< Scottish Government Archives – Mamie Martin Fund

Schools roundup

As Angie and Moira come to the end of their Trustee visit to Malawi, here’s a roundup of the schools they visited. They were able to visit all the schools which we support, four of them are run by the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, one is a Government school and one, the most recent addition, is run by the Diocese of Karonga.

Bandawe Girls’ and Karonga Girls’ are CCAP boarding schools. This year we support 43 pupils (about 10% of the school roll) in each.   Elangeni Secondary is a CCAP co-ed boarding school where we have 24 MMF-supported girls this year. Embangweni Secondary School for Deaf Children is run by the CCAP and we have moved from supporting one girl here to six. Three of those are funded by the new Thompson Fund, two from the new Alison Cameron endowment and one is a core-fund MMF girl, now in her final year.

We are pleased to be in our second year of supporting Mchengautuba Community Day Secondary School, run by the Government and the community. Finally, this is our first year of supporting girls at St Mary’s Karonga, a girls’ boarding school where we now have six girls on Alison Cameron scholarships, funded by the Scottish Government

The girls whom we support at all of these schools are very needy and we have heard heart-rending stories of the obstacles they overcome to even get to school. One 13 year old pupil made her way alone over 450 Kms (not a typo!) to take up her place, with nothing. She ran out of transport money and sat by the road until someone asked what she was doing and gave her a small amount of money to get her to school.

The commitment to education on the part of these girls and their families is breath-taking. We heard more than one story of families selling their land so as to pay fees for their daughters and granddaughters. While our help often feels like a drop in the ocean, it makes a real difference to these girls, their families and their communities. Thank you all for your support.

Optimism and hard work – ‘Arise and Shine’

We visited Mchengautuba Community Day Secondary School (‘Mnchzy High’ to the pupils) and were struck by the upbeat atmosphere there. This is the start of the second year of our partnership with this school which is located in one of the poorest areas of Mzuzu in North Malawi. The pupils choose as their motto ‘Arise and Shine’ and the chant of ‘Mnchzy High/ Rise and Shine’ rings out at every assembly-type situation.

We met the four MMF girls who were supported last year, along with two other ‘core’ MMF girls and the 10 new Form 1 pupils who are being funded for four years by the Alison Cameron Scholarships thanks to the Scottish Government

The school put on a huge welcome party for us and, as always with Malawian children, we were impressed by their poise and their presentation skills. We had two dramatisations of a familiar story – that of a girl who did not have fees but got an MMF bursary to the relief and pleasure of her parents. Then we had poems and dancing – what talent these children display! 

The school recently had a private donation which enabled them to install solar power throughout the school. Given the scale of power cuts in Malawi, the solar power is essential in enabling them to study and work in all situations. They especially appreciate being able to study after dark.

The computer lab is powered completely by solar and we were impressed to see a class working on laptops donated by the Turing Trust, thanks to an introduction by us.

Like us, the Turing Trust has been impressed by the engagement of this school and the constructive use they make of all donations and assistance. We feel privileged to be partners with ‘Mnchzy High’ and to have met their impressive pupils and teachers.