Reflections on a meaningful school year
The first graduating class shared many academic accomplishments, spiritual growth and community-building accomplishments, and the campus marks significant improvements this year. In addition, we gathered a few reflective messages from the students on their past school year.
In Malawi, school breaks for the last few weeks of September, allowing for a time of rest and recharge. Then, the students return home for a few weeks, and the teachers and staff take holidays. We say goodbye to the Form 4 students that graduated and will now start a new chapter in their lives. However, Kuwala initiated an Alumni database to keep track of our first group of students. A few graduating students have been given work opportunities at Kuwala to support the Alumni database.
On September 10th, Kuwala completed another series of entrance exams for potential new students in Form 2 through Form 4 to fill in the Class rosters. The girls, with their parents, attended a tour, were introduced to Kuwala’s code of conduct and instructions were given on the commitment required for their daughter to attend Kuwala. The event ended with a luncheon and many smiling and happy faces! The new Form 4 girls, starting at Kuwala, went through a bridging program and are delighted to have completed the program to finish their last secondary school year at Kuwala. There is a constant demand for girls wanting to receive an education in Malawi. Hundreds and hundreds of girls line up for the chance at an interview, and the need we see is from girls and parents everywhere. Kuwala can only select from a handful of villages and districts around Kuwala. The demand is vast; Kuwala is quickly becoming very well-known and a shining beacon of light for so many girls without any other option for education.
Our very own Kuwala students’ reflect on the 2022 school year
Jessy’s highlight of her graduating year was participating in sports activities, her lessons in class and, of course, her Graduation! She has learned to be humble, to be respectful and not to be lazy. She is proud of her accomplishment of learning to speak English and values the opportunity to pray, work hard and the importance of planting trees for a better environment. Jessy is ready to succeed in agriculture and farming enterprises.
Sandrah enjoyed making new friends with her class and the new girls arriving in Form 2; saying goodbye was one thing she will keep as a highlight of her year. Kuwala has taught her in life that nothing is for free. She values the lessons on how to set goals, work hard, have good manners and never look down on herself. Sandrah values the knowledge that Love is the essential thing in life and respecting everyone regardless of age or background. She is proud to have finished her secondary school education and become a good leader; to engage in business opportunities in Agriculture.
Praise was grateful to receive free uniforms while she attended Kuwala and to have a special Graduation in Form 4. She also values the opportunity to plant trees and learn to type on a computer. She is proud of her accomplishments of good computer skills and better English. Her favourite subjects of History and Agriculture have given her the ability to think deeper and appreciate farming activities. She has learned to humble herself and work hard.
Campus Kuwala forms the first Parent Teachers Association (PTA)
The school formed a Parent Teachers Association (PTA) to link parents and students to the School Management. Within the committee are a chairperson, vice-chairperson, treasurer, vice-treasurer and members. We also have the school acting headteacher serving as the secretary. The committee will meet once a term when the parents come to Kuwala for visiting day. The members determined that the following duties and responsibilities will guide their work through the first general PTA meeting.
- Assessing the performance of learners and suggesting ways of improvement.
- Evaluating learners’ results for end-of-term and national examinations and having post-evaluation activities.
- Implementing teachers’ performance appraisals and looking into their welfare.
- Assessing the teachers’ classroom performance and delivery.
- Organizing some short workshops and in-service training for the teachers.
- Awarding staff performance at National examinations.
- Reviewing school discipline issues for both staff and students.
- Linking up with the surrounding communities.
- Assessing the school infrastructures regarding usage and students’ safety.
- Looking for an outside partner to help run the committee’s affairs.
The community involvement will bring strong support and encouragement to everyone at Kuwala.
Another new school year begins in October!
New students + new uniforms + new learning = future leaders and generations of change.
We hope you have enjoyed our monthly newsletters and reading about the remarkable stories from the field. You will have seen that we have expanded our student base to complete the secondary school requirement of students in all classes from Form 1 through Form 4. Kuwala has completed more buildings, bought some farmland and is growing, planting and learning. Educating a girl is a rewarding undertaking; it costs money to keep a program growing.
We have intentionally focused on developing the level of learning we provide to best equip our students for future success. In addition to traditional Secondary School classes, we are working on expanding vocational programs to include agriculture, wood and metal working, along with other programs that will help our students with practical skills. We also have full-time nursing support on campus and continue building our technology training. Malawi is dealing with the impact of inflation, and recently, the Government has devalued the Kwacha by 25%.
Many of you sponsor our student’s with an annual donation of $1200 or $100 per month and we are very thankful for the growing number of scholarship sponsors.
We ask that you consider increasing your student sponsorship donation to $125.00 a month or $1500.00 a year to help us keep up with inflation and the program growth necessary to give our students a complete secondary school education. We are thankful for your prayers and financial support. You are truly making a difference in a girl’s life at Kuwala.
Construction continues at a good pace! It is encouraging to see the staff housing taking shape, as this is a significant and vital part of the community. As Kuwala is in a remote area, the travel distance for teachers and staff to work at the school is challenging. However, our goal and commitment to providing housing for all the teachers at Kuwala are becoming a reality.
The first staff duplex is near completion; the inside walls are complete with a process of lime plaster. It reduces the chance that moisture can become trapped, causing dampness; it allows the wall to breathe. The next step will be the roof construction, complete with metal trusses. The second staff duplex has begun excavation and is at the foundation stage.
The second classroom block is also near completion; it is an impressive structure with steel trusses ready to be installed for the roof.
The Maize mill building is at the ring beam level, and this is the horizontal beam that runs along the top of the wall to provide more structural support. The wiring has been done, and this fantastic structure will be complete with a tin roof, steel frames and double wooden doors. Malawi is currently struggling with constant daily power outages for long periods. As a result, many villagers walk incredibly long distances to get to a maize mill. However, there is no way to know that once they arrive, there will be power and that the maize mill is in operation. Building a maize mill at Kuwala will make the school more self-sufficient. This building also becomes a welcome addition to the community.
Harvesting of onions
We have reported on the success of the 2nd greenhouse with a bumper crop of tomatoes but we have not decommissioned the first greenhouse. We continue to to use this space to grow onions. We have learned a lot from the first greenhouse and all the lessons learned have been incorporated into the second larger greenhouse. Some of these lessons learned were employing local manufacturing to improve quality and cost, and better overall materials of construction. The benefits are many: Kuwala’s campus becomes more self-sufficient, and is also a plein-air style working classroom for the students to study and practice agriculture.
Be sure to visit the Kuwala website for more stories about what’s happening.
A print version of this newsletter with a new look can be found on our website under Stories, newsletters.
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