With the support of Pathways to Progress, The Sonder Project is proud to announce the completion of a new school block at the Matundu Primary School in Central Malawi! The Sonder Project broke ground on the construction of the school on June 16, 2020, and the building was completed on September 22, 2020.
The Matundu School offers grades 1-6 with a total enrollment of 400 students, 230 females and 170 males. Prior to the completion of the new building, students were learning in temporary classrooms made of dried grasses and brick buildings without proper mortar. When it would rain, or the winds would pick-up, school was either cancelled, or classes would be crowded together making an already challenged learning environment even more challenging.
After the completion of the recent school block, the temporary dry grass structures have been torn down, and students enter school with a newfound pride. As one 4th grader, Josophine Tchiza told us, “we will be learning in a very beautiful school block and other girls and boys will be attracted to come back to school because of this new block.”
A local parent, Moses Chindipha, who is a member of the School Leadership Committee and was active in organizing the community to participate in the construction, equally expressed his hopes for the community with the construction of the new school. He said, “I have a strong obligation to encourage my children to work extra hard now. The school signifies development in the community… and the lives of people will change.”
The building at Matundu Primary School is the tenth school constructed by The Sonder Project in cooperation with its partners, buildOn. All Sonder Project schools are built with the community, not for the community. Prior to construction, communities must establish a Project Leadership Committee made up of an equal number of men and women to oversee the project. Then, the community is responsible to collect local materials, such as sand, stones, and water to contribute to the project. The community also provides the necessary manual labor, while The Sonder Project works with buildOn to provide the necessary skilled supervisors. This process allows for the community to take ownership of the project and increases school engagement.
On October 11, 2020, The Sonder Project broke ground on its 11th school in Malawi in the community of Kauzegalu. We hope you will continue to support our efforts to build schools so we may continue to increase access to education and improve lives in sub-Saharan Africa.
By Chad Zibelman, CEO of The Sonder Project