Sustainable Development

Knowledge is indeed power! I believe that education is not just about reading and writing; it shouldn’t just be about waking up, going to school and getting your papers. It goes beyond that. You get to stimulate your mind. You get to use your literacy skills to broaden your knowledge.

RSC believes that education is key to sustainable development. Let’s have a look at what’s happening at two of our community led project partners, YODEP and CISER!

Established in 1998 and located at the foothills of Zomba Plateau in Zomba, Youth for Development and Productivity (YODEP) is a youth community-based organization with the aim of addressing socio-economic conditions encountered by the youth, orphaned children and women who are infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. 

Similarly, Community Initiative for Self Reliance (CISER)  is a local non-governmental organization based in the district of Mangochi, committed to the socio-economic empowerment of local people through the implementation of various demand-driven sustainable development interventions.

RSC works with these two community-led projects because of their passion and determination for sustainable development and links them with our clients as well as providing income through ecotourism day visits.

Ecotourism +

Development  

Brian Jones and Charles Watson each visited Malawi with RSC with their families a few years ago. After visiting Zomba, they wanted to support YODEP in a sustainable, long term way and have since helped support the creation of a new Early Childhood Development centre in Lita 2, known as the Jones Watson ECD project- opening soon!

Picture2Figure 1 The Jones Watson ECD in Zomba

In 2018, some women in STEM travelled with us and visited Rainbow Hope Secondary School. On return to their respective homes, they banded together, bringing a team from Nigeria, UK, and Australia for the STEM Build Malawi project, with the aim to build a STEM classroom block and science lab at the school (RHSS).

Picture3Figure 2 Engineers from different disciplines and continents band together

So in 2019 we have been working on these two building projects…

A tale of two projects

Works at the ECD construction site at Lita 2 village started early November, 2018 and are expected to be completed end June this year. There has been so much development and progress since the project began. The first phase involved works up to foundation level. The second phase involved works up to window level ready for roofing. The STEM build however, had a shorter project period, starting in mid-April this year and works are expected to be completed early June.

Picture4Figure 3 The Jones Watson ECD in progress

Right from the start of the ECD project, community meetings (through community chiefs) were done to sensitize the community about the project and their participation and involvement. Chiefs, parents and the youth were provided with a platform to give their input into the project. In contrast, the STEM build had a larger project team, involving collaboration with teams in different countries and time zones, from the CISER team (which includes the local community) to the female engineers and RSC.

Picture5Figure 4 The STEM Build Malawi team and CISER's RHSS Students

YODEP facilitated the election of a community project committee which is responsible for receiving, keeping and issuing project materials. Community members provided and cleared land for the building, collected sand at the river/river banks ready for transportation, loading and offloading to the construction site and provided water for construction as well as security for the project materials which have been locally found. They have also taken part in supervision and giving feedback to YODEP.

Similarly, the STEM build female engineers together with the contractor, CISER/RHSS team and RSC worked hand in hand to ensure that their Eco bricks building is a success. Some were involved in brick making, others supervision, others painting.

Collaboration in Malawi

The ECD is expected to solve the problem of lack of classrooms and meeting place for youth and community meetings. The community is very excited about the project. They feel the project has helped to unite the villagers by working together as a team. There is so much motivation since they can see the results of their togetherness. The building itself will beautify the community; children will learn in good classrooms and have more space for learning than in the past as they were just being put in one classroom regardless of their ages. In addition, more children will have access to the ECD services. The project will provide a platform for women empowerment interventions and a variety of child protection innovations.   Both YODEP and the community expect the project to improve the quality of education for children. Once the project is completed, about 600 people are expected to benefit from it, including children, the youth and the elderly.  

WhatsApp Image 2019 05 23 at 8.50.14Figure 5 Wellington Chisambo IT Lab

Rainbow Hope Secondary school now have an I.T lab, named after our colleague Wellington Chisambo, who sadly passed away on the last day of the build. We will share our thoughts on Wellie and his impact in a special edition blog to follow. This will surely ensure that there is more deep understanding and help the students grasp concepts thoroughly also retain knowledge longer as they will see what they learned actually being put in motion. The new IT skills will help students apply for jobs, access more global resources and broaden their horizons.

For both projects, procurement processes, managing project accounts, record keeping, giving feedback to donors was done through RSC and our local partners. This has ensure sustainability at every turn. 

The key to success

As part of our efforts in working towards the global goals, we believe that both the ECD and STEM build will help in poverty alleviation, increase life-long learning and help with quality education. This will also be an amazing opportunity to have good childcare which will empower women in the community and assist them to go about doing their businesses knowing that their children are in good care. A wonderful way for women’s empowerment huh?

Vote of thanks

We are very grateful to the donors for these two projects for their kind and generous support towards community development in Malawi. Many thanks also goes out to our project partners and RSC team for all their hard work and determination to give the communities in Malawi a chance to access sustainable development.

Keep an eye for more updates next time when hopefully these 2 amazing projects will be completed!

STEM BUILD6

#NailingIt

#FromTheGroundUp

#CreativityNotJustBuilding

#ECD ♯StemBuildMalawi

#SustainableDevelopment

#BringingAboutChange

#EducationIsKey

#bepartofsomething

 

 

 

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