|The Pilot project
are well aware that many organisations are actively contributing to resolve the education and school problem in Malawi. Usually this is done through qualified personnel, new
construction and provision of funds. Our approach is insofar different as it targets at the local level of society in the sense of Gandhi's "grassroots level". More precisely speaking,
our project shall be carried out through volunteering together with the local people from the very beginning.
Basic idea is to visit Malawi again and again with a small group of young adults (minimum 18 years old) for two or three weeks at a time in order to assist
reconstruction and further development through volunteer work in close contact with the local people. For this purpose, we also aim at finding one or
several partner schools in Germany so that after each trip the experience can be passed
down to the subsequent class level. Thus, in the framework of a school project we could achieve continuity.
From the very beginning, our
pilot project aimed at reconstruction and further development of a kindergarten and primary school in the immediate proximity of the villages Canada Camp / Landscape on the land of the
Nature's Gift permaculture farm. Seamless continuation of operations after closing down the old school could not be achieved. However, as early as April
2012 we could re-open the first nursery class, and the second one in May 2014; altogether 60 kids are taken care of at Kumbali Kindergarten now.
The third stage - primary school - is envisaged for 2016, in order to give sufficient time for consolidation of operations and to avoid overburdening
Main tasks for the volunteers during the next assignments largely depend
on the progress of the ongoing reconstruction; for details see "Volunteer with us".
Our partner's contributions
According to a service agreement concluded on 6th September 2011, our local partner
provides the facilities required for the operations of the Kumbali Kindergarten including classroom(s), toilets, drinking water supply and a playground.
The facilities were established on the contractor's property through construction of new and/or upgrading of existing structures; toilets and playground are
still under construction. Our local partner shall not charge any service fee but be refunded the actual cost for building materials and casual labour upto
a certain amount. The agreement is made for an undisclosed period of time and cannot be terminated before 31 December 2016.
Objectives for Malawi
of any activity in a developing country depends on many factors. Population growth and age structure of Malawi doubtless require a
change of existing conditions as a precondition for an acceptable future and preservation of domestic peace. However, we definitely
do not intend to contribute to a transformation along European lines but rather for the short term remedy a deficiency compromising
the future chances of our village children. The involvement of the villagers from the very beginning shall enable them to pursue the project
idea on their own after some time. Accordingly, the kindergarten is not an establishment of our association but operated as self-contained institution though
under the association's initial supervision. The cooperation with the volunteers shall give the locals a chance to see into a different approach and
motivate them to more purposeful and sustainable action. We are well aware that this is a difficult and protracted process and must be
approached warily. As a sample may serve the fact that nowadays a chicken found dead for unknown reasons is being plucked and prepared
anyway - "that's part of our culture". Persuasion is pointless in such cases but experience may show - for example when the children's infection
rate drops after improvement of hygienic conditions at the new kindergarten. In this way, our pilot project may become a model project in the medium
term and thus effect more than the proverbial drop in the ocean.
Our volunteers will have a good chance to enhance their experience of life through
certain at least a part of the volunteers will further keep contact and maintain friendship with Malawi and pass on the project idea to others.
Thus, they will contribute not only to the continuity of the project but in general to cultural exchange and international understanding.
- An expansion of their horizon,
- An understanding of a different culture,
- Confidence building,
- Forming friendships and social networking,
- Improved language ability,
- A sense of accomplishment,
- Learning and experiencing permaculture,
- Team spirit.