DAPP Malawi donates for special needs classroom project at Lilongwe Demonstration Primary School

Development Aid from People to People (DAPP Malawi) has donated bales of clothing to Lilongwe Demonstration Primary School in Area 25 as way of helping the school complete with the construction of the Special Needs Resource Classroom.

Caroline Mijiga receives donation from Donation

Caroline Mijiga receives donation from Donation

Special Needs Classroom was a toilet

Special Needs Classroom was a toilet

The special needs resource room project will enable a total of 44 learners with different impairments at the school to learn in a conducive environment as at the moment classes happen in a dark room with no proper ventilation which used to be the toilet.

Speaking when receiving the donation from DAPP Malawi, teachers and parents expressed gratitude to DAPP Malawi for providing the timely assistance.

“We are glad to receive this gift from DAPP Malawi.” Said Alfred Jamu, the school Chairperson for Parents and Teachers Association

“Our project of constructing classroom has stalled for a long time due to financial challenges but with donation from DAPP, now we have hope that we are going to have enough money for the completion of this project and that our children will soon be learning in good classroom.”

Head Teacher for the school, Ms. Caroline Majiga said the school needs a proper special needs classroom and therefore the ongoing project “is very important” as these learners are “very important to us and to the
nation.”

She therefore said the school is delighted to receive support from DAPP towards such a very important initiative.

“We are constructing a resource room and this project started last year but stalled for several months because of lack of funds to purchase some building materials. So, DAPP has come at a right time
and we thank God and we thank DAPP for the initiative which they have done to our school.”

Head teacher, Mijiga, has since expressed school’s redness to mobilise management and school committees in take responsibility of selling the clothes and follow transparent and accountability process of
channeling proceeds for the intended purpose.

She disclosed that the estimated cost of constructing this single special needs classroom is valued at K500 thousand but they have faced a shortfall of K250 thousand and she expressed hope that proceeds from
sell of the clothes from DAPP will help in procuring resources for the completion of classroom.

The head teacher said the completion of the classroom “will be a relief” and “blessing” to the school because the school is not pleased to see special needs leaners continue having classes in unpleasant
room.

She further expressed hope that with the new classroom, the school be able to send more special needs learners to various secondary schools across the country than now, as due to poor learning environment the school only manage to send a handful of them to secondary schools.

A Learning Difficulties and Special Needs Education teacher at the school, Brenda Chavula, who teaches learners with intellectual and physical disability highlights some of challenges the special needs
education is facing at the school.

“There are a lot of leaners, the room is dark since it was meant to be a toilet. So we hope the new room will offer a good environment.”

She continued: “We don’t have classroom chairs that are suitable for learners with different impairments, we don’t have computers in our resource room, we need teaching materials like tooth paste, basins and
soap because we use them to teach activities of daily living skills particularly on how they can bath themselves.”

Teacher, Chavula and the head teacher Mijiga both pleaded with individuals and organisations of goodwill to will emulate from DAPP gesture by taking part in helping the school so that we can meet the
education needs for the special needs learners.

Nozipho Mguquka, Communications and Promotions Officer at DAPP Malawi said the organisation decided to provide support the school in the construction of the special needs classroom because it understands
that it has the role to play in promoting education of children with special needs.

“The school contacted us and highlight that they were in need of support to complete the special needs classroom. As DAPP, we believe in equipping communities with the tools that are necessary for their
own upliftment that is why we decided to donate these bails of clothing so that the school together with school structures such as school management committee, the PTA (Parents and Teachers Association) could take up the role to facilitate the sale of these bails of clothing so that whatever is realised goes towards the completion of their project of special needs classroom.”

She explained that DAPP could not directly give money to the school because they want community to take full ownership of the project.

“As DAPP, we do not believe in handouts. That is why we decided to give them these bails of clothing to in strengthening their own structures as well as helping them own the school project. So, we decided to give this donation in form of kind so that the school joins hands together with the communities and parents to sell these clothing to the public.”

This is not first time DAPP Malawi assisted Lilongwe Demonstration Primary School. Currently, DAPP is working with the school through Let Children Stay in School (LCSS) programme which aims at reducing
dropout rate for children attending primary school education particularly in the early stages which are Standard 1 and 2.

The project is helping to improve selected schools with child friendly teaching and learning environments including increasing nutrition status of children attending early primary school education.

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