Art Play London has teamed up with Ripple Africa
Help us make a positive difference to children in Malawi by helping improve education and resources.
As many of you know we took Art Play to Malawi in September 2019 to give children in Malawi an insight to the Art Play experience. During our time there we carried out art sessions in three of Ripple Africa’s pre-schools and ran teacher training classes each afternoon for all 27 of the pre-school teachers.
Schools in Malawi have large class sizes, between 80-120 children per class, with no basic resources including tables, chairs, books, pencils etc., or any teaching materials. The schools are often under-staffed and under-funded, creating extremely challenging teaching and learning conditions for teachers and students alike.
For most of the children we visited it was their first times using paints and having the freedom to use art resources. We had so much fun during these sessions although it would always take the children a little while to get stuck in. Once they did, they did they loved it. Seeing their creativity and imaginations come to life was such a rewarding experience. I am so amazed at the calm nature and resourcefulness of the children and how they share so well with one another. The older children really looked out for the younger ones too.
During the teacher training we discussed ‘teaching children how to think not what to think’ and how we can encourage creative thinking and imagination. We talked about creativity being an intelligence and the power art has for children to express their uniqueness.
We discussed using natural and recycled materials as resources and challenged them to go and collect things from the beach and then come back and make something from what they had found. I couldn’t believe how quickly the teachers got stuck in to making things and the things they created. We had such good discussions and laughs, and I loved the creativity and enthusiasm from them. They taught me to be more mindful about putting resources to good use and not letting the smallest things go to waste.
Our trip to Malawi was incredibly eye opening, being part of a charity, which is changing the lives of so many young people, is such a powerful and fulfilling feeling. I learnt so much from the Malawian teachers. Despite the large class sizes and lack of resources, they are enthusiastic and always so happy that they are working with the children.
Ripple Africa supports education in Malawi by
- Building and running eight pre-schools providing foundation education for 800 children per day
- Funding Primary School teachers across some of our local primary schools
- Building new classroom blocks at local primary schools
- Building and supporting a Secondary School including a girls’ dormitory and computer laboratory
- Running a sweet potato project which ensures each child at pre-school receives a nutritious sweet potato meal whilst at school. For many of these children it is the only meal they have in a day. This helps improve concentration, creates an incentive to attend pre-school, and reaches out to the most vulnerable children in the community by providing a benefit not only to their educational needs but also to their health.
Alongside Education, Ripple Africa also runs large-scale Environment projects including tree planting, forest conservation, fuel-efficient cookstoves and fish conservation as well as local Healthcare initiatives including our Disabilities and Rehabilitation Project.
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries. Up to 74% of the population live below the international poverty line of $1.25 a day. Maternal mortality rates are among the highest in the world and about 10 women die each day through childbirth. Three million people have no access to clean drinking water, about 11% of the population are HIV+, and there are over 1,300,000 orphaned children.
The majority of children in Malawi do not stay in Education passed Primary school. The percentage of the population aged 25+ years that have some secondary education is 15.93%. This is among the worst education statistics of sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, Malawi’s population is young – nearly 48% of the population is under 14 years of age which places enormous pressure on social services, and particularly on the education services.
How you can get involved
Art Play London will be doing regular fundraising events and will be encouraging Art Play children to open their minds and hearts to children in Malawi and support Ripple Africa. You will have the option when booking an Art Play event to donate a small amount to Ripple Africa. Just think, 24p can send a child to pre-school for a day.
£5 provides a child with a pre-school education and meal of sweet potato and tea for a month
£60 provides a child with a pre-school education and meal of sweet potato and tea for a year