“It was overwhelming to see all the kids so eager to learn”

A day to remember, an unforgettable experience. A time in your life when your world stops and goes in slow motion so that you can grasp all that life has. With the help of UNICEF and the IKEA Foundation, we were able to visit some of the most heartfelt locations in Malawi, where poverty and education is always the main concern.

On day two, (21 September) we visited Malindii II Primary School. At the start of our visit we were greeted by 1,148 students running and screaming with excitement.


We were then greeted by the principal of the school, Mr. Victor Njala. He explained how the school first started in January 1999 with only two teachers and 82 children. The classes were held in a grass shed made by the community.




By 2015, the European Union and the government of Malawi had built four classrooms, one teacher’s house and a toilet.

But by 2015/2016, with the help of the UNICEF funds, Malindii II Primary School was blessed with the child-friendly school package. This included six classrooms, an administration block, a teachers’ resource centre, a head teacher’s office, a library, three teachers’ houses, a kitchen block and separate girls’ and boys’ toilets for the students, all of which were built with sustainable blocks. Due to these funds, the school has now enrolled 1,148 students from standard 1 to standard 8. Each class holds roughly 110-140 children.

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Besides all these amazing things the school also has a mothers’ group, which has helped get around 11 girls back to school. This is a highlight, as in Malawi girls drop out due to poverty within the family and parents not seeing the need for girls to be educated. The mothers’ groups also help young girls during their menstruation cycle by providing handmade pads, distributing them to the girls and showing them how to use them. This was one of the causes for girls to skip school.

Ms. Jackson, the chairperson for the mothers’ group, told us that besides making the handmade pads for the girls, they also help in preparing food every day for 1,148 students. This is either maize, rice or porridge. They also cook the crops they grow in the schoolyard but, as there has been drought in 2016, they have had to look for some alternatives.

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This not all this amazing school does, despite having so many students and so few teachers. They have also made a separate class for kids with special needs, such as those with visual and hearing impairments, learning difficulties and also epilepsy. This class holds roughly 22 students, who have a special teacher to help them get the best education they possibly can.

No matter the poverty, we noticed that the people in Malawi are warm and kind-hearted. This can be seen as the teachers and mothers’ group work as volunteers to help educate children and, after their teaching duties, they go and work as housemaids or in the fields to earn some money to bring up their families.

After getting to know all that the school provides for the kids, we went to the classes to meet and play with the children. We were also given the opportunity to sit in one of the classes to see how they study. It was overwhelming to see all the kids participating, enthusiastic and eager to learn.


I had goosebumps and shivers down my spine at the end, when all the kids came to say goodbye to us. The joy and sparkle they had in their eyes just highlighted the purity in their hearts. They are truly angels and a true gift from God. It showed me how many of us take things for granted in our daily lives.

Everyone should visit Malawi to understand that there are people around the world who live with almost nothing, but still find the joy and happiness in the smallest things. We all can learn something from them. UNICEF and the IKEA Foundation have blessed and improved many kids’ lives. These organisations look at places and cities that no one else dares to look at, change the futures of kids and truly make the world a better place.


    Kay Sousa