.

They already have 25 students who are being taught by the wonderful Agness Lungu.  Agness, wife to a local mechanic called Donald, is not on the Malimba payroll due to lack of funds, but instead she accepts payment in maize which she then sells on to earn her living.

   

Mohammed  is delighted with the Pre-School’s success so far saying it’s a joy to have the youger children around despite the sharp increase in noise levels!  He wants children to start learning at an early age easing their trasition into grade one and improving their overall performance at school.

Malimba School continues to prioritise eduction and to perform well as a school in exam results. Taking advantage of ‘The Book Bus’ project, designed to visit schools and help children learn to read, Malimba School’s grade 6 students came second in the local literacy competition. 

Mock exams are taking place at the moment.  The School looks to maintain their high pass rate through weekly tests ensuring the children are learning and identifying and solving any problems in education early.

Malimba School also appreciate the importance of giving girls an education; in a culture where boys are invested in more heavily, girls can be overlooked and yet they tend to excel in school.  Out of 351 students at Malimba 194 are girls and they are all performing well.

Right now there are eight teachers at the school plus Mary Nkoma who continues her teacher training and sits her final exams this year.

The Head Master also focuses on improving his own qualifications and we would like to congratulate him on his recent Diploma in Teaching at the Copper Belt University which will be awarded on August 31st.

An all round education is important and Malimba have always prided themslves on being competitive in sport. In the inter school sports day, held once a year between eight different schools in the Mfuwe area, the Malimba boys football team won!  The girls netball team also came runners up.

We can’t help but think their stunning sports kit, donated by Make me Smile, gives them an extra boost.  Younger school members wear spare kit when supporting matches and despite constantly tripping over the oversized shirts which fall below their feet, they gaze proudly on at older students hoping one day to play themselves.

After the sports day a couple of the Malimba students (four girls and three boys) were even selected to compete in the inter zone sports day which takes place next month.

Perhaps inspired by the London Olympics, Malimba is now hoping to set up a volleyball team, a sport already played in surrounding schools.

   

Of course all their aspirations require funding and we are very grateful for all the donations made.  We would be delighted to receive more funding for books, teacher training and possibly, in our wildest dreams, for a building and teacher’s salary to create an official pre-school.

Thank you for following Malimba School’s progress and we look forward to updating you again soon.

 

July 2011

old head We realise it is high time we gave our generous donors and supporters an update on the exciting developments at Malimba School. Whilst we have been slow to write this newsletter please do not worry as it is no reflection on the great progress that is happening.

Sadly we have had to say goodbye to the headmaster, Peter Chisenga, who has moved onto pastures new; we would like to thank him for all his contributions to this special school.

Fortunately we are also delighted to welcome our new headmaster - Mohammed Mphande.

As soon as I walked into Mohammed’s office I realised we have been lucky enough to find an exciting, dynamic and highly motivated head master. The walls were covered in school pupils’ exam results, sports day outcomes and written goals about how to push Malimba School forward. Mohammed cleared his extremely busy morning to talk to me; this was no small feat as he not only teaches at Malimba, he is also finishing teacher training at Chiutika School, doing a diploma in Religious studies and English at the Copperbelt University whilst also co-ordinating the teachers and new development programs at Malimba. However, he was insistent that our newsletter was a priority and emphatically thanked donors for making the school what it is today.

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What is fantastic about Mohammed is that he knows and feels passionate about the history of Malimba School having grown up and been educated in Mfuwe. In 2000 Mohammed was lucky enough to get sponsorship to study teaching at the Chipata College of Education, before coming back to volunteer at Malimba. He then worked at Katema and Chiutika Basic School before becoming our new headmaster.

Whilst his extensive experience is a great asset, it is his drive and enthusiasm that is particularly infectious. His ambitions for the school are well thought out. He hopes we can expand - enabling pupils to study grade 8 and 9 at Malimba in the future. Villages around Malimba are far from the nearest secondary schools of Chiwawatala and Chiutika. A pupil has to walk 7.5 km to get to classes which start at 7 am and nine times out of ten that would be done on an empty stomach. No matter how determined a young pupil is to learn, Mohammed recognises that these conditions can prohibit a child fulfilling their education. He is determined to try and prevent students returning to the villages with no clear future having finished grade 7 and to instead keep them learning with Malimba.

In his bid to expand the school he has already applied to the government for new teachers, and within two weeks we will welcome Steven Chulu, a fully qualified teacher paid for by the government. Steven Chulu’s wife, a trained teacher, will accompany him. Whilst she is not yet government certified, she is submitting papers that will enable this and could also be a wonderful asset. It will add to the 7 strong team of teachers and 2 watchmen who already work tirelessly to keep Malimba thriving.

Mohammed is passionate about education and keen to motivate adults to come back to school and get the opportunity to learn to read and write. Evening classes are another of his ambitions and he looks forward to the library getting up and running to make this possible. The school library is an exciting project that is now coming together. Plans have been drawn up and quotations are currently being found to assess how best to source materials. All work needs to be carefully controlled so money is used appropriately. It is with this in mind that we extend a warm welcome back to Mr Kenan Banda who is such an inspirational and steadying hand on the team.

Mud-bricks Make Me Smile continue to work tirelessly to raise money to invest in Malimba School and it is their contributions that will bring the much prized library into fruition. As a tri-partite partnership the community looks to contribute in any way possible giving their time and labour. Tabu Milanzi, the PTA Chairman has worked with the 19 local villages to galvanize labour and make the 85,000 mud bricks needed. The brick targets have been set and each village is well on their way to achieving their goals. The aim is for the library to be up and running by September.

roof-off-of-classroom However, it is not all positive. Living in the heart of the African Bush there are limitations in terms of materials available and the negatives of the harsh natural elements; sadly our earliest classroom block’s roof was ripped off by a mini tornado. There was a silver lining however, with the roof removed, we could see that termites had destroyed the beams holding everything in place and the classroom was actually in a dangerous state.

The headmaster called together villagers to make the site safe and Gid and Adrian Carr personally assessed the damage and asked their own staff to start rebuilding as quickly as possible.

outdoor-classroom Tribal Textiles have put up a large amount of funding needed to cover this cost. However, there is still a real need to raise additional sponsorship to ensure materials are bought to get the school back on track. In the meantime grade 5 are learning in a make shift classroom under a tree – as usual staff and pupils are taking developments in their stride and carry on with a smile.

Whilst new builds and future ambitions are critical we must not lose site of the main objectives – ensuring children are given the best possible education. Fortunately Malimba School is continuing to achieve in this area. 2010 saw an increase in the number of children attending school, particularly pleasing was the increase in the number of girls - this shows great promise for the future. The overall exam pass rate percentage also increased from 62.2% in 2009 to 71.66% in 2010. To keep building on this success they have set up a new system where tests are held every two weeks to monitor children’s performance and address any learning problems early. With this new initiative we hope to see a significant increase in exam results in 2011.

Malimba continues to demonstrate their physical prowess on the sports field. Their athletics team came 1st out of 6 schools in the inter schools competition. This is a dramatic improvement as in 2009 they came last. The head master admitted he thought the winning streak was down to his jokingly warning the team that if they didn’t win they would have to walk the 25 km home – he later realised the kids thought he was being serious!

sports-day-1 sports-day-2

cute-picture-2 Most importantly Malimba School would like to thank you for your generous donations. They truly appreciate the difference you make to their lives.

Your donations are needed more than ever. They have a new roof to build so grade 5 can work in a proper classroom again, a library to create enabling pupils and adults to expand their horizons through learning and we hope to help Mohammed fulfill his ambitions of expanding Malimba to include grade 8 and 9s.

June 2010

student Malimba School felt it was high time they gave their generous supporters and donors an up-date on how life is progressing in Mfuwe.

With each new school year students slot into the routine of school life and their average day seems very normal to them but it occurred to us that it is in stark contrast to a westerners' school routine. So we thought it would be interesting to take you through the typical day of one of our star pupils.

We approached Andrew, the Deputy Head teacher, with our plan and he picked out the perfect student for us to spend the day with.

His name is Dyma Banda, he is 9 years old and is in Grade 5 at Malimba School.

Dyma lives with his mother, Cristina Banda, his 6 siblings, his grandmother and 3 cousins. It is normal for a family to support their siblings children in the event they are orphaned - sadly a common situation. In addition, single parent families are very common, and in fact nearly 40% of the pupils at Malimba are single or double orphans.

That said, despite 12 people being crammed into 2 very small huts and these losses and challenges being part of their everyday life, I have to say visiting their home in Chituloa Village was a very positive experience due to their innate hospitality and the obvious warmth and affection they have for each other. It also helped that I had a camera - every Zambian I have met loves nothing better than having their photo taken!

Some of Dyma's Family Dyma's Home

Some of Dyma's Family and Dyma's Home

Walking to school Having met the family we then made the 2 km walk to Malimba School.

I naively pointed out Dyma had not had any breakfast and was given a funny look by his mother - the family don't eat breakfast. That said Dyma looked perfectly happy as he trekked off in shorts and shirt clutching his old plastic bag full of his stationery needed for school that day.

His bag contained 1 pen and 2 half used text books. I had thought this was pretty meagre and worried he was ill equipped until finding most of his classmates did not even have a pen to write with! It turned out Dyma was one of the lucky ones.

As soon as we arrived at Malimba School the bell sounded for Friday's assembly. Andrew, our deputy head teacher, explained assemblies were held every Friday as a routine but also on other weekdays if anything important needed to be announced.

I must admit my first Zambian school assembly was a curious affair. Firstly it was a lot more interactive than the ones I was used to.

Assembly The pupils lined up in rows facing Andrew who stood on the steps to address them. It took a fair bit of time for the rows to be in the order Andrew requested and despite the pupils being moved around for no apparent reason everything was handled in good humour. Andrew addressed each class moving from one side to the next in a chatty way.

First point on the agenda was the cold weather (Zambian's idea of cold differs from that of the West, and the 'freezing' 10 degree morning weather was a sore point amongst everyone!). A pupil was selected from the school and was brought to face his colleagues as Andrew emphatically pointed out that he was appropriately dressed for the cold and all other students should copy him. The pupil then returned to his row feeling pretty chuffed with himself - he was the lucky one who had a coat, whereas poor Dyma was wearing shorts and a thin sweater.

off to the classroom Next topic, hygiene, and a less fortunate pupil was selected to stand in front of his peers as an example of someone who had not washed properly that morning. I have to say from an outsider looking in I could not see a significant difference between him and his friends but all the pupils looked on as Andrew pointed out his very short hair was untidy!

Lastly, the toilets and their cleanliness became a source of heated debate. And here the pupils laughed and answered back making jokes. The Deputy Head was totally un-phased by this disorder and laughed along happily about the untidy latrines.

After possibly the most intriguing assembly I have ever witnessed everyone was dismissed to class and filed off in different directions.

At the blackboard The classrooms are basic with tables along the sides of the room and a huge black board propped up against the wall. Students wriggle excitedly in their seats, some in uniform, some not.

The teachers are very familiar with the pupils and appear to have a relaxed and friendly way with them. That said the pupils are very courteous, standing up when adults enter the room and saying 'Good morning' in English as I appeared camera at the ready.

There was no "mucking about", Malika Sakala, the grade 5 teacher who has been at Malimba for over 3 years, moved straight into the lesson. I was delighted to see Dyma immediately shot 6 foot into the air waving his hand - he was the first to fill in the missing word on the black board and when he answered the question successfully all his classmates clapped for him.


Good work As soon as the pupils had finished filling in the gaps on the board they were given sentences to write in their text books. It was poignant to watch some students waiting until their classmates had finished so they could borrow their pencils. However, they all seemed really excited by the learning process and Dyma was in his element scoring very good marks from the teacher.

I was later told that particular class (English) had been moved to the earlier time to coincide with my visit as Dyma is very strong in this subject. Unfortunately he struggles with maths which was conveniently moved to the end of the day when I was not going to be around! I was touched by the teachers sensitivity as she understood how exciting it was for Dyma to be photographed and to have someone take such an interest in him. He even showed me his book when it was marked.

On a typical day for Dyma lessons start at 7.30 am. They have a break for breakfast at 09.40 where they get to enjoy food cooked by local volunteers and donated by the World Food Programme - a fantastic highlight for a child who left home at 7am, walked 2 kms and sat though 2 hours of lessons on an empty stomach. Classes continue up to 12.40 leaving the students the option to play sports in the afternoon up until 16.30.

Sport is a real highlight for the Malimba students, they are brought together to have fun and also to bond through competition against rival schools. The joy of this was significantly increased when the Make Me Smile charity generously donated funding to get proper sports kits for the School.

Handing over the kit I was lucky enough to witness the handing over of the kits - it was a fantastic moment. It was hard to work out who was more excited the teachers or the pupils! The teachers checked it all to make sure everything ordered arrived safely - there were a few wistful looks as they saw the matching shirts, shorts and socks complete with numbers. The goal keeper's kit was also wonderful. Luckily the teachers also found the whistles so were delighted to be able to use those to referee in the future.

From there no time was wasted and the kit was given to the school netball and football teams. Naturally, this was a big event and many people from the village came to watch (young and old alike!).

Then the school teams rushed off to try on their kit; they looked fantastic. It was obvious they got a real sense of pride and importance from receiving the kit and it was very touching to watch them. Thank you so much to Make Me Smile for giving the teams such a wonderful moment in their school career.

Girls Netball Team Boys Football team

Girls Netball Team and Boys Football team

The only thing left to say is, as ever the school is striving forward thanks to the commitment of sponsors, the community and support from Christina and Adrian Carr and Tribal Textiles. However, there is a real need for continued sponsorship to ensure the school is able to keep running, ensuring volunteer teachers are given fair allowances to match the dedication they show each day, to continue teacher training, infrastructure improvement and also ensuring pupils like Dyma are able to continue to have the benefits of an education. We would be very grateful for your continued support and donations.

The Malimba children thank you for your support.

Nov 2009

a It has been another eventful term at the Malimba Community School with high profile sporting events and visiting TV crews. As is typical in Africa there have been some wonderful highs but sadly some terrible lows. To start with some of the highs…

The school's new sign is now complete; built by a local builder and painted by a local sign writer the pupils and teachers' are delighted with it.

The inter-school sports competition has taken place. Even the preparation for this event is taken very seriously and a fantastic vibe is felt in the school as pupils from all ages come together, along with the teachers, parents and local community to play and support. It is a great way for the pupils to escape the hardship of daily life and immerse themselves in a burning desire to win!

a The run up to the competition involves 'friendly' matches with other schools.

The Malimba Girls' team had a hard match which sadly they lost. Luckily their teachers' support was unwavering and we were assured the girls played extremely well and if they had not been shorter than the other team they would have won!

a The boys' football match is clearly a highlight for the community. On seeing the football match was about to be played the entire village swarmed after the team screaming in excitement; the noise and bustle rivalling any Manchester City game!

The boys play football barefoot on baked earth pitches; their commitment to the game is inspiring and it is evident how much they love to play. Sadly the Malimba boys team lost the warm up game…

a
Football Fever brings the village to a standstill!

After this impressive build up the actual Inter School Sports Competition for 2009 got underway. The 36 Malimba students that made up the football, netball and athletics teams took a bus to Chiutika Basic School for the 6 day event where they competed against 7 other schools.

a Here the Malimba girls' netball skills shone through and the team won every match, coming second overall due to goal aggregate. The boys' football team (photo on left) came 4th with the very exciting news that Andrew Mwanza, a Malimba pupil, won the top scorer in the competition scoring 5 goals in total. Malimba School came 6th in the Athletics competition - the teachers explained that they have few facilities to practice for this aspect of the event.

Malimba school also welcomed ZNAN (Zambian National Aids Network) and Phoenix Radio (a leading Zambian broadcaster) this term. ZNAN decided to visit having been so impressed by the Malimba Community School and its successful development through a tri-partite relationship between the community, local government and local companies Tribal Textiles and Adrian and Christina (Gid) Carr - the latter providing support and the ever important fund raising from various dedicated sponsors.

ZNAN wanted Phoenix Radio to share the growth of Malimba Community School with their listeners feeling it represented exactly what they are striving for across Zambia.

Naturally the idea of being filmed was very exciting for volunteers, teachers and pupils alike and there were many potential movie stars identified during the morning!

Phoenix radio were keen to capture the World Food Programme initiative; this enterprise has ensured that the children are given at least one nutritious meal a day which has increased school attendance dramatically. The World Food Programme also donated a large, practical and economical oven to enable a simple porridge breakfast to be prepared each day - the oven is designed to use less firewood so it is cost effective and more environmentally friendly.

a    a

Phoenix Radio were particularly interested in the community involvement in Malimba and wanted to focus on the volunteers who cook for the pupils each day. These ladies are the unsung heroes of the school who arrive with buckets of personality, a desire to help the younger generation and a strong work ethic.

Each school day the volunteers make the porridge by stirring the ingredients in the huge cooker. Cooking such large quantities of porridge is no small feat as Gid and I found out - it requires arm muscles and heat resistance!

Then as the children rush out of classes for their breakfast the volunteers use admirable control to get the gaggle of children nicely lined up and ensure hands and bowls are washed before pupils stand in line to receive their breakfast.

a Naturally the ladies were delighted to be interviewed by the Lusaka broadcasters and they stood patiently as various bizarre electronic gadgets were attached to them. The fact that they were surrounded by microphones and cameras did not affect these volunteers who went on to give impressive and passionate accounts about the importance of the Malimba Community School and education in the community.

It is wonderful that this project has been recognized by important Zambian bodies and it is testament to the hard work and dedication shown towards Malimba Community School by all involved. This includes the very generous donors who have made it possible for so many costs to be covered and therefore so much development to have taken place.

Finally, and tragically, Malimba Community School lost one if its most valued teachers this October… the wonderful Violet Kamanga.

a Violet started with Malimba as a volunteer teacher around 2004. She was sponsored through teacher training college from 2007. She passed the course with flying colours.

A larger than life lady, she was a strict teacher but very caring and she was adored by all her pupils. Many of those pupils were at the funeral and were dreadfully shocked and bewildered by her sudden death. Since qualifying she had been Acting Deputy Headmistress and was very much at the heart of the school.

She was just about to be posted to her first teaching job and Malimba Community School had gained permission for her to sign up to the Government pay roll and then to return to her job as Deputy head of Malimba. This meant she would be paid a proper salary by the State for the first time in her career. This is the objective we have been striving for since the start of Malimba - ie. to train teachers for Zambia with a view to eventual self sufficiency and self reliance for the school and for the Zambian education system.

Violet was pregnant and suffered a sudden and very serious attack of high blood pressure. Tragically, although she was rushed to hospital in Chipata, staff were unable to save her or her baby.

Her loss is not only a huge personal tragedy for her family but also a big blow to Malimba - she was a wonderful person , a talented teacher, a tireless volunteer and the symbol of Zambia's fight to educate her children as well as a leading light in the movement towards self reliance for our community.

An extra tragedy occurred only days after Violet's funeral, her husband who had been battling illness for some while also passed away leaving their one child an orphan. The child has gone to live with extended family in Lusaka.

They leave a huge hole in our lives and hearts. We will never forget Violet and everything she did for her community. She was a teacher first and last and we plan to raise money in her memory to sponsor more teachers and carry on the fight she so admirably embodied.

If you would like to donate money towards this project in Violet's memory or towards the development of facilities at the Malimba School please do not hesitate to contact us.

Despite the fact that the Malimba School is thriving, the pressure to find the money to keep the school running term on term is at the forefront of the committees' minds; at the moment there are no guarantees of continued financial support. The basic costs such as paying the teacher's salaries are a high priority. The Malimba School teachers work tirelessly teaching every subject to children across a wide age group; their classes are often very large and they often work ten hour days. The teachers are only paid the very basic amount of $75 per month which is extremely low in a country like Zambia where food prices are high and have risen again this year. The Malimba Committee is extremely keen to give teacher's even a small pay raise; this would be the first teacher's pay rise in the history of the school. We appeal directly for any funding people can give to make this possible.

Your donations have a huge and direct impact on the pupils' and teachers' lives in this community school in Mfuwe.

The Malimba children thank you for your support.

May 2009

2009 at Malimba Community School has definitely been eventful so far this year. Flooding meant the school had to shut for a week; although luckily it was not as serious as in 2006 and it was not long before the pupils were able to safely return to their desks.

The flooding did not prevent the building of the Jojo Harris Malimba School Dining Hall which was officially declared open in March!

 

Headmaster Peter and teacher Andrew Malumpha stand knee deep in flood water in the Malimba School drive.(left) Children using the Jojo Harris Malimba School Dining Hall. (right)

The Malimba School Fund had agreed to help the school build a kitchen and storeroom to safely store the food that is being provided by the World Food Programme and give the children a suitable space to eat their meals in. It will also provide the students with another learning space. The building has been in construction over the past couple of months and is now complete.

Julie, General Manager of Tribal Textiles describes the opening day of this crucial new addition to Malimba School:

I received my handwritten invitation from Peter Chisenga, Malimba Schools' headmaster. The opening ceremony was to be held on Thursday 12th March and aptly this fell on a public holiday to mark 'Youth Day'.

As is usual for these sorts of events the school invites all those who have been involved in running and supporting the school to come along and participate in the celebrations, along with key figures from the local community including local councillors, headmen and Nduna's (local dignitaries who work closely with the chief).

The Honourable Chief Mnkhanya was guest of honour and arrived wearing a beautiful robe and matching hat; one of his first duties was to cut the red ribbon that had been suspended across the entrance to the building and a great cheer let out as everyone surged into the new building.

The master of ceremonies was one of the teachers, Andrew Malumpha, he has recently completed his teacher training, funded by the Malimba School Fund. Andrew welcomed everyone and we all stood to sing the National Anthem, followed by a prayer. Next some of the pupils, all wearing matching outfits, performed a traditional dance much to the delight of the audience. There was not enough room for everyone to fit inside so many of the pupils gathered around the outside of the building and leaned in eagerly to watch and hear what was going on.

Various speakers expressed their gratitude to all those that have worked to support the school. The Headmaster gave particular thanks to all those who had donated money to pay for this new building. Christina (Gid) Carr spoke on behalf of the Malimba School Fund and said how Malimba personified the concept of a community development with everyone working together, the school staff, parents, and sponsors have all helped to build and grow the school from its very small beginnings to how it looks today. Gid took this opportunity to remember dear Jojo Harris and thank her family and friends, who have so far raised over £9000 for Malimba, without which we would not have been able to afford to construct the new building.

We then were treated to a play performed by some of the pupils and clearly there are some future stars amongst the children, they were very entertaining and produced great laughter and amusement. Then some of the more mature local ladies performed traditional dancing and the chief was soon on his feet joining in.

As tradition dictates, the Chief is the last to speak and expressed his happiness and gratitude to all those involved in Malimba School and encouraged everyone to continue to work together to make an even better school for the community. He announced that building should be named after Jojo Harris and said that everyone referring to the building should not forget to use her name.

The formalities were then over and everyone stopped to enjoy lunch together and later in the afternoon there were netball and football matches with parents pitched against pupils.

* Jojo Harris was a great supporter of the school during the time she lived and worked in Zambia. Sadly she died in July 2008; her family and friends now work to raise funds for the charity set up in her memory. You can view the details at www.makemesmile.org

Extra curricular activities at Malimba

Whilst Malimba School focuses on ensuring children are given their basic education it is always great to be able to develop the creative and athletic talents of the students. In the western world we have long understood the benefits of sport and art in education so it is always wonderful to share this with the Malimba pupils where possible.

Tribal Textiles organised a drawing competition for Grade 6 and 7 pupils at Malimba. The students were asked to draw their favourite thing. They took to the task with great zeal and you could have heard a pin drop as the classroom, full of approximately 30 pupils, drew silently. Heads were bent low enough for noses to touch the paper and the only noise was when pupils would jump up and down in their seat, hand reaching for the ceiling, so as to get their teacher's attention and ask to borrow a coloured crayon.

  

The competition lasted an hour and there have been some stunning entries. The winning student will be given huge prestige; their picture will be adapted as a new design for Tribal Textiles which will be available to buy in the Tribal Textiles shops or for wholesale buyers all over the world. A percentage of proceeds from all sales of textiles in this design will go towards the Malimba Community School project.

We will update you on the winner of this competition and the new design in our next newsletter…

The Malimba students also eagerly await the Mfuwe inter-school sports competition which will kick off in the beginning of June. Here the local schools gather to compete in different sporting challenges such as football and netball. Naturally, what with Zambia being the football loving nation that it is, the students look forward to these events with a healthy competitive attitude.

Lack of sports kits is the major setback for the Malimba pupils and teachers. We would be extremely grateful for any donations towards this as it will enable as many pupils as possible to take part in what has to be one of the highlights of their school calendars. It would cost just $6 to buy one sports kit or $90 to buy enough sports kit for the whole team!

We are, of course, hoping for Malimba School to win the inter-school sports competition and we look forward to updating you on the results in our next newsletter!

Leaving the most important till last, due to the recession Malimba Community School is facing a particularly tough year in covering the running costs as donations have (of course) dwindled. To cover the basic running of the school we need to pay teachers' allowances and the watchmen salaries at a cost of $575 per month. We also need to keep looking to the future and continue funding the training of our up and coming trainee teachers at a cost of $1,900 per year. We appreciate that times are hard for everyone but hope that some of you may still be in a position to dig a little deeper and support Malimba through this lean time.

The Malimba children thank you for your support.

Dec 2008

Well here we are at the end of another busy year - 2008 has certainly had its ups and downs! With huge currency fluctuations making budgeting for projects and teachers' allowances very hard, global recession is affecting visitor numbers and bookings to the valley with the direct result that projects like ours also suffer, and the threat of more hardship to come – we join the rest of the world in worrying about these unpredictable times.

We have not taken on any huge projects very recently preferring to budget carefully in order to ensure that we can keep the teachers allowances paid and maintain the teacher training sponsorship.

But we are just about to start building a dining/kitchen /storeroom for the school. A simple open sided structure with a store and kitchen at one end and benches for the children to sit comfortably and eat their lunch. Almost undoubtedly it will double up as a dry season classroom as well! As we mentioned in the July newsletter, Malimba is supported by a World Food Programme project which donates highly nutritious food to selected schools to ensure that the children get at least one decent meal per day.

Of the 200 plus children at Malimba – well over a third are single or double orphans so this is a vitally important project. It really is amazing to hear the teachers talk about how levels of concentration and achievement, not to mention attendance have risen now that there is a good hearty lunch for everyone.

The building of this structure is being made possible with a donation from Make Me Smile - www.makemesmile.org a wonderful charity set up in the name of our dear friend Jo Harris who lived here in the valley and worked for Tribal Textiles. Jo tragically died of cancer earlier this year. She was an inspiration to us all and was very active in fund raising for Malimba and had a particular interest in raising awareness of HIV/Aids.

Her mum and aunt brought our dear Jojo's ashes back here to be scattered in her beloved valley amongst the elephants and wild flowers.

We miss her so much but her beautiful smile, warmth, generosity of spirit and overflowing love for humanity remains an inspiration to us all.


Our other friends and supporters are too numerous to mention individually by name but we wish every one of you peace and joy this Christmas and New year.

Watch out for our 2009 wish list and New Year's resolutions in January!

July 2008

Welcome to a new Malimba School Newsletter. It has been a bit of a struggle to find time to put the latest news together as the start of this year was so hectic!

Sadly we had to say goodbye to Sarah Solomon at the end of last year. She has 'migrated' south and is presently using her project management skills to build her own home near the Kruger National Park! We wish her all the very best and thank her for all the amazing work she has done over the years.

My name is Kate Shand and I have now joined the team and look forward to updating you throughout the year about the progress made on the Malimba School Project.

We have had a very positive start to 2008. Thanks to Gordon Fulcher's generous donation we have been able to establish a 'health corner' at the school. This is an incredibly valuable resource for a rural community such as Malimba where there is sometimes a lack of understanding or access to information about heath, hygiene and nutrition. Equipping people with basic knowledge about health matters empowers them to make good decisions about their families well being.

With Gordon's money we have purchased books, leaflets and posters about all sorts of health issues plus tables and chairs and a TV and DVD player, running on solar battery power. Solar power is a must have as the school has no electricity.

It is well know that the audio/visual impact of film is a hugely effective tool for education. Not only will the DVD player and TV be used to show films about health issues but also will be a vital educational tool for the pupils.

Whilst various NGO's have very kindly given the school a number of health related DVD's in addition to the ones purchased with Gordon's donation we would welcome donations of any educational DVD's as well as children's entertainment (preferably with an educational slant!)

 

Furthermore, ZANARA (the Zambian National Response to HIV/AIDS organization) has enabled us to bring in 250 insecticide treated mosquito nets. meaning every child at the school will get their own net. These nets are being distributed at the moment. Mosquito nets play a huge part in lowering the cases of malarial infection - one of the biggest killers in this area.

Naturally it is crucial to keep momentum up with ongoing initiatives in place thus enabling the school to run as effectively as possible from day to day. So to update you…

On-going Teacher Training and staff support - we continue to sponsor new teachers and hope to continue and possibly increase this. Most of the Malimba teachers are in fact unqualified volunteers with ambitions to become teachers. As well as paying these volunteers a small allowance we have made a commitment to acknowledge and thank them for their efforts by raising money to pay for their teacher training courses. Andrew, pictured here with some of his pupils, is presently doing very well on this course.

The 'Feeding Programme', funded by the World Food Programme, has meant the pupils get one wholesome, high protein, meal a day. This has increased attendance at school and the Headmaster says it has hugely improved concentration levels. The project is still community led as adult volunteers collect the firewood and prepare and cook the food. Of course there is still a need for fund raising as, whilst the pupils benefit enormously from their one meal a day, they still sit under a makeshift mud roof to eat and their food has to be stored in their classrooms.

  

We are aiming to raise funds to work in conjunction with the World Food Programme to build a basic kitchen, dining area and storeroom and we are also hoping to use Solar energy for cooking lessening any impact on the surrounding environment.

We'll follow this update with more details about what we need in order to achieve this next project.

ZNAN (Zambia National Aids Network) sponsored the building of a new Head teacher's house. This frees up the house that TTC built and will enable us to have another fully qualified teacher paid for by the Government at the school. This is a huge step towards self sufficiency.

School Sports sponsorship - thanks to a generous donation from Working Hand in Hand we have been able, once again, to sponsor Malimba's Interschool Sports programme this season. We're very happy to report that the Malimba Football and Netball teams are wining many of their matches and doing really well even against much bigger schools! Being able to participate in the School Sports days gives the pupils and teachers an enormous feeling of pride and achievement as well as being just plain FUN!

There continues to be much positive action and steady development at the Malimba Community School and we are looking forward to continuing to work with the Malimba Committee, ZNAN and other NGO's, the community and all our great donors putting any funds gained this year towards improving the teaching environment and education system within the school.

Please accept our thanks on behalf of all the children at the school and the Malimba community for your support and generous donations. They are making a hugely positive and direct impact on the Malimba School pupils' lives and futures.

www.makemesmile.org

Make Me Smile is founded by the friends and family of JoJo Harris, who worked for approximately 3 years with Tribal Textiles. Whilst living in Zambia, Jo became involved in the local community and strove hard to help improve the lives of the people around her. One of her most impressive achievements was producing a high profile pop concert in Mfuwe, to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and generate funding for the school. Due to her illness Jo was forced to leave Zambia but continued to raise money for the Malimba Community School, which is located just a few kilometres away from Tribal Textiles. Tragically JoJo died in 2008; her friends and family vowed to ensure that her dream of making a difference, even in the hardest of times, continued to be realised.

Make Me Smile raises desperately needed funds to support Malimba Community School. The JoJo Harris dining hall was officially opened by Chief Mkhanya in 2009 and provides children with a suitable space to eat their meals and it also provides another learning area when meal times are over. Make Me Smile has committed to provide the school with enough funds to cover their running costs for the next 2 years and is currently working to raise enough money to build the school a library.

To find out more please visit: www.makemesmile.org

Please contact Tribal Textiles to find out more or make a donation.

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www.makemesmile.org