From 15th to 31st July 2016, 20 TGS students, Mrs Twinam and Mrs Ayling will be visiting Malawi to undertake an exciting project organised by Inspire Worldwide. Throughout the fortnight, we will help to build a school, get to know people in the village, learn about the local culture and go on a short safari. However, the project has already begun; from now until next July we aim to raise a minimum of £5000 between us.
This amount will fund the school building, labour, future teaching and resources, making the project sustainable and invaluable for the community. Any extra fundraising will provide a stronger education for the children whose families we will meet next summer. Everyone taking part is aware that the experience will be far from a holiday, and that being able to raise as high an amount as possible will make the school building even more beneficial for a longer amount of time. The previous TGS group to go to Malawi, in 2014, built a school which was able to withstand heavy flooding in 2015 and served as a life-saving shelter for the village.
Information about the project
Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world and around 25% of men and 55% of women are illiterate. AIDS is also a major problem in the country causing around a quarter of deaths for those between 20 and 40 years old. Many of the children don’t even finish primary education let alone secondary school. Secondary school in Malawi is not free meaning thousands of young people are denied an education, something that we take for granted.
We are going with the organisation Inspire Worldwide who support schools in central Malawi and aims to improve the quality of education. In Malawi we will be working with the charity Joshua Orphan and Community Care who work to help improve the lives of thousands of Malawian children. Some of their key aims are to help provide a safe environment for orphans, vulnerable children and their families, to ensure they have a good basic education, health care and provide clean water supplies. They work in nineteen rural communities around Malawi, one of these is Pensulo, a rural village outside of Blantyre city in southern Malawi where we will be based and building the school.
We will be working with local builders and help with jobs like bricklaying, plastering, painting and mixing cement by hand. We will also have an opportunity to help at the Joshua Feeding Centre with the orphaned and vulnerable children and at the local health clinic. During our time in Malawi we will learn basic Chichewa and work alongside the community which will help us learn more about the local culture and way of life.
Along with the Community Project in Malawi we will also have an opportunity to look at some of the beautiful scenery and native wildlife including elephants, warthogs and hippos on a safari in the Liwonde National Park.
Fundraising efforts to date, and plans for the future
So far, we have been able to raise money from refreshments at open evenings and by selling the International Bake Off entries, which were scarily popular among the younger years! With Christmas in a couple of months, we plan to sell candy canes and hopefully have a stall at the PTA’s Christmas fair. Further into the future, we are going to organise an alumni charity concert in January, collect money at the gate on World Book day and hopefully sort out a Year 7 Disco.
Individually, we also have many plans outside of school, including sponsored runs, bike rides and cake sales. Together, we will also host out of school events to raise money.
After the success of Play your Part last year, we are confident that the charitable nature of everyone at TGS will help us exceed our £5000 goal.
Personal thoughts and worries
“I've always been really affected by the images of poverty I've seen but never actually done anything about it, other than donate money. This gives an amazing opportunity to actually do something which will directly help those in poverty.”
“My worries: seeing the poverty first hand that we have only heard of or seen on the television. I'm worried how I will cope with this amount and seeing how much I take for granted in my everyday life.”
“It will affect me to see what other peoples’ lives are like who are less fortunate than me and knowing that I can’t change all of their lives on one trip.”
“I've always been interested in discovering new cultures and experiences throughout the world and this trip gives me the perfect opportunity to not only see a different way of life but to live it.”
We all know that Malawi will be a once in a lifetime experience, and we have been warned that there will be a lot of tears! It’s amazing that TGS can be directly linked to the education and futures of children in Malawi, and we hope that everyone at school will become as passionate about the project as we are. Aside from raising money, we hope that publicising the project will inspire students in younger years to think more about how they can help people elsewhere in the world.
Tori Cooper, Niamh Connell, Hannah Denbigh, Lauren Dennis, Louise Fletcher, Lauren Hogan, Rachel Kelly, Isabel Lavenstein, Niamh McConachie Smith, Lara Pain, Beth Pedder, Olivia Perren, Tabbi Reed, Sanjana Relwani, Claudia Salwey, Martha Scully, Emma Smith, Robyn Smith, Victoria Taylor, Maddy Wells, Mrs Ayling, and Mrs Twinam.
If you would like to know more about the project or make a donation towards the fundraising, please contact Mrs Twinam via the main school office 01732 365125 or email email@example.com