“Education Education Education.” With these words Tony Blair launched his bid in 2001 for a second term as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Education was to be a top priority to help make Great Britain a fairer and stronger country.
We strongly endorse these sentiments for Malawi as we strive to do our best to help improve the lives of our friends in Likhubula through the work of the partnership. Many are living in poverty with mud brick houses, little sanitation, lack of clean water and not enough food. Education can be a major pathway to a better life.
Primary Schooling is free but there are not enough schools, not enough teachers and no real system to ensure that all children attend school. Mary’s Meals has provided a wonderful incentive for children to go to school with the promise of a meal every school day. Dunblane has played a major role in establishing and ensuring the future of Mary’s Meals in Likhubula.
Now Nansato Primary School has an excellent attendance record and improving results but the class sizes remain frightening, the equipment sparse and books almost non existent. Even pencils and paper are thin on the ground. The children are going to school. They are being fed. The next step is to improve their school experience.
But still the children embrace the opportunity to go to school with a passion that is quite humbling. The desire to progress to secondary school is very strong. Youngsters realise the value of an education as a means of rising above the poverty which they have inherited.
Secondary schooling is not free and the local school is commonly miles away from home.
Our objective at present is to meet the fees and all associated costs for 5 children to go every year to Chambe Secondary School for the 4 year course.
The Likhubula Committee has the responsibility of selecting the annual intake, monitoring their progress, meeting with parents and sending regular reports to Dunblane. Our bursars are commonly doing chores at home, walking several miles to school (often with little or no food), studying at home and dreaming of the future. With the help of Dunblane High School we are well on the way to supporting our target of 20 Dunblane Bursary Students every year (5 in each year group).
And it is not expensive. We could do better. You can help us. After food and clean water going to school is the next priority. Education can help lift children in Likhubula and Malawi out of the third world.
Below are photos of some of our Dunblane Bursars!
Click on the central image to read a self-profile written by each of the Bursars, or the image to the left or right to scroll to the next image.