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Give the Gift of Education
Lufeyo walks to school, every day, on an empty stomach, unsure of when she’ll have her next meal - if it can even be called that. As she sits in her classroom, her stomach is gnawing at her with hunger pains, and it’s a challenge to retain the physical and mental strength she needs to focus on learning her basic skills.
It’s highly unlikely that she’s able to even read a single word, or spell her name. Some of this can be attributed to her hunger, but it is compounded by the fact that she is sitting in a class of 200 or more other students - with only 1 teacher, and is also sharing her textbooks with multiple other children - and she’s already had 3 different teachers this year due to the high turnover rate. As each year passes, Lufeyo isn’t guaranteed that she’ll advance to the next level, and if she’s not able to pass her primary school forms (Elementary School), most likely she’ll never be able to advance into Secondary School (High School). Even if she does overcome the aforementioned obstacles, she would be considered fortunate as only 35% of children in Malawi complete primary school.
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Lufeyo’s teacher is exhausted and considering searching for a new position. Her motivation is waning as she, daily, looks over a sea of faces that are eager to learn, but knows she doesn’t have the assistance or the resources to help her meet the educational needs of every single one of the 200 students crowded into her small classroom. Her pay is meager, and she struggles each day to pay for child care for her baby and toddler. If only her school would provide a preschool/nursery school to help care for her children, and also offer a solid foundation for other young children, maybe her task wouldn’t seem so monumental.
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Unfortunately, this is the norm in Malawi, rather than the exception. In fact, many children aren’t even receiving an education at all because of the extreme poverty - forcing them to work in the fields or be married at a young age. The people of Malawi are eager to learn, however so many obstacles stand in their way.
Our hearts are burdened for the people of Malawi. We understand how important education is to the development of individuals - which then extends to the bolstering of a society and country.
SO WHAT DO WE DO ABOUT IT?
We believe that God has opened the door for us to expand our ministry by working to remove barriers to education. In January 2020, we began building the Gospel-In-Action School where we can continue with the work of changing lives of up to 480 students, and their teachers by:
• Conforming to Malawi government regulations for education, while providing optimum learning conditions. Classes will retain a ratio of 1 teacher to every 20-30 students.
• Decreasing malnourishment by providing daily, nutritional breakfast and lunches for every student
• Providing each student with their own text books to further advance the learning process.
• Hiring qualified teachers, and compensating them with a fair living wage. We anticipate that this will allow us to retain solid teachers, and help the students continue to develop academically due to fewer changes within their classes.
• Providing a nursery/preschool as a trusted and safe place where any pre-school aged children of teachers can be lovingly cared for (at no charge) leaving them free to focus on their students for the school day. The nursery/preschool may also be a place where the younger siblings of our students can begin their journey of learning much earlier instead of staying home or being taken to the fields to work.
Our prayer is that the Gospel-In-Action School will be a place where children can thrive mentally and physically and where teachers will find a solid and stable working environment.