Project Cost: £240,800
Project Location: Chisala, Malawi
For the children of Chisala and the surrounding villages the nearest secondary schools are 8km and 15km away. To attend school children need to walk there and back each day! With the support of the Malawi Education Department and Howard Brewer, we helped to develop proposals and build a new secondary school for this rural village.
All buildings were constructed with the help of local communities to construct locally hand-made bricks and roofs formed with timber frames and finished with metal sheet roofing. The building orientation and large windows will keep the classrooms cool.
The concept of providing vocational training within the new school also has the approval of the Malawi government. Helping to provide local villagers with new skills such as carpentry, tailoring and plumbing. DATUM constructed two internal workshops and were ready to accept students in September 2016. Chisala is located in a rural area of northern Malawi, remote from any major towns so DATUM built administration and office buildings for staff and accommodation buildings for the thirteen teachers and their families. A key aim of this project was to prevent children from more distant villages walking long distances each day. DATUM built to accommodation blocks: one for boys and one for girls. These will provide dormitory houses, kitchen, dining room and toilet and washing facilities.
DATUM recognizes the importance of providing toilets and hand washing facilities to the health of children and therefore four toilet blocks were planned on the site for both boys and girls. The first two blocks are completed. These provide deep pit latrines, urinals and hand wash sinks. In this rural area of Malawi there is no access to mains electricity. Therefore DATUM, with the support of Tony Bull has installed water and electrical supply systems. Children and staff now have access to clean drinking water thanks to the installation of a new water system pumped by solar power. DATUM helped to install solar electricity which allows children to do their homework and read after sunset.
The project could not have gone ahead without the help of local farmer James Chipeta who donated five acres of land for construction of the school which commenced in October 2013. Sadly, James died in September 2014 without seeing his dream of a school fully realized. We hope he would have been proud of our efforts.