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A teacher in a classroom teaching children in africa

Reshaping a Community Through Education

It’s dark when Margret wakes and rises. The sun won’t be up for another hour, but Margret has too much to do to wait for daybreak. Her husband, John, also begins to wake. Careful not to disturb their two children, Margret slips from the house.

She lights a small fire in the outdoor stove that serves as the family’s kitchen, then finds her pail. She’ll have to walk to the nearest borehole to get water. By the time she returns, the fire will be hot enough to warm the water so that her children can clean themselves, and she can use the rest of the water for cooking and cleaning.

The sun is beginning to rise as Margret sets about making breakfast for the family. By now, her four- and six-year-old are stirring. After breakfast, the family leaves – John to tend the family’s small farm and Margret and the children to walk into town. Margret’s six-year-old goes to the local primary school, but her four-year-old will come with her to the Community-Based Childcare Center supported by Feed the Children.

The Childcare Center provides lessons at the pre-kindergarten level, as well as daycare, and – just as important – food for the students. Margret arrives an hour early so that she can tidy up the classroom and prepare a breakfast of nutritional porridge for the other students who will soon begin arriving.

Margret began volunteering and teaching at the Childcare Center a few years ago, and it quickly became her passion project. She’s been the center’s most active volunteer, as well as its biggest advocate. In the afternoons, when she’s finished teaching, she goes to the homes of any students who were absent that day to check on them. She even visits the homes of children who don’t attend the center, promoting its benefits and encouraging parents to send their children to get an education. It can be a tough sell – in the Mzimba district of Malawi, where Margret lives, young children are often expected to help on their families’ land, herding livestock or doing other simple tasks.

Despite this, Margret’s efforts to recruit students have been met with overall success. Since the Childcare Center began operation, the local primary and secondary schools have seen improvements in students’ grades.

Margret sees the education provided by the Childcare Center as crucial to the development of her community.

“My husband and I thank Feed the Children for introducing the Childcare Center to our village,” she says. “My children have been privileged to start school at a young age, and they regularly attend, unlike our generation. We used to attend school during summer months only and stop during rainy and winter seasons.”

Margret’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Recently, a local government body learned about her work and gifted her a brand-new bicycle to thank her for her efforts. Most people in Margret’s area only travel by foot, so having a bike has made her home visits much easier and less time-consuming.

Feed the Children is honored to work with and support individuals like Margret, whose strong commitment and unwavering love is reshaping entire communities!

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