It’s a bright summer morning at Chatuwa Primary school. Children are running about and playing various games since it's their break time. The excitement continues when a UNICEF vehicle drives into the school compound. Out of the vehicle walks a young lady called Sangie. Yes Sangie, one of Malawi’s top female reggae and dancehall artists.
It is a hot, dry and windy day at Nankhali school, on the edge of Lilongwe. Most of the school is outdoors, with classes held under trees. Wherever there is a tree, dozens of children in blue school uniforms sit on the ground around a teacher, with a blackboard leant against the tree trunk.
Chikondi Mjojo wants to be a police officer when she completes her education. She works hard in school and is determined to give something back to her community. However, the high school student from southern Malawi had problems at home and was struggling to keep up with her school work.
Pauline Lot loves to write poems. When she was in primary school she wrote a poem for a competition about keeping girls in school. “It did really well and was one of the poems from our district to be selected to go to Lilongwe.”
Village Headman Kuruwe had a dream of improving the living conditions for children in his community. Using his influence he mobilized his community to mold bricks and with UNICEF's support they have managed to build a school block for learners.
My name is Chimwemwe Phiri. I am a standard 7 student at Nankhali Primary School. I come from Chonchola village, in Tsabango. My mother is a shopkeeper. My school is located in Masakhwa village. Most schools in Malawi have adequate learning and teaching materials. But Nankhali doesn’t have these things.
My name is Alpha Mkandawire. I go to Nankhali primary school and live in Kadzakumanja village, in the Lilongwe district. My parents are pastors at a local church. At my school, UNICEF is helping to construct three classroom blocks. They will include classrooms, staff house, a library and water pumps.
My name is Esther Domoya and I stay in Kazonga village, Tsabango. My parents sell tomatoes to make a living. UNICEF will start building all these structures at the end of July. Things will start going well and this will give us hope.
My name is Innocent Katiya. I live in Tambalale village, in Lilongwe. My father is a primary school teacher. At my school, UNICEF is going to construct three classroom blocks, a library, toilets, staff houses and a borehole.
Kwiputi is one of the better rural primary schools in Mangochi District, thanks to a series of changes driven by Headmaster Mustafa Pemba. Originally from a nearby village, he has a passion for improving the quality of primary education. Most heads stay at the school for two or three years, but Mustafa remained for 11 years to realise his vision.