From a Building to a Classroom
While attending Kazembe Primary School’s first term closing ceremony, my eyes were drawn to the help2kids plaque on the side of the building that was home to Standards 5 and 6 for the first time this term. As I sat surrounded by eager students awaiting their exam results, proud parents and siblings there to cheer them on, I was struck by how much potential can be found in a single classroom. There is so much to learn, so many memories to make, and so many opportunities to develop as a person. A single classroom has the potential to change a child’s life. It was with this appreciation in mind that the volunteers and I struck out on our holiday break project at Tiyanjane Nursery School.
Over the past month and a half, the new classroomhelp2kids built at Tiyanjane has been transformed from a building to a true classroom. Once construction was completed on the building, the volunteers spent a day meticulously cleaning the room preparing it for the kids the following week. This included scrubbing limestone off the floors, sweeping the room (several times) to rid it of dirt and debris left from construction, and painting the chalkboard, the center piece of the many lessons to be taught in the weeks to come. Not long after the building was open for school, new desks arrived making it feel like a real place to learn. The little ones were now like their older siblings, sitting at a desk and not on the floor. We are still working on the concept of sitting quietly at the desks with a reasonable number of kids per desk! Two of our past volunteers, Nora and Gina, came up with some great rules that we plan to have the kids recite at the beginning of each day to help bring some order to the chaos. No standing on or jumping off the desks is at the top of the list! It can be challenging trying to create a learning environment with a large group of little ones who are not used to being in a structured setting.
Though the room full of desks was a beginning, the true transformation into a classroom occurred over the past week (while the nursery is closed for the holidays) as our volunteers, Carmen and Mike, have been painting the inside of the classroom with bright colors and educational lessons. From the alphabet to vowels to numbers to shapes to colors to body parts to things such as boats and fish, the classroom is now full of the lessons the students are taught each week with examples right on the walls! As we’ve been painting, some of the kids who live near the nursery have stopped by and started reciting the alphabet and counting numbers in English, showing us how much they have already learned! We hope their new colorful and fun classroom will bring a joy and excitement for learning that is so important to spark at a young age.
It has been an exciting process watching ideas go from paper to reality. A big thanks to everyone who has supported the nursery project in Malawi. A special thank you again to Ella Grace who made this new classroom full of opportunity possible! Your support of help2kids allows us to continue important projects that help bring education to the forefront in a society where education is not always valued. Please keep following and supporting us.
Have a great holiday season,
help2kids Malawi Assistant Project Manager