< Alloway Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Alloway rebuilds hostel in Bandawe

Many years ago we were able to build a hostel at Bandawe Girls’ Secondary School in Malawi, by the lakeshore. Over the years the hostel fell into disrepair but we had neither the funds nor the management capacity to address this problem. Trustees from Scotland saw the poor state of the hostel on their visits. 

This hostel has now been completely refurbished. This has been funded and managed by Murray Hutchison and friends at Alloway Parish Church in Ayrshire, Scotland. Funds were donated via coffee mornings, Christmas Fayre and by friends of the Church and the school. The total cost was £23k but the impact on the 102 girls who live there in term time will be immense. To quote from the letter written by the Head Teacher, Mr Denis Kamata:

The hostel project has not just provided accommodation to the girls but it has also:

Improved the health of our learners who will be not contracting skin and respiratory diseases that were the order of the day in the past due to the state of the hostel .

Contributed to the enhancement of unity amongst our girls as the feelings of being discriminated against amongst those that were using the other good hostels will no longer be there.

Enhanced the security of our girls and their property because of the nature of the windows with burglar bars, well fitting window panes and doors.

Added significantly to the infrastructure development programme of the school.

Helped our girls to understand that they are not alone in this global village but that there are people far away from Malawi that care and wish them well.

Before work started on the hostel refurbishment

Murray Hutchison’s report gives a flavour of the urgency of these building works: 

There is no doubt that the 102 girls living in this large hostel have had their lives changed for the better: water no longer pours in through holes in the roof and the toilets and showers (while  not what we enjoy) have been totally replaced and replumbed and  refurbished. The walls had to be taken down further than expected and their height extended to improve ventilation. Windows and doors have been replaced, a new roof constructed, repairs to foundations and rendering and a  total replacement of all electrics. 

The relationship between Alloway Parish Church started in 2006 when Ayr Presbytery made their first visit to Bandawe. The Church entered into a partnership with Bandawe mission station and Thipula Church and with BAGSS in 2008. Alloway’s two primary schools are twinned with Bandawe Primary where the Church undertook a smaller but similar hostel project in late 2019. This is Alloway Parish Church’s fourth building project at BAGSS. They focus on education and training in various ways and these building projects are a significant help to the school.

We are grateful to all those involved in this project – to Murray for masterminding the fundraising and overseeing the work, to Mr Chirwa (previous Head Teacher) and Mr Kamata for oversight of the work in Malawi and to the building company, Chumugogo Building Company.