First class effort by Malawi project team

Volunteers and children practise dance moves in Malawi.
Volunteers and children practise dance moves in Malawi.

Volunteers from Motherwell were happy to give a bit extra when they worked on an African schools project.

The St Bernadette’s Church Classrooms for Malawi scheme has resulted in a complete transformation of a primary school in Namulenga.

A volunteer team built a new classroom block for children with additional support needs, allowing vulnerable youngsters to learn in a safe and fit for purpose environment.

Thanks to the generosity of the North Motherwell community, St Bernadette’s Malawi Partnership paid 70 per cent of the costs and the volunteers worked tirelessly with Malawian contractors.

They were made to feel welcome and appreciated by the headteacher, teachers and parents, but most of all by the children whose singing, dancing, smiles and laughter were all the motivation needed.

They were so inspired by the children that an initial plan to repair and repaint one extra classroom grew. In the end the team built a brand new two-classroom block and repainted and redecorated five classrooms with wonderful and stimulating educational artwork.

More good news followed for the partnership team when Mary’s Meals confirmed feeding programmes for both Namulenga primary schools.

In 2014 the charity had to refuse inclusion because Namulenga was included in the World Feeding Programme which, unfortunately, stopped after six months due to financial constraints. Mary’s Meals did, however, support the setting up of a nursery feeding programme.

Now, after another plea, Namulenga primaries have been included in the Mary’s Meals programme, meaning 1600 primary pupils and 200 nursery children are being fed.