They come to school barefoot. Sometimes their clothes are tattered. Yet, they come. The children of Malawi are just like children everywhere. They are hungry to learn. Yet, they face challenges that many other children don’t face. Often no paper, no pencils, 150 students to a single teacher, parents that cannot read or write themselves. All of this makes becoming a good student more difficult.
To make a difference churches in the new Church Empowerment Zone have taken up the challenge. So far, they have started 14 new preschools to help students become better prepared for school. To help them get a head start. To help ready them so that they do not become discouraged. To give them hope.
The churches have not only started the schools, they have hired teachers. They have been granted land from village Chiefs. They have recruited mothers to feed children lunch. They have planted Maize to provide ongoing financial resources for the schools.
Working with Fishers, Trainers and Senders (FTS), Y-Malawi is providing much needed support. Each school is visited regularly and provided teaching resources, chalkboards, paper, pencils, and learning aids. Teachers have been trained and are being coached during visits regarding the latest methods to help children learn.
It’s a partnership of community, Village Church, FTS and Y-Malawi that is working. More churches are planning schools. Some even hope to expand beyond the preschool level. One church leader said, “We thought of what our community needed most. We decided on schooling for our children that could make a difference. We did not know how it could be done, we only knew to try. But now it has been done. Our children are schooling. They are happy, we are happy.”