Bishop’s Stortford College has been working with the charity Inspire Malawi run by Michelle Rowe for 10 years. During this time the College has raised money to help to promote education in the mountain villages in Malawi primarily by replacing run down and leaking wooden classrooms with purpose built brick and cement classrooms, which will enable the children to have lessons through both the wet and dry seasons. The College has also provided equipment to enhance the education of the village primary age pupils within the classroom. This year the College’s main project was to fundraise in the UK to raise enough money to build two purpose built classrooms, a staffroom, a storage room and 4 long drop toilets at Banda Hill Primary, Malawi, and to provide desks and classroom equipment for the children. By travelling to Malawi this Easter the group of Sixth Form pupils were able to decorate the newly built classrooms at Banda Hill School and hand over the classroom equipment including the wonderful donation of football shirts, balls, cones, pumps and tennis balls provided by the Rob Stephenson Trust. As soon as the football bibs were handed out the village children with great excitement formed into two girls’ teams and two boys’ teams to play a football match on a very bumpy, waterlogged pitch.
The handing over ceremony at Banda Hill school was very special as it was attended by many dignitaries including many of the local chiefs, but the guest of honour was Chief Kachindamoto, who is campaigning to end child marriage and keep girls in education. In March 2017 Chief Kachindamoto received the Leadership in Public Life Award in Washington DC for annulling girl child marriages in Dedza and sending the girls back to school. In April 2017 she was nominated for New African Woman award. The College will continue to work with Banda Hill Primary School and aims to build another block of three classrooms and possibly a library over the next two years.