Keen eyed Cycle of Good supporters, will have spotted that on all our product labels it says “all the money we make pays for childcare and non-profit social enterprise in Malawi”, we thought we would tell you a little more about what that means and what we’re up to in Malawi right now.
Even at the best of times, despite a lot of hard work and good will, it’s tough to get a good education in Malawi, especially if you’re one of the 70% who live on less than $2 per day. We work in Chilomoni township on the outskirts of Blantyre in Malawi, there are approximately 27,000 children of primary school age in Chilomoni. National Statistics show that more than 6% are out of school, and many more do not complete primary education due to varying factors; from overcrowded learning environments to early pregnancies, to the effects of poverty and the pressure to help the family at home.
Since 2007 we’ve been working with our partners Beehive Centre for Social Enterprise to establish a campus of lifelong learning. So far we’ve been working at the two ends of the education spectrum, helping early-years to have the best possible start in life and also providing vocational skills training such as IT and Tailoring to young adults.
The Mother Teresa Children’s Centre (MTCC) houses our early years and community support projects. It is the first of its kind in Malawi to be based on the UK Sure Start Model, centered around learning through play. We have sponsored international volunteers over the years, to help train local staff. MTCC currently has 143 children in daycare and 88 staff. It has helped support over 10,000 children since its opening.
Community outreach programmes extend the reach of the nursery beyond its four walls. A Family Support Team works with vulnerable families in the area and helps support them through home visits, parenting programmes and feeding programmes. An Extended School Workers Team works with local schools to help support the learning of school-age children in Chilomoni.
This foundation prepares children to be creative independent learners and sets them up to be leaders of the future. But then when they leave the centre to attend local primary schools, they often find themselves in class sizes of up to 120 children with just one teacher. With very few facilities and even fewer resources, it’s not exactly an inspiring learning environment.
With your support, we’re changing this!
The sale of Cycle of Good recycled gifts helps to fund a team of architects, engineers, and builders who are creating an international-standard school right in the heart of Chilomoni. Every wallet, bag, and purse sold helps to pay for special compacted earth “hydra-form” blocks, which use hardly any cement. The blocks are steadily going up to create a quality learning environment that will help children to learn and develop in class sizes of no more than 30 children, we’re aiming to open the school in September 2021, oh and did we mention it’s solar-powered!?
Supported by well trained teachers who have access to books, technology, musical instruments, art materials and sporting equipment; we believe that these children will have every chance to become the architects, engineers, artists, musicians, leaders and politicians of the future.
With your help Cycle of Good is creating a truly life-changing circular economy. We collect waste materials, create jobs in Malawi turning them into great recycled products, and sell them to fund amazing projects like this life-changing school.