More community engagement

Country Sector Project Year
Malawi Education Teacher houses in Chitunda 2009

Girls

We're three girls, who go to school in Chitunda.

We remember the World Servants team well. They sang a lot, which made us happy. We still sing the songs they taught us. They also played with us. For us it was not normal that adults played with us. Now the teachers sometimes also play a game with us during or between classes.

Because of the houses that have been build, we now have enough teachers. Another change is that the teachers live closer now, so they can start on time and don't have to leave early. In this way, we get all the classes that are on our schedule. Also it is easier for us to drink water, because now we can go to the teacher's house to get it and don't have to go all the way to the river to get water.

For us, the most significant change is that everybody is helping to make our school grow. Our parents helped building the teacher houses. And after the World Servants team left, the people all helped to finish the teacher houses. Now the people are still coming here to help build more.

Parent-Teacher Association

We're Mr. Banda, Mrs. Ngulube, and Mrs. Mvula. As members of the Parent-Teacher Association in Chitunda, we're responsible for book keeping, parent involvement, and other activities at the school. During the construction work, we made sure that the community was present at the construction site and knew what to do.

Before the World Servants team came, there were no teacher houses in Chitunda. The teachers had to come from far. They always came late and had to leave early. The children often complained about this.

We've tried to build teacher houses on our own, but they were of poor quality. World Servants helped us build good houses. And now that the three teacher houses have been build, the children don't complain about the classes anymore. The teachers are now better motivated to do their work. They're coming on time and don't leave early anymore for their long journey home.

When the World Servants team came, we feared that their culture would be very different from ours and that it would be difficult to work together with them. But the opposite was true. The group adapted itself very well to our culture and the cooperation went well.

We learned a lot from the team. They taught us about hygiene. Now we wash our hands after going to the toilet and we clean our food better. We've also learned to add variety to our diet. First we did not do this. We always ate the same thing.

The coming of the team has improved community engagement. After the World Servants team left, the community still came together often to finish the work. Next to the three teacher houses that we built with World Servants, we have built three more buildings last year. The coming of the team has turned us into one community rather than a group of separate families from different villages.

Since the project, many adults have taken classes to improve their reading and writing. In the afternoon, there are now classes for adults. Another change is the division of roles between men and women. It is now more common for women to be involved in the construction work. Before that did not happen.

For us, the most significant change is not the teacher houses that have been build, but the change that has been built in the mind of the community. The group has motivated us to work together to built a better community with each other.

14 July 2010