Keeping connected across 14,000 kilometres.
It’s been a few years since the first shovels went into the ground on a piece of land in rural Malawi. Today, not only does Kuwala have the infrastructure, a complete water and sewer system, electricity, solar power, well-constructed buildings on a spacious campus, sixty girls attending school, five teachers and staff, a greenhouse producing vegetables and an orchard bearing fruit. How do we manage all of this halfway around the globe?
Commitment, Communication and Technology.
The answer is through technology using Zoom® calls and WhatsApp®, we can work virtually, hand in hand, side by side with our partners in Malawi. Weekly, our Canadian Board members connect with our Malawian partners, on a Sunday morning, with a seven-hour time difference, to discuss the school’s progress. From construction updates, the current Covid19 pandemic situation, and the staff and students’ well-being is the call’s focus. Also, schedules are determined, budgets reviewed, and an overall sense of well-being and reassurance while connecting face-to-face with our partners on the ground in Malawi.
Once a month, our Communication Volunteer team connects via WhatsApp with the school’s Headteacher to discuss the content for the monthly newsletter. It is through these discussions that engaging stories and accomplishments are shared. Our Headteacher captures through photography life on the campus and sends them to our Director of Digital Presence. The pictures and videos you see every month are a result of those fantastic stories.
Our Malawian Board members meet once a quarter and feel empowered to work alongside us, make decisions, and trust to administer the programs and construction projects. They are our eyes, ears, hands and feet on the ground.
We can share our story through our monthly newsletter, social media platforms, website, YouTube channel and connect with our donors and sponsors. Together, we can truly make a difference, build a better future, and change the lives and communities for generations to come.
Around the world, May was a chance to celebrate Mothers.
English is the official language in Malawi. The girls speak English while at school, and the teachers have developed creative ways to expand their vocabulary. Creative writing, singing and storytelling have been exciting ways to achieve great results. The celebration of Mother’s Day was an excellent opportunity for the girls to practice writing. Matron Nancy and Teacher Grace are two of the female role models on campus. They are there to support, encourage and guide the girls during their time at school. The Mothers of the students at Kuwala are also very proud of their daughters and continuously motivate them to achieve a better life, impacting their future.
Getting to know the Kuwala staff.
Meet Nancy Nkhoma
In her own words, “I am the School Matron at Kuwala Christian Girls School. I am so happy to work at Kuwala and to have a job helping my fellow Malawian girls. These girls would not be able to afford education of such quality and standard offered at Kuwala. My day-to-day work activities include managing student affairs, supervising the kitchen and the food store, helping with the construction stores and working as a cashier.”
Getting to know the students.
In her own words, “Hello, I have one sister and one brother. I wanted to go to secondary school to achieve my goals of one day being a Director of a girl’s school like Madam Mdyetseni. My family was so happy and proud of me, to go and continue my education. My favourite learning activity at Kuwala is computer skills, math and learning English. I also enjoy sewing and planting trees.”
Keliter continues, “I enjoy living on campus because I have more time for studies, discussions with my friends, and asking questions to teachers after classes. I enjoy attending storytelling sessions as it improves my listening skills and my knowledge of understanding. I also attend Church services to help me grow spiritually and correct my mistakes after hearing the preaching. I enjoy playing soccer, acting, praying and reading books.”
Look for our 2020 Annual Report scheduled for release in June. We will be launching the report with a Zoom call, around the middle of the month.
Be sure to visit the Kuwala website for more stories about what’s happening. A print version of this newsletter can be found on our website under Stories/newsletters.