Maidenhead Rotary Club is supporting the final phase of a school building programme in Malawi to help break the cycle of poverty in one of the poorest countries in the world.
The club’s international committee is donating £500 to The Mlambe Project to finish construction of two new classrooms at Chikoleka Primary School. It will enable 120 more children to be taught indoors each year – benefiting 3,000 disadvantaged girls and boys over the next 25 years.
More than half of the people in Malawi survive below the poverty line with a quarter living in extreme poverty. Poor education leaves communities in a relentless cycle of poverty. Half of the children do not finish primary school and UNICEF estimates the country lacks 36,000 primary school classrooms – meaning many children have to learn outside.
The Mlambe Project builds schools using local resources with the aim of improving the quality of education and creating sustainable local employment and skills development.
It is pioneering the Earthbag construction method, which uses filled bags of soil and is a cost-efficient, faster and more sustainable alternative to building with bricks.
International committee chairman Graham Brunsden said: “The Mlambe project provides infrastructure and support for junior education in Malawi. The particular project, to which we have committed £500, is towards the completion of two new classrooms in a primary school. They use sustainable methods of construction and local resources, which is another plus.
“Improving the education of young children in Malawi is surely cost-effective. As well as economic benefits, an educated person should be better able to make informed choices concerning population control and environmental issues. These affect us all.”