Grace Makandawire, a primary school teacher in Malawi, made an appeal to her friend, Epsom Rotarian Ruthie Markus, for buckets and soaps for primary schools in Malawi. Ruthie is currently working in Malawi and is CEO of The AMECA Trust, (www.ameca.org.uk).
Although numbers of Covid cases and deaths from Covid have remained relatively low in Malawi, the re-opening of Malawi’s schools in late September, brought new challenges. Primary schools routinely have very high numbers of pupils, sometimes in excess of 3000 and few schools have adequate washing facilities; many schools have no mains water, especially in rural areas.
Grace was sent for training on COVID 19 prevention in order to train staff in schools about the importance of handwashing. Following an appeal by Epsom Rotary Club, Ruthie was able to purchase 4,320 bars of soap and 500 20-litre buckets with taps, from local suppliers in Blantyre, southern Malawi.
Grace and Ruthie distributed the buckets and soaps over 3 long very hot days!! The terrain covered ranged from urban tar roads to challenging uneven mud rural roads, through tea estates and remote border villages. Priority was given to the more remote rural schools and those with high pupil numbers. The reception at all the recipient schools was nothing short of ecstatic, with touching ceremonies, much singing and huge gratitude.
Profound gratitude to the Rotary Club of Epsom, to all the donors and to The AMECA Trust was expressed by The District Education Manager, The Schools Inspector and from all the recipient schools. Epsom Rotary Club would also like to send their thanks to all donors. Your help has made a real difference to those less fortunate than us in these extraordinary times.
For more details about Epsom Rotary Club please visit epsomrotaryclub.org.
These photographs show Ruthie, staff and pupils of recipient schools preparing to make good use of the buckets and soap in the fight against covid-19.