“Wow! What an amazing two weeks spent in Malawi!”

Left to right Mike, Caroline, Ian, Lucy, Dave, Jen and Angie

Left to right Mike, Caroline, Ian, Lucy, Dave, Jen and Angie

Angie Atkins writes:

For many years there have been strong links between Birmingham Diocese and Malawi, one of the poorest countries in Africa. This year was the 6th Educational Skills Share visit. The team consisted of 5 teachers and 2 retired teachers. The Malawian teachers were from church schools supported by the 4 dioceses in Malawi. The majority were Christians and it was wonderful how the UK team and the Malawi teachers bonded together because of our shared belief.

An outdoor classromm

An outdoor classroom

Whilst we were there we led workshops with 63 Malawian teachers and headteachers, demonstrated practical activities and facilitated discussions involving the Malawians and ourselves. We were particularly encouraged by their enthusiasm, readiness and willingness to put many new ideas into practice into their own lessons and to share the ideas with their colleagues once they returned to their schools. We are excited that the impact of these two weeks might well last for many months if not years.

Main road through a village

Main road through a village

We are very appreciative of all the support we received before we went to Malawi and we were very aware of God’s blessing and protection whilst there. Some examples of answered prayer – the team gelled together amazingly quickly (even though few of us knew one another before going), the presentations just fitted together like a jigsaw with no missing pieces and were relevant to the teachers, no-one was ill, and a potential road accident was avoided in ways we still don’t understand! We thank the many people who prayed for the team before and during the visit.

Lake Malawi at sunrise

Lake Malawi at sunrise

Malawi is a beautiful country with a stunning lake, white sands and wonderful sunshine!!!! However life is not all sunny over there. Issues raised by the teachers include very large classes (often 100 or more), no toilets, no running water, shortage of classrooms (a particular problem in the rainy season), few if any resources.

The team feel that this visit to Malawi was not an end in itself but just the beginning. We are continuing to keep in touch with several of the teachers via whatsapp and email and we are praying about how we can usefully continue to support teachers and schools in a practical way in Malawi.

We hope to be able to share more of our visit and future plans with the church in the coming months.

 

 

 

 

8th Oct 2015 Posted in: News, St John's Stories by Fran Varley 0

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