Students off to a great start.
The school year is off to a great start! All four forms of students are eager, settling and adjusting to busy life at Kuwala. The first of many lessons is teaching the Kuwala culture. These girls are beginning to value the schedule and structure of daily life on Campus.
They are instructed on daily grooming and how to take care of their belongings, Campus, and each other. The four pioneer girls that graduated last year and have come back to work at Kuwala are a big help as role models for the new students. They encourage the new students and demonstrate respect for authority, property and their peers. Finally, the new uniforms arrived, and the girls are so proud of the opportunity they have been given.
A Kuwala sponsorship to support a girl’s education is $125 per month or $1500 a year. It provides the necessary tools to keep a girl in school for a year. We have four complete classes at Kuwala and welcome new sponsors to support their education. They are working hard and learning better English and computer skills and will write a letter about themselves and their dreams for a brighter future. We will send each sponsor a letter and picture when they are ready.
A typical school day at Kuwala begins at 4:00 a.m. for preparation and study. Then, at 5:00 a.m., the girls are split into groups for general tidy-up cleaning of their hostel, classrooms, corridors and bathrooms.
There are ten 40-minute periods in the school day, where each Form or Class stays in their classroom, and the Teachers rotate from class to class to teach the lessons. There are a good number of subjects per day, including Agriculture, Biology, Bible Knowledge, Chemistry, Chichewa (the mother language in Malawi), Computer Studies, English, History, Life Skills, Social Studies, Physics, Geography and Social Studies. The teachers teach a maximum of two lessons per class and a total of six periods per day; this is planned in such a way as to allow the teachers time to review the student’s exercise books and prepare for other lessons.
All the students break together for tea at 10:00 a.m. and lunch at 12:40 p.m., allowing for significant interaction between all Forms. The school day ends at 3:40 p.m., where other activities or study time takes place before dinner time at 5:00 p.m. in the St Peter’s Assembly Hall, evening prayers and a 9:00 p.m. bedtime for a good night’s rest.
Outside of the school day, other activities are scheduled. The week starts on Monday with a general assembly with prayers and fellowship. The teachers make announcements to mark the beginning of the week. Extra classes follow the end of the day as teachers are available.
Tuesdays include a visit to the clinic to receive weekly iron tablets from the nurse for boosting their body immunity and blood content. It is a government program followed by all secondary schools.
On Wednesdays, all the girls participate in a campus work activity as community service. Gardening or general work around the Campus with teachers and support staff supervision.
On Thursdays and Saturdays, there are study circles planned from various topics relating to what they have learned in class. The girls are encouraged to participate and take notes on the discussion and challenges of the lesson content. There are unique exercise books provided that are marked by the teachers who provide feedback and extra support.
The school week ends on Friday with prayers, singing, and fellowship; the perfect ending to a productive week. Students then take a break and participate in club activities with the teacher patron. Kuwala has four Clubs; Mathematics, Science, Environment and Wildlife, and Debate and Writers. The weekends follow a similar schedule but include laundry, various sports practices, and a Sunday Chapel in St Peter’s Assembly Hall.
Mid-terms are here
The first Term is coming to an end. All the students completed the Mid-Term exams in November.
There are three terms in each school year, and at the halfway point of each term, there is a week where lessons are ceased and the teachers and students prep for mid-term exams in each subject. At the end of the exam week, the parents attend an evaluation Saturday. It is a scheduled day to visit, review and cheer on the girls. Representatives from the Kuwala Parent Teachers Association had the privilege of meeting with all the parents to introduce their role at the school. A good turnout from parents greatly encouraged the students and teachers.
The greening of the Campus
The Farm Manager, Innocent, is preparing and laying drip lines in the Greenhouse, preparing the beds for the new tomato seedlings.
The Greenhouse exterior has also undergone a transplanting of elephant grass and fruit trees to protect the structure from the strong winds that occur in Malawi. In addition, Innocent has developed a tree nursery to accommodate more growth and protection for the young trees.
Exterior final touches are being done on the Classroom block. The roof is going up on the grain mill house as the bags of maize are getting prepared for storage. Even the Water Pump is getting a new Water Pump house!
Meet the Head Chef at Kuwala, Mr. Phillius Kupeta
I started with Kuwala on October 10, 2022, as the new school year started. I am married and joined the cooking industry in Lilongwe in May 2007 at Alpine Caterers.
I went to Mziza Mission Secondary School, where I did not complete my senior year due to a lack of school fees. My team and I prepare meals daily for 132 students and staff. My first job is checking out the school menu and ordering the food items from Matron, who manages the food stores. As a cooking team, we share the duties of preparing the meals and ensuring the food is ready to be served 20 minutes before the students arrive in the dining hall. After each meal, we wash and clean the premises before preparing for the next meal. Kuwala provides a well-organized work environment, one with good communication and love and peace everywhere. I always feel happy seeing the students smiling when they begin serving meals and eating almost everything.
How the Malawian and Canadian boards work together
The Kuwala Management Team includes a few of our partners in Malawi. Memory and Henry from the Kuwala Board, Gabriel, the school accountant and Noel, the Head Teacher, meet once a month to provide updates and discuss current events at the Campus.
There is a discussion on construction progress, student academics, security, gardening, kitchen, and staffing. There is also a discussion on the update from our Canadian Board. Communication is vital, and weekly calls with our Canadian Board over Zoom® offer an encouraging way to connect. It is an opportunity for them to bless and encourage each other, support, question and keep themselves accountable to each other. Although we are 14,022 km and an 8-hour time change apart from each other; technology, and seeing a warm smile on a computer screen brings us together to get the work done and provide an exceptional education to so many girls with no other hope or option for life.
We are campaigning for Giving Tuesday, November 29! Follow us on social media, share our story with your families and friends, your church congregation and spread our story. We are thankful for your support!
Watch for exciting stories in our December newsletter, as two of our Board members will be in Malawi for the first week in December! After three long years away due to a world pandemic, we are excited to be putting our boots on the ground, meeting new students and staff and seeing first-hand the incredible progress that has taken place at Kuwala. In addition, we will dedicate our new buildings, attend meetings, meet the elders and families in the community and celebrate, pray and sing along with the Kuwala community during the Christmas program at the Campus!
Look for your posts on social media and give what you can. Visit Kuwala and click on the donate button or go directly to CanadaHelps to donate.
The past month’s work continued on the staff housing, the second classroom block, a new water pump house, and the mill house to secure the maize grinder.
Be sure to visit the Kuwala website for more stories about what’s happening.
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