School should be safe
This blog is written by RIPPLE Africa Project & Volunteer Coordinator, Nikki Luxford
Going to school was fun. I used to love seeing my friends every day, going into class where the walls were filled with colourful drawings and information relating to the topics we were studying.
And all the while I took for granted the actual structure, the fact that it was safe and stable – and the luxury that we had desks to work at.
Matete primary school is located in the rural village of Matete in the Nkhata Bay district in northern Malawi. And structurally, this primary school is the opposite of the Vale First and Middle School, the school which I was lucky enough to attend from the age of 5 to 11.
Built some 15 years ago, Matete primary school has received very little support, and worrying many of the classrooms are now unstable as termites have eaten the wooden beams supporting the roof.
There are holes in the flooring, damage to the walls and windows and none of the classrooms have doors on them either.
Not only this but the school only has six classrooms yet there are eight year groups. Two of the year groups have their lessons outside under the trees.
The school also only had three teachers too. Three teachers taking eight year groups!
Termites have eaten the beams, and the walls are cracking
The broken beam outside the classroom, no longer strong enough to support the roof
A storage facility
Holes in the floor
No doors, no window bricks and broken beams!
How has RIPPLE Africa helped? How can you help?
Firstly RIPPLE Africa has provided an additional four teachers to the school. This enables each teacher (except one who works with two year groups) to focus on their own year group giving the children more consistency and stability.
And now RIPPLE Africa, thanks to receiving funding, is building another classroom block. This will enable the children currently sitting and learning under the trees to soon be taught in a classroom.
One of the make-shift classrooms, common at rural schools
The foundations of the new classroom block…
…the progress of the new classroom block
Two of the builders, Andrew and George
Whilst the RIPPLE Africa team were at the primary school, looking at where the new classroom block would be, they were shocked by the extent of the termite and structural damage.
And this is where you can help.
To improve and make the classrooms safe for the children, we need to raise the funds to carry out all the repairs. There is a lot of work involved with removing the iron sheets on the roof, removing the timbers and replacing with new ones – which have been treated – plus repairing the floors and walls, painting the classrooms, putting on doors, creating storage and supplying desks too!
The community themselves are involved with improving the school by building teacher houses. If they can finish the houses it gives the school more standing and attracts more teachers.
Staff house built by the community
So whilst the community are doing their bit, we equally need your help too – it’s your chance to be involved.
If you’d like more information on how you, your place of work, school or local club/society can help please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alternatively, if you’d like to make a donation please follow the links:
(Donating from UK and rest of the world)
(Donating from USA)