There are 14 government primary schools in the 37 villages served by MCV. Most would not qualify as schools in the United States because they are so poorly resourced. They have dedicated teachers and eager students, but many do not have desks, books, pencils and paper or adequate classroom space. Class sizes and reach 100 primary students for one teacher. Critically absent have been pit latrines and thus no bath rooms, one of the stated reasons that girls especially do not go to school.
The school to school program was developed so that US primary schools could partner with one of the above schools. To date six of these schools have US partners. All the US partners have raised money by a variety of means. Some have had bake sales, hosting an African auction night, developing African style Christmas card made by the students. All have had presentations by others who have either visited or worked at the Malawi Children’s Village.
Most of these schools have used this experience to add to their geography curriculum and many have developed a correspondence program for the students to write to one another.
The results have been impressive. For all schools, their first priority was pit latrines, then desks and benches for the students and augmented teaching materials. For some of the better resourced US schools have been able to send money for additional school blocks, doors for classrooms.
It is easy to distinguish between the village primary schools that now have US partners from those who do not.