Just the Facts...

: Complete

School: Chigampha Primary School

Country: Malawi

District: Kasungu

Village: Chigampha

Donor: The Al O'Connor & Anne Studabaker Foundation

Partner: BuildOn

Year: 2010

Grades: 1-7

Students: 511 Students

Why we work in Malawi:
● Malawi ranks #153 amongst 169 countries with data on the United Nations Human Development Index, a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education and standard of living.
● Malawi has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection in the world - 15% of adults ages 15-49 are infected - and a growing population of children orphaned by this disease.

Chigampha School Construction Complete on September 20, 2011!

The New School!
Before breaking ground on their new school the people of Chigampha’s villages gathered all the local materials for the project and molded more than 50,000 clay bricks. These bricks were then fired in a kiln while the community awaited delivery of other construction materials from buildOn. The community broke ground on the school in June of 2010. The villagers contributed 2,291 volunteer workdays to the project and completed the construction on September 20, 2010. The school is now serving 511 children (46% of them girls) from the surrounding 18 villages, and supports six teachers- 2 women and 4 men.

Chigampha Community Profile

Chigampha is an area in the eastern part of the Kasungu district of Malawi with a population of about 11,000 people. The area has 18 Village Headmen and belongs to the Chewa ethnic group.

The primary activities of the people in all the villages in this area are agriculture and small livestock keeping. The people practice subsistence farming, and their main crops are maize and tobacco. They sell the tobacco on auction floors to foreign companies. Families generally own pieces of land that are passed from one generation to the next.

Life in Chigampha

This area of Malawi has a tropical climate, with the hottest months being from September to December and coldest months from May to August. The rains usually start in December and end in April.

Due to over-population in the area, land is now insufficient to support the whole population and much of it is degraded and overused. Every year, people buy fertilizer to enrich the soils for their crops. Due to high prices of fertilizer most people fail to buy it in large enough quantities, and as a result their yields are low and of poor quality.
Most of the people in the villages live in grass-thatched houses with walls built of mud. The houses are surrounded by farmlands.
The previous Chigampha Primary School

Old School Conditions

Chigampha Primary School was established in 1979 for grades 1 to 7. One classroom was constructed by the European Union in 2003 and the community managed to build one school block with a roof, but no plaster or cement floor. The other classes that don’t fit into these buildings are taught under shade trees or in very old shelters, which are dangerous for both children and teachers.

The school serves 511 children from the surrounding 18 villages and has 6 teachers (2 women, 4 men). After grade 7 children must go to other schools to continue their education, but many girls drop out of school at this point because the other schools are very far from their homes.

The community understands the importance of education for their children. The people are eager to work with buildOn to construct their first permanent, good quality school block and participate in the Community Education Program.