One of the country’s leading tobacco buying companies, Alliance One Tobacco Malawi Limited has spent over K12 million to renovate M’bindo primary school based in Traditional Authority (T/A) Mkukula in Dowa district which was in a dilapidated state.
Speaking during handover ceremony held at the school’s campus, Alliance One Malawi social services coordinator Godfrey Chimenya said his company decided to renovate the Dowa based school as one way of fulfilling its corporate social responsibility program in the country.
He explained that his company also decided to renovate the school after realizing that it is also based in the area where majority of people grow tobacco which the company buys annually in the country.
“As a company we thought it wise to renovate the two classroom blocks of this school of this school as part of our corporate social responsibility program here in Malawi but also as one way of ensuring that pupils are learning in a conducive environment,” said Chimenya.
According to Chimenya his company has been complimenting government’s efforts in
improving the standards of education in the country through construction of school blocks, renovations of poor and old classroom blocks as well as donating school desks among many initiatives.
Chimenya however urged parents in the area to avoid using children in tobacco fields as a source of labor but instead they should send their children to school so that they can become prominent citizens for this country in the future.
He further explained that as a company Alliance One Tobacco always advocates for good agriculture labour practices among tobacco growers which also strictly restrains the use of children in any tobacco related work in every country it is operating around the world.
In his remarks, Kanyenje zone Primary Education Advisor (PEA) Agnes Chitekesa commended Alliance One Malawi for renovating the school which was first built in 1982 and was never renovated since then.
“Let me commend Alliance One for renovating and constructing two more classroom blocks here at M’bindo primary school which has increased the school’s enrollment”, said Chitekesa.
According to Chitekesa the school’s renovations has helped to increase the school’s enrollment from 1,200 during the previous academic year to about 1700 during the current school term.
Apart from renovating the school, the company has also bought desks and teachers’ furniture.
Apart from M’bindo primary school, Alliance One Tobacco has also renovated classroom blocks in other four primary schools in Lilongwe and Mzimba districts respectively.