Hooke Court in Malawi was established as a UK charity in 2015 having been involved with 9 schools in the Bandawe area of Malawi since 2011. The charity has 8 trustees – most of whom are highly qualified teachers and Head Teachers.
Our charity aims to help improve standards of primary education in the these 9 schools by providing UK trained teachers to give advice and help in and out of the classroom as well as to fund raise to give the schools basic resources.
Mandy Cooper, trustee and her husband Pete, have spent many months in Malawi over recent years and have developed a strong relationship with the teachers in the Bandawe area of Malawi. As a result of this it was decided that Hooke Court would become involved in helping the schools in this area. Since 2014 we have been taking groups of volunteers to help implement phonics in the schools, provide team building activities for the children and carry out minor repair and maintenance in the classrooms. In August 2015 a party of 17 volunteers travelled to Malawi to work with the teachers and children. We raised money to pay for renovations to a girl’s boarding house, repair and resource some classrooms and provide a few basic resources for two schools. Two UK schools also forged links with 2 Malawi schools.
In September 2015 the Hooke Court in Malawi Charity was formed.
In 2015 the World Bank ranked Malawi as the poorest country in the world based on GDP. Only 40 – 50% of children complete primary education and 11% complete secondary education.
The Government made primary school education free for all children a few years ago but refrained from providing the schools with any more funding, resources or infrastructure to support this initiative. Consequently, teachers are faced with classes of 100 – 120 or more children with no resources except possibly a few desks. The parents are too poor to provide pencils and paper, the school has no money to buy such items making learning a very difficult task.
The Government have more recently stipulated that all children from 5 years old are to be taught everything in English. Previously, this was compulsory from 11 years old. Teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the English language and ways of teaching reading to enable this to be implemented.
At 13 years old, the children must take a test to enable them to enter into secondary education. The cost of this test is 50p, which is far too expensive for most so the majority of children leave school and join their parents farming for survival.
‘a fabulous opportunity for us to develop our skills and knowledge as well as helping others.’
Upcoming and past fundraising events
The evening will be great fun with lots of excitement planned! Tickets will be on sale in early 2017.
The One Hundred Club is up and running. For £5 a month you have the opportunity of winning one of 4 prizes every month - £50 for first prize!
If you would like to join please contact Ros Bush on 01308 862260 or
‘it has been the experience of a lifetime – thank you. I now have to start fund raising and spread the word.!’
GET INVOLVED! - Join our team of volunteers who go out for 2 weeks in August to help teach and maintain the local schools.
‘I have learnt a lot about myself and my outlook. Loved the project, beyond my expectations’
Your money could help to raise much needed funds for the people in one of the poorest countries in the world.
This can cost as little as £70 per term and will enable a 13 year old child to continue their education rather than join their parents in the fields.
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Please make cheque payable to: Hooke Court in Malawi
Postal Address: Sarah McConnell, Hooke Court, Dorset DT8 3NX
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A party of 14 volunteers arrived in Malawi during August to spend 2 weeks with the children and teachers in the Bandawe Zone. All the volunteers worked very hard with the teachers and children providing interactive and informative maths and phonics lessons as well as some sessions of art.
The One Hundred Club kindly gave us paint and brushes for all the children to practise colour mixing and painting flowers on the walls of their classrooms. The children were totally captivated and the results were amazing. Along with the wall displays we had provided the classrooms were totally transformed!
The teachers were extremely grateful for the time we spent with them explaining how to teach maths and phonics and learnt a great deal from our teaching of their children. The Jolly Phonics actions and letters and sounds information is now infamous in Bandawe!
Alongside all this, and thanks to incredibly generous funding from School in a Bag, we had 85 bags made and filled them with exercise books, pens, pencils, geometry sets, rulers, pencil cases and water bottles for 2 Standard 5 classes. The children were so excited when they received their bags – it was an amazing experience to see how overwhelmed and truly grateful they all were. Thank you so very much to School in a Bag and let's hope we can provide even more Standard 5 children with bags next year!
With the donations everyone has made to our charity we were able to provide every child (approximately 5000 in total) with exercise books, pens and pencils and the teachers and schools with planning books, pens, chalk, board rulers etc. According to the Deputy Education Minister, Nkhata Bay, the schools would be starting in September as the best stocked schools in Malawi – thank you so much everyone for all your incredibly generous donations.
We were also able to provide funds for 2 schools – Munkhokwe and Mkundi to start their own gardens. They are now in the process of growing maize, beans and vegetables with the aim of starting to feed their children next year when crops run low. The response from the communities and the help they have promised has again been overwhelming and the gratitude immense.
Finally the charity is official! We have been able to register with the Charity Commission and are currently in the process of registering with Virgin Money Giving. We will update our website with the details as we receive them.
The school summer term in Malawi is coming to a close and we have been able to provide a meal a day for all 5000 children for the last few months. New crops should mean they will be able to feed themselves for the holiday and into next term. With the poor weather however we are concerned we will need to start the feeding programme again in January. This means we will need an extra £15000 to ensure they all get one meal day from January until July 2017.
Thank you so much to everyone who has been donating so much money, clothes books and toys. We are now busy packing as much as we can to take with us this August. A party of 16 will be travelling to Chintheche during August to work with the teachers and children, to provide some much needed maintenance in the schools as well as to help set up some school ‘farms’. We now have enough funds to provide essentials for both the pupils and teachers as well as materials to maintain the buildings and fertilisers and seeds to introduce growing food at a two schools.
In 2015 flooding followed by intermittent rains in areas in Malawi affected the maize harvest. Consequently, the price of maize has gone from KW1,500 for 20 kg six months ago to KW5,500 at the present time, (£1.50 to £5.50). Whilst the area we work with is in the cassava growing belt the local population relies on maize to keep them going through the “lean” period. At current prices people just do not have the money to buy even this most basic food. Alan, one of our Trustees visited Malawi in January and saw the situation for himself. Since then the situation has deteriorated and we are receiving more information about the food shortages. Many children survive generally on one meal a day, now some are not even having that – there are tales of mangoes being used to make porridge, crops dug up early, children staying away from school because of hunger.
The Trustees have taken the decision that we must divert resources and fund a feeding programme for the children in our sponsored schools. We estimate that to feed all the children in the area one meal of maize porridge each day from April until the harvest in October we need £15,000. We estimate we have about £4,000 towards the £15,000 so much more money is needed to fund a meal a day for these children.
Mandy and Pete are heading out there this month to commence the purchase and organisation.
Please help us in any way you can. Every 2p donated buys one child a meal of maize porridge.
If you would like to Volunteer, Donate or have any questions in regards to the Charity, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Hooke Court in Malawi
Dorset DT8 3NX
Telephone: 01308 862260