Essendene Lodge began supporting Msalura Primary School in Salima, Malawi in 2011.
Over the course of the last 12 years, the school has supported Msalura in a multitude of ways – engaging all elements of the school community in the process.
Msalura is an urban school serving Salima, one of the poorest areas of one of the poorest countries in the world. The school provides basic education to over 1,500 pupils daily. Class sizes are often in excess of 70 pupils, and teaching facilities are basic. For many years the school could not provide more than the most basic sanitation.
Despite the evident poverty of the region and a chronic lack of resources, Msalura is an innovative and enterprising school, at the forefront of sustainable school development. Innovations such as water harvesting, permaculture and waste management.
Approximately every two years members of staff from Msalura and Essendene Lodge visit each other to share expertise and experience. These visits also offer the opportunity for staff to deliver equipment and funds raised by the School Council, in-school fundraising events (such as Mufti days) and parent organised events such as cake and second-hand uniform sales.
In 2023 three ILG Headteachers visited Malawi. Click on the button below to discover more about their experience.
Our partnership was recognised by the ISI as having had a hugely positive impact upon our pupils. They said..
"Pupils' contributions to others, the school and wider community is excellent... They have undertaken litter-picking in their local community, entertained locals at a street party, and talked with joy about the partnership they have with a school in Malawi. They particularly enjoy seeing the fruits of their labours when the African school responds to their contributions in assemblies" ISI Report, November 2022
Recent Fundraising Projects
One of the major roadblocks to education for girls at Msalura is the lack of available feminine sanitary products. One of the key projects at Essendene in 2017 was the ‘Days for Girls” project – during this period parents met to work together to sew and put together basic sanitary packs for the girls. Working together, a team of some 20 parents and teachers spent afternoons and evenings together making and packaging the packs, which Mrs Ali was able to deliver to the school during her visit in the Autumn.
One of the crucial areas in which parent fundraising has been directed at Msalura is the Gifted Girls Fund. While primary education is free in Malawi, secondary education is not, making it extremely difficult for girls to access education after the age of 11. Fundraising has targeted this area particularly, allowing a number of girls to fund their secondary education and progress onwards towards University.
In 2018 the parents of Essendene Lodge School organised a spectacular gala dinner. Thanks to donations of raffle prizes from parents, performances from staff, and even the loan of a parent’s restaurant for the evening, over 100 people were able to raise in excess of £7,000. As a result, work on the water pump and rebuilding more sanitary toilet blocks was able to start immediately. Any excess funds were put towards Days for Girls and The Gifted Girls Fund.
Fundraising in the past few years has focused on rebuilding and refreshing the classrooms at the school so they are a better learning environment. Read more about this project here.