LSU developed the first entirely Sustainable School feeding programme between 2014-2017 at Mkunkhu School; the flagship project sought to reduce the impact of poverty and hunger on education and attendance, as well as to promote community, economic and social development in the area.
‘With nutrition there can be education, and with education there can be nutrition’. LSU built a school kitchen helped the community build 3 school blocks, 3 teacher houses, installed solar power and cultivated the school land using permaculture so it feeds 450 children daily, sustainably, adult literacy classes twice a week, medical outreach monthly and mother and infant health classes.
At Mkunkhu, LSU piloted the Teach to Teach peer-training program, which is now delivered as a teacher workshop encouraging a catered approach to different learning styles and abilities.
LSU runs 5 adult literacy centres in 5 areas, as education was not free 20 years ago many people over 20 years old are illiterate, meaning they can not run sucessful business or support their children's education. By offering free courses for 1 year the participants are given a second change at education, its value and encourage and support the next generation.
Throughout its projects, LSU educates communities on nutrition and permaculture, whilst vocational and business education facilitates enterprise-creation, leading to food security and income generation, keeping children in school and achieving.
“A school should not only be a training ground for later life, but a place where life is lived.”
As Malawi’s population continues to boom, around 45% are under 14yrs old, though school life expectancy is only 11yrs old. 92% of teenagers and adults in Malawi missed their chance for further education.
29% of children aged 5-14 are engaged in child labour, revealing the impact of agriculture on learning, as children are sent to work in the fields during the growing season.
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 LSU arrived at 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
The Sustainable School, now fully self-sufficient, feeds the 450 pupils daily from the school farm and kitchen. Surplus crops pay for materials and LSU provides mentoring.
The Teach to Teach workshop improves teaching standards by encouraging a catered approach to learning. LSU funds 8 volunteer teachers from Mkunkhu to complete their education and teacher training.
Adult Literacy and computing classes are given by LSU in three areas, including Mkunkhu.
At Tilinanu Orphange, 34 girls are sponsored through secondary education and university, or can receive a scholarship to Tilinanu Vocational Centre.
The Mother-Baby Wellbeing course teaches healthcare, sanitation, nutrition and baby massage over 6-weeks in 3 areas.
Business and permaculture training are given alongside 0% microloans, to create Sustainable Family Futures.
Looking Towards The Future
Thus far, the Love Support Unite Foundation has funded its flagship project entirely independently through events and individual fundraising.
- Teach To Teach workshops will expand into 2 new zones, reaching 30 schools in 2018.
- LSU will continue mentoring the school committee at Mkunkhu Sustainable School through self-sufficiency.
- At least 25 more Sustainable Family Futures will be created through education, enterprise & nutrition.
- Medical Outreach will turn the focus towards HIV/AIDs prevention and birth control through education and awareness, working towards sustainable health.
- Nursery care and wellbeing education will be provided for more mothers by the Nurture Ambassadors.
- Mkunkhu Sustainable School feeds 450 children daily from the school farm. Attendance has increased by 30% since 2016.
- 150 students studying carpentry, computing, tailoring, and engineering, involving business training. It is self-sustainable and profits also help to sustain Tilinanu Orphanage.
- Teach To Teach workshops delivered to 35 teachers, reaching 30 new schools in 2018.
- Free Adult Literacy & computing classes delivered to 300 people across 3 areas.
- Over 100 people given business training as part of projects to develop enterprise.
- Mother-baby Wellbeing classes been given to over 200 women.
- 10 vulnerable families given permaculture & business training alongside 0% micro-loans over 2 years. All have so far quadrupled their yields.
- £20 can fund a Mother and Baby through our Wellbeing course
- £50 can provide basic furniture such as chairs and desks for a class of 70 students
- £100 can provide computer-learning resources for up to 150 children
- £200 a year can educate a child at Tilinanu Orphanage
- £300 can fund an adult literacy class and trainer for a month
- £500 can provide teaching materials for up to 1000 pupils
- £1,000 can build a teacher’s house
- £3000 can buy books for an entire school of 600 pupils
- £5,000 can fund a teacher through teacher training college
- £10 000 can build a school block
- £200 000 can create a Sustainable School
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.