News Update February 2013
Living Way Education
After being asked to go to Ethiopia by two groups to investigate the possibility of school projects a new vision for the project emerged. This was to be called LIVINGWAY EDCATION.
Behind this vision lay the idea that if there was going to be a Christian school, needing Christian teachers, then surely there would be a need for a support system? Surely too there would need to be some sort of input from all stakeholders as to what constituted a ’Christian perspective in education, perhaps even some discussion as to what difference such a school would make to the community it found itself in and what the specifically Christian ethos of the school would be? Investigating some of this was to be the purpose of the trip to Ethiopia in February.
Further to this was the trip to be undertaken later in the year to Malawi. By the time we had returned in March we had a much clearer idea as to what needed doing. In the first place we could not continue to go back and forth from Ethiopia without there being an organisation in that country inviting us to return. All our efforts were to be focussed on setting up such an organisation.
In Malawi the situation was similar to the one in Ethiopia only instead of there being only one focus — that of education, in Malawi there were two activities to work on. We had asked our SENTAfrica representatives, Yunusu and Eunice Banda, to make an initial survey of schools to assess interest in setting up a teachers organisation. We did not know whether there would be such a need. Wherever they went they found enthusiastic interest and support. The next step was to bring the formation of the organisation forward and to hold a conference or workshop. This was to be our first focus for Malawi. The second was to begin an agricultural cooperative for the people of Khwidzi!
During the early months of the year planning for the trip to Malawi was made and the plans for the agricultural project were discussed by email and text. The results can be read on the projects page; SENTAfrica’s Khwidzi Agriculture Project and LIVINGWAY EDUCATION
Plans for Ethiopia:
SCHOOL: Jane and Jamie will be going to Ethiopia again in 2013. We are continuing to work with friends to establish a school somewhere north of Addis Ababa for the community our representative lives in. To do this we really need to be able to set up an indigenous NGO. However we are told that there are others who also want help so we may just lend a hand with plans others have for schools.
Plans for Malawi:
EDUCATION: Exciting development as it looks as if we are able to set up the NGO LIVINGWAY EDUCATION which will be looking into ways to promote excellent education and impart Christian values through social action and Christian service. The SENTAfrica representative has been visiting schools in the area of Salima and has found that teachers feel undervalued and in need of extra opportunities for experience sharing. Our last conference was in Lilongwe but we hope to do more work within individual schools in the future.
AGRICULTURE: The agricultural project is underway and it is hoped that by increasing the cash crops for the community through irrigating about a hectare of land extra income will be made enabling the participants of the scheme to purchase maize when they would otherwise have gone without. The project will be evaluated on the next visit in 2013. The project should be one that is self-sustaining. Participants contribute to a fund that will enable them to replace the pump when it wears out. The participants contribute to a maintenance fund and take full ownership of the pipes that deliver the water to their crops.