Library Construction is Almost Complete!
Since August, Minga has been partnering with World Altering Medicine (WAM) to construct a secondary school library in Kabudula, Malawi. It will be the first library in the region and will bring desperately needed educational materials to an enthusiastic group of teachers and students in one of Malawi’s poorest communities. In addition to helping fund the building of the library, Minga is working with WAM to provide scholarships to students at risk of dropping out of high school due to lack of funds.
We are happy to report that construction of the KEEP library is well underway, on time and on budget! The building will be complete in early December 2012 and our next task is to stock the library with books and other educational materials. Because the library offers a safe storage space, the Malawian Ministry of Education has already sent much needed science lab supplies and it has agreed to provide the school with national textbooks for the first time. We hope these new materials will help improve the students’ performance on national exams and help a student from Kabudula attend university for the first time. Though most students will not study beyond high school, KEEP is helping to build confidence and leadership skills for vulnerable youth. Recently, several KEEP scholars participated in an oral health project, teaching primary school students about the importance of oral hygiene. We truly are helping train future community leaders!
In 2013, we hope to supply the KEEP library with computers and internet access to further expand educational resources for students in Kabudula. We will also be launching an intensive training program to help the secondary school teachers best utilize the new books and computers that will be available to their students in the library. The school administration has also committed to hiring a librarian who will help promote the use of the library for educational purposes.
The library will also provide a meeting space for the KEEP peer tutoring program, which will continue to support and motivate at-risk students. Most KEEP scholarships are awarded to orphans and girls, who traditionally have high drop-out rates. In addition to the scholarship funds for tuition and school supplies (approximately $50 per year for each student), KEEP scholars also have access to peer tutoring support. In return, KEEP scholars provide community service, participating in projects such as planting trees, picking up trash and otherwise beautifying their school and community.
Finally, our partnership with WAM continues to grow as KEEP progresses. Minga Board Vice President, Erin Lunde, is planning a site visit to Malawi in January 2013 and is looking forward to seeing first-hand how the project is developing. Erin also hopes to identify other ways that Minga can provide technical or financial support to the Kabudula community in the future. On behalf of KEEP and the students and teachers of Kabudula, we would like to extend a big thanks to all who have supported our work in Malawi this year. Stay tuned for more ways that you can help in the near future! You can also keep abreast of the KEEP project by ‘liking’ Minga on our facebook page.