A helping hand in Malawi: photo of primary school pupils with hands in the air

A tale of five photos and a helping hand in Malawi!

A helping hand in Malawi: photo of cheque donationA report from Malawi on the results of pound stretching and assistance to learners with special educational needs, especially deaf learners.

In January we reported on the personal donations totalling £1,000 made by the Leadership Team at our partners Sense Scotland to support new projects in Northern Malawi.

This is just some of what their generosity has made possible:

A helping hand in Malawi: photo of primary school pupils with books

Distributing learning materials

■The distribution of locally made learning materials to children with special needs at 43 primary schools and specialist resource centres;
■Food staples, including flour, sugar, beans, oil and fish, to support deaf students taken in by a local community so they could benefit from a specialist teacher of the deaf;
■Providing 40 primary school teachers with the skills to become Special Needs Coordinators (SENCOs), supporting other teachers and learners in their schools and education zones;
■Fuel and public transport costs to follow up children with special needs who had dropped out of school.

A helping hand in Malawi: photo of primary school pupils with staple food supplies

Staple food supplies

Primary education is free for all children in Malawi, but it is often the “extras,” taken for granted here in the UK, that can make the difference as to whether some or all children attend school.  These extras include the basics, such as pencils, pens and exercise books – small but essential parts of a successful primary education which gives a child a chance in life.  For those children with special needs, an education is vital to ensure they have the same opportunities as other children.

A helping hand in Malawi: photo of school returnee

A school returnee

We worked directly with the Special Needs Coordinator in the vast district of Mzimba North in Northern Malawi, whose philosophy is to encourage community involvement and the contribution, however small, to the education of all children.  The provision of additional learning resources, distributed to both students and schools, directly supports this aim and gives a helping hand where it is needed.

On learning of the donation, the Coordinator wrote, they “sat down as an office and developed a plan on how the funds would be used… We consulted colleagues for their input on how best we could support the special needs learners using the donated funds.”

Going to school

Going to school

How did they manage to make the funds stretch so far?  However they did it, we think it is fair to say, the results speak for themselves!

Thanks to the Leadership Team for making this possible.

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