Over the course of 2015 to 2020, the Love Support Unite Africa Foundation will develop, plan and implement the construction of the first entirely self-sustainable school in Malawi, Mkunkhu School. The first of its kind, the Love Support Unite Foundation’s flagship project seeks to promote community, economic and social development through co-operative enterprise.
This is the first step in a much larger scheme: to develop a low-cost, sustainable prototype. A replicable model of positive change.
According to UNESCO, only 46% of children in Malawi who attend will successfully complete primary education.
“A school should not only be a training ground for later life, but a place where life is lived.”
Most children in Malawi are not lucky enough to recieve an education. Where education is provided then it is only to the age of 10 so most children leave school at this age. Girls often get married in their early teens and have their own familly.
According to UNESCO, Malawi has a total of 4.5m pupils enrolled in primary and secondary education. Of these pupils, about 3.7m (83%) are enrolled in primary education. In Malawi, 11% of children of official primary school ages are out of school, with poorer children most likely to fall into this category. Based on educational attainment of 15 – 24 year olds in 2010, 5% received no education at all, 57% failed to complete primary school, 11% studied until the end of primary school, 19% attended secondary school but failed to complete their secondary education, 7% completed secondary education and 1% studied beyond secondary level.
Located in the rural region near Lilongwe Airport, the fifteen villages in the Mkunkhu School’s catchment area are amongst the poorest in Malawi. When we first encountered Mkunkhu, the school’s population stood at approximately 600 pupils with just 3 teachers. Two teachers had recently left due to starvation and the remaining teachers were attempting to teach class sizes of up to 200 students at a time in two extremely dilapidated classroom spaces.
How we work
Investing in Community
Throughout the project’s development, we have continuously employed a local workforce and utilised regional construction techniques and materials while working closely in partnership with the School Committee and local officials. Built using local construction techniques and materials, our approach integrates innovative design into a recognisable cultural framework
In keeping with this central ethos our development plan over the next five years will:
- Provide infrastructure through the provision of 4 school blocks offering education to over 800 children. We will also provide accommodation with 7 teachers houses. As currently volunteer teachers walk over 4 hours a day to school.
- Provide education: The Malawian education system has been turbulent to say the least as an outdated teacher training system attempts to meet the demand for a rising population, where 1 teacher to 200 children is the norm. We will be working alongside the government to introduce a skill share programme called Teach a Teacher where UK headteachers to raise the teaching standard and work towards reform of the education system.
Looking Towards The Future
Thus far, the Love Support Unite Foundation has funded its flagship project entirely independently through events and individual fundraising.
With your help we can lift this whole community out of poverty
- Approximately 800 children every year will receive a high standard of education
- Each pupil will have at least one full, nutritious meal per day
- We can provide housing, food and formal training for our entire teaching faculty
- Provision of clean water for an entire community
- Small business start up – helping people to help themselves
- Further education and skills to operate in the modern world
- Revenue for the school not to rely on handouts
- Medical assistance, advice, treatment and prevention
- Nursery care and education to mothers
- Nutrition – with outside classroom
- An education and the protection every child deserves.
- Provides a vision of a secure future for children and their future families
- Direct impact on women’s education and empowerment, another cornerstone of development
- The knock on effects of decrease in population growth as women see a future not dependent on having big families
- Providing skills to run small and medium sized businesses
- Prospects of greater socio-economic development and growth
- £50 provides basic furniture such as chairs and desks for a class of 70 students
- £100 provides computer-learning resources for up to 150 children
- £500 provides teaching materials for up to 1000 pupils
- £1,000 builds a teacher’s house at the school, meaning they can plan lessons and teach at night using our solar power
- £5,000 sends our teachers on teacher training courses improve education standards and proliferating knowledge
How you can get involved
We believe in partnerships and the power of connection. By working together and through creating opportunities which benefit individuals, organisations communities and influence global trends and policies we succeed in empowering communities in poverty.