Kuwala and the Community – Employment, Education and Paying it Forward
Rural villages surround Kuwala Christian Girls Secondary School, and we are excited to employ so many people from the local surrounding areas, including security personnel, cooks, groundskeepers, a plumber, an electrician, teachers, a nurse and administration. Initially built on 30 hectares of land, the school campus has grown to over 60 hectares and includes gardens, orchards, a maize mill, a sports field, housing and many hectares of farmland.
The students at Kuwala are learning to give back to their communities. The gift of education and the opportunity to teach continues beyond the campus perimeter; the younger village children come to Kuwala on Wednesdays to learn. Our field team tells us that the number of pupils coming to Kuwala to learn is increasing, and a more significant number of the attendees are young girls. This month, the children are learning the alphabet and calendar months. Allowing them to learn and speak English while young, these weekly lessons will give them a jump start and a more substantial base for when they attend primary school. They are also learning the disciplines of respect, cooperation, structure, and time management, but most importantly, the meaning of giving back, looking out for one another, sharing, and being good citizens.
Around the Campus
At the end of October, the girls had written their midterm exams, and in November, the first assessment and information day took place. Parents arrived at the school for their first review with their daughters. The number of parents attending is encouraging; they are truly vested in their daughter’s education and make every effort to attend. The teachers and administration take this opportunity to discuss each student’s success and the subjects that require more work and extra study. Parents review their daughter’s grades in the plan, so each student excels at school and home.
To some students, visiting day is a family reunion; younger sisters arrive to see their only sister, who has made it to one of Malawi’s few secondary schools. Sunday at Kuwala is Chapel time in the morning, and then—new— this year, the students participate in an afternoon study session in Mathematics. The teachers prepare lessons beforehand, and the students gather in groups to study. Those who are more advanced provide mentorship for those needing more help, and together, the learning and practice help in understanding the concepts, not only in mathematics but also in physics and chemistry. Before the new school year began, the teachers participated in workshops with other top schools that provided several new teaching strategies. The students quickly grasp these strategies, and the skills and teaching methods significantly improve student learning and application of the curriculum. Teachers assess the students every four weeks, and the top groups earn rewards.
Secondary School Quiz Competition
The students have joined a new initiative organized by headteachers in 6 other Secondary schools in the area. The Quiz competition, which will run throughout the year, allows the students to group with other students in 4 teams that will compete in an academic quiz competition. This opportunity will improve the student’s academic performance and provide growth in teamwork and socialization.
My name is Vanessa; I am in Form 4 and joined Kuwala in 2022. My family has six children: five boys and one girl. I am the third born in my family. Both my parents are primary school teachers. I chose Kuwala because it’s only for girls and I want to pass exams with good points. The teachers are cooperative and hard-working. I enjoy meals, shows and the community. After Form 4, I want to continue at the University level and have a good job.
The activities I enjoy at Kuwala are sports, chess, planting trees, debate club and quizzes. I like praying, studying, chatting with my friends and having discussions. I do math practice when I am not in class. When I go home, when waiting for results, I will plant trees, conserve the environment and help teachers at a nearby school. My remarkable moments at Kuwala are Christmas dinner and sports day.
Vanessa spent one-afternoon solving problems in Physics on the topic of linear motion. She was happy to have the resources in the library to research but not entirely convinced. Her research continued with more from the internet using Starlink. Vanessa and the students at Kuwala are grateful for the incredible resources offered through the support and commitment of people like you.
Sports Days and the opportunity to win the Director’s Trophy
Kuwala always encourages a healthy lifestyle, and one way to achieve this is through the interaction of both indoor and outdoor sports. Kuwala has a regular sports calendar but has added something more exciting and motivating for the students to award the winning team a Director’s Trophy near the end of the year!
At the beginning of the school year, the teachers divided students into four groups of girls of all grades, and a teacher was assigned to mentor, manage, and coach each team. Scheduled activities happen throughout the year, and the competition will be exciting! Kuwala constructed a new path to the sports field that will remain dry from the rains and provide a picturesque running track to the area.
First significant Sports Day of the year as Kuwala hosts Access High School
Sports Day follows the week after mid-term exams—students can relax and unwind before returning to their studies. Kuwala welcomed students from Access High School to join in their Sports Day. The day was beautiful, with activities including volleyball, soccer, netball, chess, checkers and bawo, a traditional Malawi board game.
2023 National Secondary Schools Science and Innovation Fair
Congratulations to the Kuwala students, Doreen and Casey were presenters at the annual Kamuzu Academy National Science and Innovation Fair in Lilongwe. The National School Science Fair is an opportunity to celebrate the brilliance of young minds. Students from different secondary schools showcased their remarkable projects in various fields at Kamuzu Academy.
The objectives of this event are:
- Encourage creativity and innovation among students.
- Encourage a positive attitude toward Science.
- Understand climate change and associated problems, then devise mitigation measures.
- Encourage students to apply scientific knowledge in solving pertinent issues in their communities and take the lead in suggesting solutions.
- Encourage the production of easily scalable projects.
Students researched and presented their design of a water-driven irrigation pump for sustainable energy technologies to several key people: the Minister of Education and Chairperson for the National Council of Science and Technology, and the United Nations Development Programme representative. Our students need exposure and external learning to challenge themselves to achieve their brightest potential and see more of the world outside rural Malawi. The project received an award in the Energy category. Doreen and Casey will be excited to share their success and experiences with their classmates.
Construction always continues with impressive progress.
Kuwala is building an impressive workshop on campus that will equip the students with all the tools and learning materials to learn various trades: carpentry, welding, and woodworking. Supply change delays are still a challenge, and all construction projects are taking longer to complete, but the future looks bright at Kuwala; the campus is moving in the right direction, becoming fully autonomous and providing some avenues for the students to become entrepreneurs, small business owners, or farmers of the future. The commitment, hard work and perseverance of the teachers, staff, administration, students and communities is providing a bright future for Kuwala.
Innocence (farm manager) tills, the farmland and the anthills are flattened, with that soil used as manure. An application of lime is underway in areas to neutralize where the acidity is too high.
The newest duplex roofing is almost complete; the construction crew is laying the concrete in the workshop, installing the last solar project, and technicians are adjusting the settings. The 40 panels are grouped into tens, and each of the ten panels is connected to positive and negative cables—pathways for the wires connected to the batteries in the control room. The batteries are “smart” and are combined to form a computer-like network. This network will help identify any battery that is not working. The inverters installed will convert direct current, DC electricity from the batteries into alternating current, AC power. They also installed UPS (Uninterruptible Power Supply) and a Solar Inverter power system. This system will provide backup power, protecting the equipment from damage in the event of a grid power failure.
The new water reservoir is adding and extending the irrigation for the garden near the water tower, where tomatoes and fruit trees are growing. Some of the mango trees are bearing fruit.
Giving Tuesday, November 28, 2023
Giving Tuesday is a day that encourages people to give back in whatever ways they can. Here is how you can help support Kuwala.
- Please donate to a student with the gift of education to lift her from a cycle of poverty.
- Please donate to the workshop to educate girls in a trade to support her in a small business venture.
- Please donate to the science lab to educate girls to become nurses, farmers and teachers.
- Please donate to the Farm at Kuwala to expand the gardens, house the livestock and support communities with life-sustaining crops and food.
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