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Pemphero school in Mangochi

Pemphero school

We’d like to say thank you to SMBC Aviation Capital and Johnson and Johnson for their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects that have, in particular, supported educational projects in Malawi.

SMBC Aviation Capital will be assuming a major role in the funding and construction of a girls’ hostel at Pemphero School in Mangochi, while Johnson and Johnson have continued to support us with the purchase of a much needed minibus, as well as playing their part in the construction of the hostel.

It seems only fitting that the building work on the school should then be completed over the second half of the year by our school visitors: Kingswood School, Verde Valley School, Lancing College and George Watson College.

Pemphero School will provide a number of our returned children with a fantastic opportunity to get a secondary education for many years to come. For many of the girls, however, the distance they have to travel to school is a problem; the time it takes for them to walk to and from Pemphero, and the responsibility of household chores when they return home, means that they don’t have time to do their homework. Another problem is that, whilst travelling between home and school, they attract unwanted attention and propositions from boys.

Some girls have even chosen to ‘self-board’ by renting a hut close to the school so that it’s easier for them to attend. When lessons are over, however, they are no longer the responsibility of the school, and the burden of paying for rent, cooking and supporting themselves at such a tender age means many don’t manage to complete their education. That’s why Joseph Changadeya, who established the school in 2009, wanted to create a safe haven where these girls could live and learn.

His dream will soon be a reality, largely thanks to two of our corporate sponsors. Earlier in 2016 Johnson and Johnson visited Mangochi to lay the foundations for the girls’ hostel. While SMBC Aviation Capital, who are funding the project, arrived in June to continue working on the build. We’re overwhelmed by the fantastic support both companies have provided. Run by a matron, and away from the distractions of domestic work, the hostel will allow the girls to board during the week and focus on their studies in a safe environment.

In return for these renovations, Joseph has guaranteed that 20 places will be offered free to students chosen by Open Arms. This will directly benefit children we have returned to their village communities who may otherwise not have had the chance of a secondary education.

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