I travelled for four months through Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia and Namibia. Six of those weeks were spent in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital, helping at newly opened nursery school.
Corrupt governments mean not much support is given to the people. Malawi is ranked one of the poorest countries in the world. 88% of the population are in a state of poverty. There is limited access to decent education and healthcare. The illiteracy rate is at 30% (men 22.3%, women 36.7%, as of 2006). Children are so eager to learn but most schools lack materials for teaching and trained teachers. Many of those who gain an education are not able to finish it for lack of funds. Without the means to develop skills people find it very difficult to escape from the cycle of poverty.
There is a great sense of community in Malawi. Women look after each other’s children, men crowd around to help a broken down vehicle, children play happily together in the streets. I met extremely generous people, willing to share what little they had. And so I use this platform to urge us to share what we have in return.
PLAY FOOTBALL MALAWI
Play Football Malawi is a charitable organisation based in Lilongwe, Malawi. It’s main focus is to bring sports and educational facilities to the children in the city. Through this they help to build a sense of community, of play, or simply encourage this field of interest. The charity works also with other projects. They introduced hockey and provide lacking products such as fruits and soap to Kachere prison. They donate money to Kamuzu Central hospital to improve basic essentials since the government don’t provide much else other than the medicine.
In 2015 they opened a nursery school for children aged 2-4 years. It was free for children to attend, and much needed as the response provoked 140 children to turn up each day. On the opening day the mothers gathered to sing and dance in celebration of their children’s new path.
They are severely lacking in teachers, currently with only 3, none of which have yet been trained in nursery education. Although there were some initial materials for the children to play and learn with, they are quickly being ruined when shared amongst so many. Porridge and water is provided every day to ensure the children are being fed at least once.
To enquire about volunteering with Play Football Malawi, please fill out the form below.