Playground Project Inspires School Pride in Malawi
“This project represents the only playground like it for 50-100 kilometers.” – Joseph Kandiyesa, Director of Kindle Orphan Outreach
Scroll below to read an inspiring update on this project from the school’s head teacher.
Mwbezera Primary School has something very unique in this part of the world – a beautiful new playground. In a partnership among Extreme Response, Kindle Orphan Outreach and Kids Around the World, a team of volunteers recently completed the playground project in Salima, Malawi.
The playground project helps demonstrate God’s love to the 800 students and the community, reflecting the hearts of local leaders, global partners and donors who care deeply about the people of Salima. The playcenter will act as a beacon so more kids will want to attend – and stay – in school.
The installation took 230 man-hours over four days. ER oversaw the playground project, Kids Around the World provided the playground, and ER partner Kindle provided the land and some labor. Major components include four plastic slides, a big roller slide, two bridges, eight platforms, a zip line, a tire swing, a tunnel, many fireman poles, and monkey bars.
The playground installation provided a wonderful opportunity for community engagement. In addition to local volunteers, many students participated.
“The school’s head mistress had the kids help clear the dirt and put down a softer sand type mix,” said ER’s Nick Carnill, who coordinated the work. “Every day we had kids watching and waiting patiently to play on it. Most of them had no clue what a playground was.
“After the dedication, they let the kids try it. I’ll bet we had a few hundred kids on it at once – all with the biggest smiles in the world. They loved it. They all kept saying ‘thank you’ with massive smiles.”
ER has partnered with Kindle for many years and has been fortunate to participate in the community’s journey to better health, education and standard of living. While there remains much to do, Kindle’s director is excited by the immediate impact the playground is having and its potential to expand ministry opportunities.
“The playground is beyond expectations,” said Joseph Kandiyesa, Director of Kindle Orphan Outreach. “It’s probably the only playground like it for 50-100 kilometers.”
In addition to the playground, 100,000 OneMeal packets were packed by volunteers in California and were included in the shipping container with the playground. The food packets will be mixed with locally grown crops to help them go further in providing valuable nutrition for the students at the school. The school is located in a part of Malawi that experiences famine, so Kindle is strategically saving meals for when famine is at its worst.
“What’s exciting about this project is it touches many aspects of ER’s commitment to invest in human futures,” said Brice Wilson, ER Africa Region Director. “Partners, local and global volunteers, staff and donors came together to support the school by enhancing the learning environment. The playground will encourage playtime, provide physical exercise and boost community pride, while the food packets will assure good nutrition.”
“It’s really rewarding seeing the playground bring joy to the kids,” said Jerry Carnill, ER President. “But knowing our partner Kindle will use it as part of its ministry to share the gospel with the entire community is what’s most gratifying.”
Why it matters:
- Kids have a new reason to attend and stay in school in Salima
- Kindle Orphan Outreach has a new springboard to share the gospel with the community
- The playground reflects the love and concern of leaders, volunteers and donors have for Salima families
Playground Project Impact
ER received an encouraging update from the school’s head teacher, Mary Kamanga in December 2019. We’ve summarized it below.
The playground is leaving a positive impact. It is the center of attraction for the learners and the community at large. It has made the school enrollment increase. Learners are being motivated during break times and after school hours, thereby arousing their curiosity to attend school daily. This has resulted in lower absenteeism.
The equipment also has helped in the health of the learners as they get exercise and become more physically fit. As a result, their bodies are stronger and their mental capacity has increased, helping learners to contribute in class and improve their performance.
In addition, cases of fighting and bullying have decreased because the kids are spending their free time playing on the equipment. There is good socialization as the learners play together. The playground has put our school on the map as we’re the only one in the Salima district with such equipment. We are very thankful for what you’ve done for us.
Be part of ER’s next project. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New System Brings Clean Water to Child Rescue Center
These are exciting days for the kids at Belwop Child Rescue Center in Nyeri, Kenya. The 38 children and staff residing at Belwop have been struggling to get by with expensive – and inconsistent – water delivered by truck. They’ve been hoping and praying for a dependable source of clean water for years. Now that wait is over…
A team of staff and volunteers just returned following the installation of a water system at Belwop. Through the generous donations of supporters, ER was able to provide the custom-built cistern and system that will supply 100% of Belwop’s water.
The cistern is huge – approximately 17 feet in diameter – with a 26,400-gallon (100,000-liter) capacity. It took several months to dig out, pour and finish the cistern walls and cap.
It’s a good thing the system is high-capacity. Many human and animal mouths, plus food crops, rely on lots of water in this arid climate.
Here’s what UNICEF says about the water crisis in Kenya:
Estimates of water supply in the country indicate that only about 56% of the population has access to safe water. Approximately 80 percent of hospital attendance in Kenya is due to preventable diseases and about 50 percent of these illnesses are water, sanitation and hygiene related. 16 million (50 percent) Kenyans do not have adequate sanitation.
Fortunately, Nyeri receives good annual rainfall. The system will collect this water, store and purify it, and deliver it for bathing and clean drinking water. It also will be used for gardening and watering livestock.
Many individuals generously provided gifts to build the water system. A donation from Canvas Church in San Francisco put the project over the top. Canvas also has sent two teams of volunteers to Belwop to work with the children. According to Lead Pastor Travis Clark, the congregation has developed a special bond with these incredible kids.
“We love Belwop and felt this water project was a solution that would meet a variety of needs to further the important work that Belwop is doing in the lives of so many,” said Clark. “We’re glad we could play a part in creating a future where no child at Belwop is thirsty again.”
Why it matters:
- Children, animals and crops finally have dependable clean water
- Belwop will save desperately need funds
- Donors made a life-changing investment in these kid’s future