Have you heard the phrase, “Healthy things grow?”
It’s a saying that, in our experience – is actually true!
We have an uplifting example of this saying with you, a story about a WWFA water well that has brought about a transformational wonder of abundant growth and development we never would have dreamed of…until it actually happened.
You may recall that in 2020 – during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic – our team contacted the Malawi Department of Education who informed us that over 600 schools didn’t have access to clean and close water.
As we all know: Washing hands is one of the best ways to prevent the spreading of any disease – including Covid-19 – but what if you have no access to clean sustainable water to ensure adequate hygiene for the students and staff??
When we learned all this in 2020, with the help of compassionate supporters, we jumped into action. Since then, we’ve installed over 25 wells on school properties and schools are now on our regular planning schedule!
One of the schools, M’bawa School in Makokola village, received the gift of water from WWFA in late 2021.
Here you can see our drillers getting ready to drill down and install pipes that will bring the water up.
Before the water well was installed, Osman Ligomeka, a teacher at M’bawa School since its inception told us, “Students have to leave class every day and walk two miles to the river (for water). Unfortunately, it dries up in the dry season.”
Can you imagine having to constantly hunt for water for over 200 kids?
Our team learned that M’bawa School had grown to 215 students since starting in 2018.
Unfortunately, after three years of operation they still only had one fully enclosed structure and a single thatched classroom for shade! You can see these below.
Most teaching and activities were conducted outdoors. The teachers work sacrificially at sharing limited resources and rotating their classes through the two coveted areas, but these kids certainly deserve better!
So, back to the installing of the well…
The beauty of installing water wells on school property is that they don’t just benefit students and staff. The surrounding villages are welcome to come to pump water and fill their buckets, too.
So, the drillers got to work.
And thankfully, they hit water!
Once the water started flowing at M’bawa School, the community was motivated to use some of the well’s runoff water to further develop the school’s infrastructure. Their plan? Mix the water with local dirt to create bricks. These bricks would be used to build two new classrooms, two houses for teachers, and a staff office.
And build bricks they did! This year, within three months, they molded 45,000 bricks (you read that right! 45,000!) which will create the first new school block. They plan to expand M’bawa School into a full primary school, adding grades seven and eight.
Water is the element that allows bricks to be made, and it is the foundational “building block” for life and good health. The simple gift of water is already generating huge benefits for everyone in and around M’bawa School. Just look at these facts:
- Student enrollment has increased from 215 before the water well to 316 as of this posting – a whopping 47% growth!
- Student attendance, retention, and graduation rates are higher than ever.
- Children are no longer getting sick with waterborne diseases.
- Kids no longer leave class to fetch water for drinking or handwashing.
- Everyone in the local communities near this new water well has clean, close water available to them – thanks to our united partnership in life.
It’s a beautiful thing when local communities work together with WWFA donors! As the results above show you, every aspect of life is improved.
This pile of bricks – made of WWFA water well run-off and local dirt – represent hope. The people were inspired to become part of the solution for their community and so together we can celebrate the development of their school facilities and better health for students, staff, and the surrounding villages.
The students happily take turns pumping water out of the well!
Teacher Osman Ligomeka and the kids give the WWFA donors a big “thumbs up” and send their thanks for helping them be healthier and for improving their school!
Please help more kids and schools in Malawi. Your gift of any size will be put to work, installing a water well that will transform the entire community!