2021 was a difficult year for schools in Malawi as the pandemic raged around the world. Schools closed then opened then closed again. An after-school program we supported didn't really get going until 2022. Its focus is understanding how to recycle materials and think about the environment and how it is impacted by plastics and general waste. More than 60 students attend the program each week and here a student demonstrates one of the tasks. This one keeps the area where they live clean and free of rubbish and it helps with deforestation as well as educating students (and then their local communities) about the cause and effects of climate change. In this particular case waste paper/rubbish is picked up and soaked and dried then screwed up into hard tight balls and used for burning instead of charcoal.
In 2017 The Rosemary Pencil Foundation partnered with US media company WGBH in Boston. Design Squad is an Emmy award winning television series on PBS with curriculum for classroom activities.The emphasis is on design and engineering with a focus on going green. With aid from CITW, local teachers in Malawi were trained on the curriculum. The fun-packed activities enforce critical thinking and problem solving as the kids invent and develop ideas and devices that help to improve their own lives.The older group of secondary school students was working on the Wind Power Challenge while a younger group of primary school students was lackling the Flight Test Challenge.
We launched a Creative Writing Prize in 2019 and received entries from students at five schools - boarding and day schools. The essay writing competition for secondary school students is to encourage greater fluency in reading and writing in English.
Children in the Wilderness was instrumental in organizing the running of the program. The first round of judging was supervised by Mr Chipuzga of Mzuzu University and a final round of judging took place with a team of jurors in the USA as well as three local judges in Malawi.
We will refine the rules and regulations slightly for the next competition and hope to attract even more essays.
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