Written by CorpsAfrica/Malawi Volunteer Mr. Emas Potolani
Well, I must admit I have been missing for a while. The past weeks have been tiring and busy for me. My students and I have been busy with lessons and several activities that we were doing. As a comeback post, allow me to share with you my sincere joy and gratitude to the newly appointed Art of Giving Ambassador for Malawi, Miss. Winnie Mwamsamali who paid my school an unforgettable visit on 17th May 2016.
On this day May 17, 2016, was Art of Giving Celebration Day, and different nations in Africa and countries in Asia took time to celebrate the art of giving as they touched lives of the vulnerable communities through giving and spending time with such communities (you can read more through this link; http://www.artofgiving.co.uk). The theme for this day was Education for All. In Malawi, the ceremony took place at my school Chitete Primary. You might wish to know that my school has about 97 pupils with only Standard One to Standard Three.
Asked on why my School was chosen for this visit and ceremony, the ever smiling Brand Ambassador said that she felt compelled to choose Chitete because she follows and read more stories through this blog. I remember reading via the blog posts that the kids come to school with unwashed clothes and uniforms and mostly without taking a bath simply because washing and bathing soap is a luxury to most household from which these kids come. “Additionally, it felt so necessary to visit and conduct this ceremony here considering the fact that I personally know the CorpsAfrica Volunteer volunteering here at Chitete,” she said. Wow, this is honestly very humbling, that people out there are reading and following the stories from my community and are doing something to help transforming the lives of my kids here. Mu umidzo mulidi mphamvu (There’s surely power in unity).
It was indeed an afternoon of bliss at Chitete. The day was celebrated in an amazing day and many activities were incorporated to spice up the event. The event started at 1pm with the Malawi Art of Giving Brand Youth Ambassador, Miss Winnie Mwamsamali and the school kids playing netball in a friendly competition between girls and boys at the school. The kids were very happy and joyful. The sport took about 20 minutes and we later proceeded to an official start of the ceremony.
Present at the start of the ceremony were; the Malawi Art of Giving Brand Youth Ambassador, Miss Winnie Mwamsamali, the school teachers, Mr. Chadodoma, Mr. Misomali, Mrs. Kalolo, Mr. Symon, the school deputy head-teacher, two local comedians, Mr. Shaibu and Mr. Chiwaula and of course myself. The official opening of the ceremony started with a word of prayer by one of the school kids and this was later followed by a welcome speech and encouragement on education from the school deputy Head teacher, Mr. Symon. The Malawi Art of Giving Ambassador then came in to explain the Art of Giving Celebration and why we ought to have a giving culture as humans.
As a way of conveying a message to the teachers and kids on the theme “Education for All”, two local comedians Mr. Shaibu and Mr. Chiwaula, took the stage to both entertain and at the same time educate the kids and teachers on education and the importance of education. There was a need to emphasize on the importance of education since in this area most parents and kids do not value education. For instance some kids will be found hunting mice on a school day instead of going to school since they do not know the importance of going to school. The Ambassador took the stage after the comedians to emphasize on the importance of education and her own testimony of how she grew up and attained education and how it has and still is benefiting her, it was such a great motivation to the kids.
After all the speeches, the comedy and sports fun, it was time for the kids to get each their presents for the day. It was amazing to see the beautiful smiles on the faces of the kids. The Art of Giving Ambassador handed out notebooks, washing tablet soap and locally made fizzy drinks to the kids at our school.
After gifts presentations, the Deputy Head-teacher couldn’t contain it but stood up and conveyed his message of gratitude on behalf of the kids. The presents served as an encouragement to the kids present and their friends who were absent from school on that day.
The kids were later happily running home with their gifts. We had ten notebooks remaining and these were given to the teachers present as a way of appreciating the good job they do of teaching the kids despite the poor conditions at the school like lack of school staff office and proper classrooms.
As we unite to advocate for equal access to quality education to all the children living even in the disadvantaged communities, let us continue to play a role in transforming their lives. I felt compelled to share this amazing story to you knowing there are many of you out there with a kind heart like the Art of Giving Ambassador for Malawi Miss W. Mwamsamali, who will surely do like wise.