In the beginning of January we started a new school year, which will last until the end of November. Upon arrival at school, the children received results of the final tests, which were written in the last week of November. Thanks to ELA’s daily workshops, where even 200 of them are given additional training every afternoon in mathematics, English, Chichewa language, reading and writing, Mazembe Primary School reports that every year more children successfully pass classes and that the village community is very grateful to us. If you invest in education, the future is brighter, because children will be less exploited in the future, because they will be able to read, write, speak English well and, above all, think for themselves.
There are still quite a few children who do not advance to the next grade every year, there are many reasons for it; the first grade teacher alone teaches 220 students, there are few textbooks in the class, the children don’t have workbooks, they only have notebooks that we give them through sponsors support. There are no snacks or lunches in public schools, children bring cold pieces of polenta, rice, bananas from home and eat them throughout school days. So they are hungry during the day and you know how hard it is to study with a rumbling stomach and the brain can’t accept the material. Teachers only teach in frontal ways (due to the large number of children & maintaining discipline, they cannot deal with individual children who do not master the material immediately) and this way of teaching brings little success. Even at home, some parents are illiterate and everyone is too busy working in the fields, doing household chores, fishing and earning daily bread so that the families can survive from today to tomorrow. So that when parents come home in the evenings, they concentrate on preparing food and do not deal with their children by the fire, which is the only source of light, and explain the material to them if they did not understand it. There are no textbooks at home and no electricity either (ELA’s centre is the only building with electricity). So a kind note to those sponors’ whose kids didn’t progessed to the next grade, I’m asking you not to be too disappointed. I can assure you that all children really do try and do their best to succeed, especially because they know that you are there for them and care about them. Some have reduced cognitive abilities, and then with the problems I listed above, success and understanding and mastering the necessary knowledge are extended for another year or two. In the African countries where I have lived and have been runnuning projects so far (Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi), it is really not a big deal if a child repeats a grade. In private, fee-paying schools, the situation is different (children receive the same standard of education as in Sloveninan public schools,the ratio of teachers to the number of students is 1:25, each child has the necessary textbooks, school materials, two meals per day are cooked at school, teachers make sure that each child masters the material before continuing with the lecture) and rarely do any of the children repeat the class. Unfortunately, in Africa, quality education is the privilege of the rich and not the right of everyone, as it should be and is in Slovenia. That’s why we try and try some more to contribute as much as we can with ELA’s programs to even out the injustice. But we couldn’t have done it without you dear sponsors and my Malawian team, so THANK YOU for being with us.
In February, the rainy season will begin, which means that malaria mosquitoes will breed wildly again, and with this there will be an increase in malaria infections, from which even babies get sick. This dangerous disease can be prevented by giving children mosquito nets, which is why they are on the present list of gifts. It is a large net under which the whole family can sleep, in addition to it, each child received 2x 200-page notebooks, 2 pens or pencils, a toothbrush and toothpaste (so that they do not have to brush their teeth only with salt water, as they used to do before) and a bar of soap.
Bless you all who are part of our African family, because of you, we can brighten and even save these amazing angelic lives.
If you wish to become a sponsor check the link: www.ela-africa.org/sponsorship
 

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