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How we used your gifts in 2021

Thanks to our supporters’ generosity, we again managed to pay staff throughout the long covid closures – and used these empty months for more professional development. 

We were able to award staff another small ‘improved living’ salary increase, and to provide free places for 55  children in the community who live with the most acute disadvantages..

We added a full-time teacher for the Catch Up Class, a part-time PE teacher, and a second cook in the kitchen.  We completed our new Early Years Unit at the start of the year (which was soon full every morning and afternoon), installed ceilings (at last) in our staff houses, and then bought several thousand afro-centric reading books and dozens more desks for the growing number of learners.

In the second half of the year, every gift was used to fund our toilet and water project. We won’t finish all the building work until May 2022, but everyone is looking forward to using 20 modern w/cs,  10 showers, 4 rows of urinals and sinks, 4 drinking fountains – and a special room for our learners in wheelchairs. The days of lugging buckets of water around to flush toilets will soon finally be behind us.

Our hopes and plans for 2022

Every year, before we can plan any improvements, we must first raise the funds we need to pay the staff and run the school. 

This year, we expect the ordinary running costs of Mukwashi will be about £44,000 ($60,000). We hope local parents will cover 75% of this through fees, leaving £10,000 ($13,500) to raise from friends and supporters around the world.

Once we have covered these day to day costs (mainly teachers’ salaries) we will focus on raising  funds for our school improvement projects.

Over 98.5% of every pound, dollar and euro given by friends and supporters is used to run the school and improve its equipment and infrastructure. Less than 1.5% of gifts goes on banking and foreign exchange costs.

Your ‘one-off gifts’ fund our Improvement Projects

During 2022, once we have completed the Toilet project, we will prioritise three improvement projects.

  1. We need to replace our old and unreliable 30 seater bus with a newer, much larger vehicle which is in far better condition.
  2. The school is seeking to become self-sufficient in food for the long-term. We have just planted several hundred fruit trees and banana plants, and this year we want to buy enough goats, rabbits and hens to provide daily eggs and milk for our 500 learners.
  3. We also need to build a second block of 4-6 staff houses. Although this will be expensive in the short-term, it will reduce our staff costs by 25% every year in the long term.

Your ‘regular gifts’ fund our children’s Free Places

all ‘regular gifts’ (weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual donations) to increase the number of free places we provide to the  local children who are most disadvantaged. These are  either orphans, or whose family income is less than £22 ($29.75) per month.

This year, we are providing  50 learners with a free place (and 9 with a heavily discounted place). Ideally, we’d like to increase this to 70 free places for the children in our community who live with the greatest poverty and most vulnerability.

At the moment, 29 regular supporters fund 40 of our 50 free places, and teachers in a UK and an Austrian school have raised the funds for the other 10.  This means that each time we recruit another  regular giver we can offer another child in the community a free place.

School learning

Clement’s story

Learner at Mukwashi Trust School
Clement is six years old, and has just started Grade 1. He lives with his mother and an elder brother in a tiny house, and his other brothers live with their grandmother in the same village. His father deserted the family when Clement was a baby, and they don’t know where he is.

His mother does odd jobs round the farms trying to earn money: mostly by washing other people’s clothes for a few kwacha. She was excited when Clement was offered a bursary because she hadn’t been able  to afford to pay for any of her sons to attend school.

Clement says he wants to be a police officer when he completes school. He wants to maintain law and order, and doesn’t like people who steal.