A letter from the trustees - changes to what we do
The trustees at Think Malawi have agreed with the President of Ganet’s Adventure School, Gertrude Banda, that the charity will end its support for the school at the end of 2020. Both the school and the charity have maintained a long-held ambition for Ganet’s Adventure School to be financially independent. Given that the majority of the infrastructure that the school required has now been put in place, we believe that time has come.
Think Malawi will focus on improving access to primary and secondary education for as many of the neediest children in Malawi as possible. This aim will be better fulfilled by not concentrating the majority of its resources on one school.
Working towards a smooth transition
Think Malawi will continue to support Ganet’s Adventure School as normal up until the end of December 2020. We are grateful to all of our supporters, but particularly to the Alleyn’s School Parents’ Association, for their contribution towards school running costs. We will maintain funding of the school’s feeding programme until the end of the year too, made possible with the generous support of the LFT Trust and BUPA Employee Fund.
In addition, Think Malawi is making some important contributions to help the school transition into financial independence. The charity is waiving the remaining repayments for the loan it made to the school for the purchase of the school’s minibus. Furthermore, the funds remaining from the COVID fundraising which you, our supporters, so generously contributed to in the Spring, are being used to help the school make suitable adaptations when schools in Malawi are permitted to reopen in September 2020. We are also working with the school to help it set up its own blog and social media presence.
What's next for Think Malawi
We realise that this will be a shock to many of you, especially those of you who have supported the school through our work from our early days. However, we believe that this development will enable the charity to more readily achieve its aims and have a bigger impact on the lives of more children in Malawi. The “Her Education Matters” project is a good example of the way Think Malawi will work in the future. It has benefitted hundreds of girls, enabling them to stay in school during their periods when previously they would miss up to five days of school each month.
Your support will play an essential role in enabling these new projects to happen, and there will be lots of opportunities to get involved.
In order to continue our mission to remove the barriers to education for as many children in Malawi as possible, we are now inviting applications for up to £10,000 for new projects in Malawi. Find out more here.
Looking back - what our support of Ganet's Adventure School has helped to achieve
Since 2008, the charity has worked with the school to overcome many obstacles. These include the school being evicted forcibly from its original location by landowners in 2008; then in 2009 being shut down as part of a wave of private school closures across the country by the Ministry of Education. From these tough beginnings the school then began to grow, starting with the construction of four classrooms from 2010 to 2012 funded by the charity.
In 2012 the school won an award for Entrepreneurship in Education from Teach a Man to Fish. In recent years the charity has funded construction of four additional classrooms, toilets, a teacher’s house and a successful feeding programme. All of this enabled the school to consistently beat national average pass rates in the Primary School Leaving Certificate exams, improving the health and future prospects of hundreds of children over the years. The trustees of Think Malawi thank Gertrude and all of the staff at Ganet’s Adventure School for all of the hard work they have put in to making the school a success.
Steve McInerny, Founder and Chair of Think Malawi commented: “It’s been a real honour to have been able to work with Gertrude and everyone at the school for all this time. Gertrude has invited me into her home, and made me feel a part of the Ganet’s Adventure School family, so it’s very sad for me that we won’t be working together any more. Gertrude’s enthusiasm, love for children and indomitable nature have made the school a real success and an important part of its community. I wish her and everyone at the school the best of luck in the future, and hope to visit there again when I am next in Malawi.”
We welcome any comments or questions about this news, or messages that you would like us to pass on to Gertrude and the school in Malawi. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org with your messages.