|Posted by sophie davison on February 6, 2017 at 3:10 PM|
Hi everyone, hope you all had a lovely Christmas.
Sorry its been a long time since I did a report and even though I haven't visited Sophie Nursery School since 2015 a few things have been happening.
Last summer we had to re cement the school floor (I think this was the 3rd time)! Charles and co discovered that because they were using the water from the village water pump the floor kept erroding. They worked out that this was because the water from the pump is salt water (still need to raise the funds to correct this). So far the floor is intact and I hope it won't need doing for a long time now as it's costly.
On my last visit I was very happy to see the school had a blackboard and the children all had little seats to sit on instead of having to sit on the bare, dirty floor! The village had also made the children a swing and a see-saw which was amazing and the children loved them. However, as the playground equipment is made of wood it gets eaten by termites and has to be rebuilt every 4 months which is not the best situation. It is possible to buy playground equipment in Malawi but yet again we don't have the funds. It would be great if we could work toward getting a swing and see saw that will last for many years and give so much pleasure to these children who have so little.
I bought some paint in Lilongwe and the children all had a go at painting a picture on the school walls which was quite a difficult thing to do as no one seemed to understand what I wanted them to do but we got there in the end after a lot of stress on my part! We also painted numbers on the walls using stencils and put the educational posters up which I'd taken and the school looked much more inviting and welcoming. Everyone seemed pleased with the decorations!! I also bought some individual chalkboards in Lilongwe which the children were happy to use to practice writing letters/numbers etc.
I was delighted to see there was a wooden table/shelf which the ladies put the porridge bowls and cups on to drain and dry and there was a facility for the children to wash there hands before eating. It was lovely to witness the children enjoying a bowl of porridge which is the only meal of the day.
The people who take care of the game reserve nearby (Vwaza Marsh) were there to thank me as they said by helping the village to come together with the school it has had a knock on effect and the community can see that if they work together things can move forward and everyone benefits.
Whilst on my visit we managed to get the local carpenter to make the teachers a desk (a few problems again but we did it in the end) ��
I was informed that a representative from Mzuzu University had visited the school the week before I arrived and was very impressed. Sophie Nursery school is the only Nursery in the area and the children who have gone on to the Primary School have been achieving great things!
We were sad to say goodbye to our long standing brilliant teacher Miss Phiri last September and also Justina who had been helping for a while. Charles has however employed 2 new teachers (both qualified) and they seem to be doing great so far . Welcome Violet Muhango and Loveness Mweuka.
Maize in Malawi has become very expensive due to the droughts and disasters therefore we have started growing our own in an effort to reduce costs. Last year was our first crop and although we were successful, we didn't grow as much as hoped due to the weather. We are trying again this year and hope to one day be growing enough to feed the 110 children daily who attend the school and have some to sell. We are investigating the possibilty of growing other crops i.e. Fruit so the children have a more varied/nutritious diet.
Last August (2016) we managed to build a �� goat house and bought 6 goats to begin breeding. Recently the 6 goats became 8 so we are hopeful this will be a success.
As we are trying to become more self sufficient it has been suggested that breeding pigs would be a suitable addition to our very limited resources. Please see 'Campaign' page.
Unfortunately the rains came down with such force in January 2017 that the school roof was blown off. Luckily we had just enough money to be able to get this repaired quickly leaving us with no funds. The following day the toilets fell down - these will be reconstructed when we have the funds and the rainy season is finished.
Amazingly we manage to feed and educate 110 children. This is only made possible by the kindness of the few people who donate to our Nursery. Fundraising is very difficult so we are very grateful to those who give so generously.
Thank you for taking the time to read the latest news from Sophie Nursery .