By Duncan Mlanjira
Councillor for Limbe Central Gerald Lipikwe and that for Soche Ward Leonard Chimbanga played a huge role for Jacaranda School for Orphans to provide Mr. Luc’s Library project at St. Pius Primary School in Soche Township, Blantyre.
This was revealed on Tuesday during the official launch launch the 17th Mr. Luc’s Library that was done with pomp as it was graced by its sponsors — students and teachers from Shanghai American School.
Chimbanga revealed that as they discussed some of the needs of the school during one of the development committee meetings, he recalled that Kanjedza and Limbe primary schools were provided with a library by Jacaranda through Councillor Lipikwe.
He then liaised with Lipikwe who connected him with Jacaranda’s Executive Director, Luc Deschamps and the rest just rolled in.
A vacant room was provided which Jacaranda rehabilitated, decorated and provided shelves, tables, chairs and reading books that were sorted out according to the reading levels of the children.
The visitors from Shanghai American School were warmly welcomed by the students right from the school premises’ gates to the St. Pius Church Hall where other dignitaries, including Soche East Ward Councillor Leonard Chimbanga, were waiting.
As the delegation walked into the church hall, all the learners gave them a standing ovation as a gesture of gratitude which immensely excited the visitors.
The learners performed a number of activities which inspired the dignitaries and the last performance was a Chichewa song performed by Jacoustic Voices and four of the Shanghai students.
After the entertaining activities, the visitors joined the St.Pius learners and Councillor Chimbanga, Limbe Central Councillor Gerald Lipikwe and Blantyre City Central Councillor Dickens Nyimba for a tree planting exercise.
The learners were asked to take care of their library as well as the trees, which should strive alongside each other.
Chimbanga and Lipikwe applauded Deschamps and the sponsors, the students and teachers from Shanghai for favourably responding to their request for assistance, saying the library has added a lot of value to the school.
“As you can see from the happy faces of these learners, they are just as proud as I am for what you have done for us,” Chimbanga said.
“Please enjoy the rest of your visit to the Warm Heart of Malawi and thank for us to all those who didn’t make it for the trip to Malawi but played a huge role to make this possible,” Chimbanga said.
The Jacaranda Outreach program of public and school libraries has so far reached out to over 41,000 children in Blantyre.
St. Pius Primary School joins others such as Chigumula, Misesa, HHI, Kapeni, Bangwe Catholic, Nkolokoti, Makata, St. Maria Goretti, Limbe Primary and Kanjedza.
The other Mr Luc’s Library community project are at Patsogolo Education Center (for special needs children); Queen Elizabeth Hospital Paediatric Ward; Chemboma Village in Chigumula (at the entrance to Jacaranda School for Orphans; at Trade Fair Grounds in Blantyre (Stand 82); at Jacaranda Cultural Center (Blantyre, Top Mandala) and at Wandikweza Health Center (Dowa).
Mr Luc’s Library offered learners of St. Pius Primary School hundreds of reading books, both for academic and entertainment.
“We are working on opening other school libraries of this kind in Blantyre and beyond, with the intent of fostering a reading culture among children in our country,” said Deschamps, who is also the French Embassy attaché to Malawi.
Jacaranda Foundation, which operates free primary and secondary schools for over 400 orphaned learners in Newlands, Chigumula.
On the 17th of this month, two of Jacaranda’s 2017 Malawi School’s Certificate of Education (MSCE) graduates, flew out to the USA for a semester Accelerator Program at Watson Institute in Boulder, Colorado where they are expected to develop social entrepreneurship skills.
Clement Kammwamba and Reuben Salima flew out to the US on an incredible opportunity of high quality international education where they will learn skills that they will be using on their return to Malawi.
The two said their dream is to develop youth environment centre at their base in Chigumula where their fellow youth will be learning skills in IT, entrepreneurship, art and more.
At Watson Institute, they are expected to also make connections with fellow international students and with world class leaders and entrepreneurs who will conduct master classes.