Thursday, 30 July 2015

Fisherman's Rest

Our second block of community work took us to a well established project south of Blantyre called Fisherman's Rest. Wiktor and Sue Chichlowski have been working in the community for thirty years, and have achieved tangible change to the quality of education and opportunities that children receive.
We were excited to learn about a whole raft of schemes that include waterhole maintenance, school meals (via The Good Food Project), library building, poultry husbandry, tree planting and  the My Girl Project, which encourages girls to stay in school when puberty hits. Fisherman's Rest currently work with 22 schools in the area, as well as a community centre called Tilitonse.

Like Dzalanyama, our time here was short. However, this time, we were slotting in to existing work that had started long before our arrival and will continue long after we have left.  We were aware that whilst our presence, in the form of a bit of literacy teaching, hilarious games and English language conversation, are an important part of what happens here, the real hard work is being done by the community, Wiktor, Sue and their tireless staff. However, we brought essential $$ with us, and were made to feel welcome and valued by everyone we met. Wiktor was careful to ensure we could see the big picture, so as well as dong some construction work and teaching at Mtemaumo School, we also got to see a completed library at Mpemba, where exam results have rocketed since it's completion, and an impressive new school build close to Fishermen's Rest (I'm sorry Wiktor, I've forgotten the name of the school!). In the afternoons we danced, sang and played football at Tilitonse with the local children. It's a spectacular operation, with success down to Wiktor's ability to attract a considerable amount of corporate sponsorship, whilst at the same time engaging the communties in the development.  Nothing happens unless the communties themselves are fully commited and supportive of the scheme. There are no wasted efforts here.

Helping to build library and classrooms at Mtemaumo School

Helping deliver nutritious porridge at Mtemaumo School

Super competative Duck-Duck-Goose, Tilitonse Community Centre

Teacher Steve Garraway entertains the children at Mtemaumo School

A fun creative class, Mtemaumo School
Completed library Mpemba school.

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