Dear Friends

How quickly time passes and once again we are again in Malawi.  We were issued with a Duty Waiver for the items we were bringing with us less than a day before we travelled but having it, Customs just waved us through when we arrived in Malawi.  The journey here was not bad but the 24 hours of travelling was both a long time and very tiring.   Between our party of eight we had thirty seven bags - thankfully all arrived safely.  Each of us had about half a case of personal items and the rest were full of donated items for Nansambo Primary School, the Baptist Medical Clinic and the Our Faith Orphan Care Primary School.  As you can imagine it took time for us to book in but all went well and despite having just over an hour to get from one side of Johannesburg airport to the other side to get our connecting flight to Blantyre “ we managed it with time to spare and met up with our Swiss friends before boarding which was a relief.

After a day of acclimatising to the heat we planned an early start for our visit to Nansambo but we were delayed over two hours by a puncture in our vehicle.  It was still a two hours drive. The roads, despite government promises to the local villages of road improvements, were no better.  Our day at the school followed the pattern set in previous years. When we arrived at the school we were warmly greeted by the local Chiefs, School Staff, Headteachers from  both Nansambo Primary and Balamanja Secondary Schools, our funded Assistant Teachers, parents, children of all ages and all sixteen of our sponsored pupils from the secondary children. This year we had major repairs carried out to various school buildings and these had to be inspected.  Hundreds of excited children followed us followed us all eager to be with us and have their photographs taken.  Then all wanting to see their digital images on our cameras which caused much laughter.
 
Before the rains, Francis had sent us photographs of the damage caused over the last two years by the extreme heat of the Chingale Plain where the school is sited. In April we planned a programme of repair work to be carried out and  were pleased with the results.  Inevitably there will be need for similar work to be carried out in a further two years. If the learning environment is cared for and pleasant - not only for the children to be in, but also for the staff to be in - then the environment is conducive for both learning and teaching!

We checked the borehole which was working well.  The water is always cold and quite chalky to taste but each visit we are expected to check the flow and take water!

This year,  I will share part of  John™s view, which he posted on Facebook, of our visit - as well  as some photos which we hope you will find interesting…..

“Today we visited Nansambo School. It™s now 11 years since Jane and I first went there and were shocked and deeply upset by what we saw - the reality of life as a young child, and the reality of education, deep in the Malawian countryside.

Over a decade later, with my Mum being the administrator and our partner Francis on the ground making it happen, with financial support from big hearted people in the U.K., Switzerland, the US and beyond, Nansambo may still be far from western standards but it™s so improved. It™s nice to reflect how different it is today to 2007:

There is school equipment (previously there wasn™t even a stick of chalk let alone an exercise book), 12 toilets (previously 2 for 1,200 children), a library full of syllabus,  reference and fiction (it™s the only school in a grouping of seven Primary School, with a library of any kind), renovated classrooms (when we first went the classrooms we saw were like stables), and crucially, a borehole (previously 1 ‘tap™ for 2,000+ people) which tended to stop working in the dry season.

We have met children we sponsored through school who now have professional jobs and support their families. One of the 5 additional Assistant Teachers that we fund [now 23 yars old] was a Nansambo pupil who saw us that first year we went. We now sponsor 16 children on through secondary education and last year every single finalist passed their exams. We™re investing in their future and it™s so rewarding to see them taking the opportunity and improving their lives, and the lives of their families.

Thank you to everyone who has made this possible over the last 11 years…..️

...and yes we did get across the bridge in one piece [on leaving Nansambo] but it was a truly nerve wracking moment with literally only 1 inch between success and disaster...!”

We leave Zomba for the National Park today before heading to Livingstonia on Lake Malawi where we all plan to visit the medical Clinic and the Orphanage. If there is  an opportunity to write again I will. Otherwise a further update on our travels will have to wait until we return to England.

I cannot add more now to what John has written on our visit to Nansambo so will leave it at that except to  add Jane™s and my thanks to John™s for everyone's support and encouragement as we continue our projects in Malawi.

Zikomo Kwambieri [Thank You] to everyone. 

John, Jane and Sue .

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May 2018

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Mission Statement

NANSAMBO SCHOOL FUND   A Wider Vision

Our continuing aim and priority is to do as much as is possible to improve conditions and the quality of education available to the children of Nansambo so the children of Nansamb and from the surrounding communities will be able to achieve their potential, both within the education system and within their own communities.

We are committed to encouraging the children of the Nansambo Community to attend school and to continue in full time education beyond primary school in order to access better employment and further training opportunities - to build a better life.

The Nansambo School Fund