In 2013 and 2015 St Margaret’s Academy came to Malawi and worked with a youth group on the shores of Lake Malawi. Each year they have worked side by side with the community to create educational facilities to assist the village in providing accessible education to young people in the area. St Margaret’s are committed to working in Malawi and are returning in 2017 with 40 students to work on the next initiative.

Day to Day Itinerary: School Community Build Project, Lake Malawi.

  • Day 1: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 2: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 3: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 4: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 5: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 6: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 7: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 8: Blantyre (Build project)
  • Day 9: Liwonde National Park (Safari)
  • Day 10: Liwonde National Park (Safari)
  • Day 11: Blantyre (Final day)
  • Day 12:Tour Ends

TRAVELLERS DIARY 

St Margaret’s 2015 School Trip to Malawi.

Linked with CISER Youth Group to create Rainbow Village Secondary School.

Jamie McIntyre, School teacher at St Margaret’s Academy Livingston

In 2015 I was given the opportunity to be part of a school project that travelled to Malawi to work with Responsible Safari, CISER and the local community to help build a secondary school in the village of Makokola. It was not a straight forward decision, as I was having to leave my two young sons and my wife at home. To make the decision even harder, the due date of our third child was during my time away. I knew however that an opportunity like this would have a lasting positive effect on the life of me and my family.

What I wasn’t prepared for was the speed and scale that this would be realised.

On the first day of the build we were met by local builders, curios, youth from CISER and local village children. What struck me was the sheer outpour of love, smiles and welcoming embraces that they gave to the first, through to the last of our group coming off the bus.

The level of enthusiasm and interest that each of them had for our lives and stories, and how open and honest they were about their own, created an environment of trust and community that fuelled our experience from the first day to the last.

The poverty, illness, injustice, inequality and death that we were made aware of in our short stay was tragic and real; it would have broken me back home. However in Malawi they had two characteristics that shone through this despair, teaching me so much.

These characteristics were acceptance and gratitude. Their ability to accept the things that they were unable to influence was inspiring and surpassed only by their determination to do everything they possibly could in the areas they could influence. Matching this was their appreciation and gratefulness towards what they DID have in their lives: family, friends, enough food to survive. Their lives may have been poor in materialistic goods but were abundant with spiritual riches.

Whether it was a school we built or whether we had went to help support a local orphanage or even if we had simply went to live in one of the communities for the week, the life lessons we would have received would have been equally precious.

What impressed me most about Responsible Safari was their understanding of the local needs and their connection with the local communities. This allowed them to identify the projects that would have the greatest impact on the villages and this was evidenced by the sheer number of local volunteers present at the build.

When I returned home, I felt I had lived ten years’ worth in ten days. I felt that I had been shown the real riches in life and I know that I have given and appreciated more love than I had before the journey.

Thank you Responsible Safari and thank you Malawi.


Update on Rainbow Hope Secondary School.

St Margaret’s have continued fundraising for the completion of the school and in September 2016 the first term is planned to commence. St Margaret’s will be returning in 2017 with a group of 40 students to continue their links with the community.


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