The Trinity Malawi Project supports charity Hope4Malawi through fundraising and volunteering for our partnership school in Chipwepwete. Each year, a team of our staff and students visit to teach and to get involved with community work.
Mr Coma, Head of Junior Year and Teacher of Art, reports back from our summer trip to Malawi:
After a long break due to Covid restrictions, 32 of our Upper Sixth students and five staff were delighted to embark on a three-week trip to Malawi during the summer holidays. The Trinity community has been raising money for Chipwepwete Primary School for many years, with hours from our dedicated student team spent helping at various TPA events, and other fundraising events such as the Christmas Drama production and the Junior Year Triathlon. We were all looking forward to meeting our friends at Chipwepwete School, and our Malawi contacts Sarah and Mark Goodman, founders of Hope4Malawi and the parents of former Trinity School students.
Landing at the modest Blantyre Airport with bags brimming with teaching supplies and donated clothing, we were immediately struck by the warmth and friendliness of the local residents as the Community Projects truck took us to our accommodation at Fisherman’s Rest.
The surrounding environment was a stark contrast to South London, with dirt roads meandering through the landscape, bustling clusters of market vendors waving to us from the roadsides and awesome views of mountains as we ascended towards our lodgings. Upon arrival, we were met with open arms by our hosts, and the genuine kindness and generosity displayed by the staff at the Fisherman’s Rest left a lasting impression.
The next day, we visited Chipwepwete Primary School and the adjoining Hope Secondary School and were overwhelmed by our friendly greeting from hundreds of smiling students. The rural location of the school, accessed only by tracks littered with potholes, means that the majority of students spend around an hour walking to school each day. The promise of Phala (a fortified maize ‘porridge’), funded completely by the Trinity community, encourages the students to attend.
Over the following couple of weeks, we dedicated our mornings at the school, teaching lessons in Maths, English, Science and Art, and our students quickly realised the appetite the local children had for learning. With large class sizes, and issues with staff attendance, the Chipwepwete primary school children relished the attention and guidance from our enthusiastic student teachers.
At Hope Secondary School, we were impressed with the skills and knowledge of the teenagers, many of whom had spent their early years at Chipwepwete. It was wonderful to hear of the ambitions of these students, and popular career choices included doctors, dentists and teachers! It quickly dawned on us the value that education has in shaping attitudes and building better futures for the communities in Malawi.
Afternoons were spent participating in community projects including bore-hole repairs, ‘changa-changa-moto’ oven building and delivering personal development sessions to students. Amidst their altruistic efforts, the students (and staff!) were treated to some extraordinary experiences.
We had an unforgettable two-night stay at Majete Safari Park, visited a prison to play sports with the inmates, attended Sunday church services to be overwhelmed with the beauty and power of hymns being sung, and we wrapped up our journey with a luxurious resort stay on the picturesque shores of Lake Malawi.
The enduring memories of our encounters with the local people, the impactful contributions to the school and community projects and the remarkable experiences we undertook will remain cherished memories for life. A group of students and staff have already been selected to visit in 2024, and we look forward to seeing the continued positive impact that the Trinity community has in helping to build a better future for our friends in Malawi.
For more images and stories from the trip, check out @TrinityMalawiProject on Instagram.
It was truly the best experience of my life.
Joe Canning, Trinity Class of 2023
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