A new charity has been set up to build schools in Malawi.
Classrooms For Malawi has been founded by Mossend couple Tony and Barbara Begley and James Kelly from Motherwell to raise money for construction to start in three villages, Misesa, Mang’omba and Namulenga.
The African country has a long relationship with Scotland going back to the time of David Livingstone and Tony first got involved with Malawi by creating an educational partnership while teaching at Holyrood High and later volunteering for Mary’s Meals.
He said: “Many adults and children in Malawi live in extreme poverty and suffer all the associated problems.
“One positive is that in recent years primary school education has been free for all, but the introduction of free education and school feeding programmes has attracted far more children than there are facilities to cater for.
“It’s not uncommon for primary schools to have up to 10,000 pupils, with classes of up to 160 children, and most schools simply do not have enough classrooms and those that do exist are often in dreadful conditions.
“Our belief is that while it’s fine to send aid the only way to bring about real change is through education.
“It’s a generational change, it’s not a quick fix, but with more education comes less crime and more employability, which are both badly needed.”
Classrooms For Malawi has organised a Valentine’s Dance to be held in Holy Family Parish Centre, Mossend, on Saturday at 7.30pm and tickets cost £7.50.
A Glittering Grand Ball will also take place in the Hilton Hotel, Glasgow, on Saturday, March 23, there are still a few tables available, with sponsors welcomed.
Details for both events can be found at www.classroomsformalawi.org or call 07758 592922.