By: Brino Kayanga Mwale
An American, Theresa Reando, students, teachers and parents of Festus elementary school from the United States of America( USA), have teamed up with a Malawian female primary school teacher, Temwa Chilenga to provide material support to Malawian children for them to learn in a conducive environment.
The US elementary school has established sister relationships with learners of Chambu primary school, situated in Dzenza zone, Lilongwe rural West to end poverty by sharing a little resources which they have to the poor children in Malawi.
Theresa Reando and two Australians once visited the school in Malawi in July, 2018, interacting with the learners that Malawian children seem to love school but lack material support for teaching and learning to be effective and efficient in their mind.
Speaking in an interview, Temwa Chilenga, a standard 4 teacher at the school said their sister school in USA, Festus elementary and some other people have been donating learning materials to Chambu primary school learners and this has contributed to low drop out rate among learners of std 4 who, most of them do not know how to read and write at that level.
Chilenga said the donors ship to Malawi items such as note books, pencils, colgate, tooth brushes, Italian bread sticks, soap, shoes, school bags, blankets and many other supplies for the poor children of the school in Malawi complimenting government efforts of improving the quality of learning in schools.
She said they do not have a specific name for this project saying the spirit of sharing is in their heart so that the poor benefits and be relieved from poverty.
The teacher said the project has an objective of making sure that children do not drop out from school because of poverty and has no duration because they keep sharing what she has on her table and whatever the sister school in USA shipped to Malawi for sharing to the poor learners.
She said over 1,900 who include, the aged, orphans, widows, street children and teachers of her school, Chambu, have benefited from the material support sourced by the Americans.
Chilenga said she was born with a passion for the poor because we are all rich in the eyes of the Creator that one who has more, share to those who do not have and this is exactly what she and the donors from USA are doing.
She said the project has registered remarkable achievements such as food for the needy and the poorest children whose parents or guardians can not afford to buy school uniform have uniforms making to look equal with their colleagues a development which makes them not suffer from exclusion.
However, Chilenga lamented that some people who do not want the poor children to benefit from the US material support are discouraging her every time she receives the materials for sharing to the poor and some even hating her and talking all sorts of bad things and the Malawi Revenue Authority ( MRA) officers who sometimes charge money that she cannot afford to pay to clear the items shipped to Malawi.
Chilenga appealed to MRA to send its officers to the final destination point where these shipped material support are landing to appreciate for themselves that the resources are meant for the poor children of her school and not for personal gain.
She said the project has future plans of having a feeding program at Chambu primary school in Lilongwe, and extend the help to other schools and opening a pre_ school for the poor because most of the children in Malawi do not attend pre_ school in their respective villages due to poverty.