Today we delivered our final training session in Blantyre Girls School. The Warm Heart of Africa is found in the most welcoming smiles of each child and in all the interactions with staff this passed week.
Across the training days, teachers have been keen to learn how to make best use of libraries and texts, including the many books provided by MLOL, to meet their planned learning experiences. They have been insightful participants and the exchange of learning has been in equal measure!
This is my first visit to Malawi and while battling some travellers' health issues as the week has progressed, I have been awakened to the wonder of life here: meeting rural teachers who are also farmers; being witness to intense hardship of women carrying swaddled babies with massive loads of sugar cane balanced on their heads across fields; absorbing the busyness of Blantyre streets and the delight of teachers to received our gifts.
My employer, Education Scotland (including colleagues within CLD Standards and Professional Learning and Leadership) gratefully provided stationery items, with the highlighter pens being highly prized by teachers from across Blantyre.
Teachers here thoroughly enjoyed the role play built into the training sessions for teachers, and were enthused by the little gift bags provided for their hard work.
Positively, evaluation data from the training sessions indicate an ongoing need for professional development. There is also a broader appetite to explore self-sustaining models for improvement and implementation, making the future of MLOL ever more important. MLOL will continue to rely on much needed donations to achieve such important next steps for Malawi's children and young people.
I wish to thank Jacqui Nimmo (Senior Regional Adviser) and Patricia Watson (Strategic Director) at Education Scotland for approving my time to volunteer for MLOL in amazing, Malawi!
A big thank you is also extended to MLOL for giving me this tremendous and heart-swelling opportunity. Having the privilege and pleasure to experience the teaching and learning opportunities in rural and urban primary schools working with such dedicated staff, many walking miles to attend our training, and to meet all the children will stay with me throughout my life.
MLOL provides a tangible beacon of hope for the children of Malawi.