- Kaseye Girls primary School -
The Kaseye Girls Primary School is located in a very rural part of northern Malawi, and serves female students from the surrounding communities. The drive from the capitol city of Lilongwe is difficult and takes over 10 hours. In 2019, BTCV was able to send site evaluators to meet with new community partners in Kaseye from Change and Be Changed - a non-profit aid organization based in Ohio.
The school is situated at the base of a small mountain and adjoins campuses with a private secondary school and a community hospital. As part of the BTCV needs-assessment site visit, evaluators took time to tour the campus and document infrastructure and equipping needs. Also, they spent time interviewing parents, teachers, students and local leadership to learn more about the underlying issues related to optimizing quality educational opportunities at this school.
As evaluators talked to these stakeholders and went room to room, they learned that none of the teachers had desks and saw all of the young female students sitting on the floors of their classrooms. One of the teachers had been on faculty at this school for 25 years and has never had a desk. The BTCV site evaluation team and the community stakeholders worked together on a full-campus plan for infrastructure renovations, and decided that the first need they would address together was to provide student and teacher desks. Numerous scientific studies show that appropriate desk space enhances learning which leads to better performance and higher levels of education attained for students in the developing world – which translates into better jobs and a sustainable way out of poverty.
The site evaluation report was presented to our board of directors. The BTCV board decided that the major infrastructure renovations require a long term plan that needs to be addressed over time using the BTCV phased-building process. However, the board agreed that one thing could not wait...
…so, a “Desks for Malawi Girls” fundraising campaign was launched, and in less than a month, BTCV supporters donated the needed funds to move the girls from the floor to brand new locally made desks. This project became BTCV #054! Local carpenters identified by our community partners were hired to build 250 beautiful, sturdy desks for students and teachers. And, even with many hurdles including bridges washing out and transportation problems, the community came together to ensure the desks were delivered to the students proving that are all-in for providing quality education for girls.
What does better education look like? Just look at the picture above - better infrastructure, better resources, better environment – all of which translate into a higher quality education that will create better jobs and allow students to lift themselves out of poverty!