Essendene Lodge School held their Autumn term cake sale to raise much-needed funds for a primary school in Malawi.

The School Council at Essendene Lodge School held the cake sale on Wednesday, October 12th, raising £661 for Msalura Primary School in Salima, Malawi – adding to the thousands of pounds raised since our partnership began in 2011.

The school hopes their most recent efforts will continue to help the children of Msalura to learn and best prepare themselves for life in Salima – one of the poorest areas in one of the poorest countries in the world.

Headteacher, Kishwar Ali, explained, “Over the last 11 years we have supported Msalura in a multitude of ways – engaging all our school community in the process. Our annual cake sale fundraiser is just part of this ongoing support.”

Daniel Okeyo, School Councillor said, “It’s good to do things like this to provide opportunities for children in Malawi who may not even have pens and pencil. The cake sale money will be used for the benefit of all pupils in Msalura.”

Msalura Primary School is a large urban primary school in Salima, Malawi, which provides education to over 1,500 pupils daily. Class sizes are often more than 70 pupils. Teaching facilities and resources are basic and for years, the school could not provide more than the most essential sanitation.

Projects that the school have championed over the years include donating sports and computing equipment, supporting staff visits and making contributions to the Gifted Girls Fund – helping girls to continue into secondary education and progress onwards towards university.

In 2018, a Gala Dinner was organised by parents who raised over £5,000, enabling the school to dig a well and install a water pump, giving the school its own fresh water supply – transforming the lives of children and staff.

In recent years the school has also supported the ‘Days for Girls’ project with parents putting together basic sanitary packs – helping provide girls with the resources they need to manage their periods, stay in school, and continue their education.

In June, following an appeal, the school was able to send, by shipping container, five large boxes of toys and learning materials donated by parents and pupils for use by children with Special Needs – a new department at Msalura.

Kishwar last visited the school in 2017 and is currently planning her next visit to Msalura in May 2023, during which she plans to re-establish the partnership and meet the school’s new Headteacher to discuss joint teaching and learning activities – including facilitating live classroom links.

Kishwar explained, “Despite being in an extremely poor area, the school performs exceptionally well. The partnership is mutually beneficial. We learn as much from them as they do from us.”

The current fundraising focus for the school remains on the Gifted Girls Fund, Days for Girls and continuing to improve the infrastructure, particularly the sanitation, at Msalura.

Kishwar said, “I could not be prouder of our amazing children, staff and parents who always go above and beyond to support our partnership with Msalura. Over the course of this year, the staff, the PTA, parents and all the children at Essendene will be looking new and innovative ways to help support Msalura’s continued development as a beacon of hope and progression in Salima.”

In 2020, Essendene Lodge won an ISA Award for Outstanding International Involvement thanks to its ongoing partnership with Msalura.

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