After a long wait between 4 countries, we have finally been able to visit another Plan Project. It has been our main objective to raise awareness about the great work that they are doing here in Africa, and to see a project up close shows us what a great cause we are riding for.
We visited Mkoma Preschool today and what an amazing experience we had. After finally hooking up with Patrick we made it out to the school that Plan built. We were greeted by a mob of children and caregivers singing traditional songs beautifully. Their warm smiles immediately made us feel welcome.
Before Plan arrived, the villages surrounding the school did not have a place to study. They crammed into a small church and had limited facilities.
Now, they are thriving with a preschool and a primary school complex, where they are taught creative arts, reading science and nature and even physical education.
The complex is equipped with clean lavatories, a kitchen to feed them a mid morning snack, 2 rooms in the preschool as well as an office, 7 buildings for the primary school with 1 under construction and even a field of soy beans that they grow and harvest themselves. The soy bean field not only teaches the children how to farm but it is put to good use by keep them nourished.
We were impressed with how happy and proud the caregivers and the children were of their school. They really wanted to show us what they have accomplished. Children showed off their swing set and jungle gyms, and even told us what they wanted to be when they grow up. It seemed that the popular choice was a driver. Makes you realize what you have as a westerner. They probably rarely, if ever get the opportunity to ride in a car, so a driver would be a dream job.
The children were very healthy thanks to Plan. A healthcare assistant visits the school each month to weigh each student to make sure that they are staying strong. If they lose too much weight, they are immediately sent to a clinic where they are fed peanut butter and other nutrients to get them back on track.
What we are really impressed with once again about Plan, is how they make each project sustainable. They teach the community the necessary skills to keep the project running after they have left. In doing so, the communities become self sufficient and can remain a success into the future.
It is interesting that we were brought to see a preschool, but once we arrived, we learned that Plan also brought safe drinking water to the community as well. They built a well here and now, instead of walking great distances to acquire fresh water, they can simply pump it from the well close to home.
We look forward to visiting more Plan projects as we travel down through 4 more countries. We really believe in their work and have seen first hand that charities like Plan who build sustainable projects are what this continent needs. Not only to give hope, but to establish a sense of pride in each community that receives their aid.
We would like to thank the people of Plan Lilongwe who took the time out of their busy schedule to take us around.
Tambuzgani Msiska- Community Development Facilitator.
Uranda Mataka- Community Development Facilitator for Early Childhood Care and Development
Patrick Zgambo- Communications Manager.
And to all of the caregivers, parents, children and our driver for the day.