Sunday, April 15, 2012

More Mpondasi School Pictures

I hope you enjoy these pictures!! To see the rest of the pictures go here

Nasiyaya School Picture!!!

Here are the pictures from the Nasiyaya school.

 Children with their porridge mugs underneath the feeding sign at Nasiyaya Primary!

Volunteer cooks by the rocket stoves in the temporary kitchen shelter at Nasiyaya

Children gathered around the porridge pot to get every last bit of Likuni Phala!

A class of children being taught by Mrs Storey (Headteacher) in a temporary outdoor classroom

The classroom block at Nasiyaya Primary, with two classrooms inside

This is the letter I received from Mary's Meals:
Nasiyaya Primary School
Blantyre District, Southern Malawi

Sponsored by Allison Ockenfels and friends in Iowa

School information:

Your school is located in the southern district of Blantyre.

Nasiyaya Primary School currently has 708 children enrolled, out of which there are 357 girls and 351 boys. Your school is situated on the top of a hill about ten kilometers off the tarmac road outside Limbe, making it a very rural school.

There are ten teachers but at the moment they only have two classrooms at Nasiyaya School, which is not enough space to tech the number of children enrolled. UNICEF is at the moment building more classrooms for the children and staff at your school and they will also build teachers accommodation.

Nasiyaya Primary has a borehole for water access and the children have ten sports balls to play with!
The feeding program:

Feeding is organized by the Head teacher who sets up a Mary's Meals Committee with the guidance of the Mary’s Meals staff in Malawi. In rural areas like where Nasiyaya School is located, a committee member from each of the nearby villages will mobilise a team from their village. Each team will then cook one day a fortnight. 

Volunteers often arrive at the school as early as 5am to start fetching water, getting the pots ready and then start cooking.  A vat of porridge takes about three hours to cook on a rocket stove. They then put the porridge in buckets before serving to stop the children crowding around the hot stoves and serve. The volunteers stay on to wash the pots and put away the stoves, finishing about 2pm.  This is a big commitment and the whole scheme would not be possible without the dedication of the volunteer cooks.

Primary Education in Malawi:

All children in Malawi are entitled to free primary education. Children are allowed to start Primary School at the age of 6. As many births are not registered, the age of a child is often decided by checking if the child can touch their ear with their opposite hand over their head - a developmental indicator.  If the child is able follow that instruction they are considered old enough to enroll in Primary School.
The two national languages in Malawi are Chichewa and English. Children in Standard 1-4 are taught in Chichewa while also learning English. In years 5-8 they switch to lessons being taught in English with the addition of Chichewa classes.  The curriculum includes English, Chichewa, Maths, Life Skills and Agriculture.  The Malawian Government has a target of no more than 60 pupils per class, something most schools are not currently able to achieve.

Mary’s Meals at Nasiyaya Primary School:

Mary’s Meals began feeding at Nasiyaya Primary in October 2011. With the fantastic support of Allison and Friends in Iowa, we are continuing to provide every child here with a mug of the nutritious Likuni Phala porridge every day!

Enrollment has increased as the School Mother's Group has been going around the villages finding children who are not enrolled and telling them to get into school.  Children are also coming from other nearby schools (which also get Mary's Meals) because of the quality of the teaching and smaller class sizes at Nasiyaya School.

Below is a table of enrollment rates, starting one year before feeding began. As you can see enrollment has been rising since feeding started:

Enrollment rates
2011 (feeding started)

The school also report that more children have been sitting their exams in 2011 compared to 2010. In 2010, 22 children took their Standard 8 Exams (children can sit these at the end of Primary School) and in 2011 this went up to 40 children.

I’m sure you’ll agree that the rise in enrollment and in the number of children sitting their exams is great news!

On behalf of everyone at Mary’s Meals and especially on behalf of the children at Nasiyaya Primary School, we would like to extend a very warm thank you for your wonderful generosity and kindness.

What you are doing for these children is truly life changing – thank you!