Serving the most vulnerable      in rural Malawi

  © 2012 AID AFRICA  UK Registered Charity Number 1116336

Msikita Community Centre

built April-June 2016

A hint about the amazing

novelty and importance of this development came as we left

 the village for the 1st time—

most of the children ran ahead of

 us excitedly shouting “galimoto!”

to each other. Galimoto is “car”

in Chichewa—some had never

seen one!

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Msikita is a large, remote, vulnerable village of 1850 households - about 7000 people - inaccessible by vehicle during the rainy season, so could only be reached by bike or foot.

Back in 2009, a Nursery School—Zayambika (“it has started”) was founded with no resources but 6 voluntary teachers. Eager for educational opportunities for their young ones, the school started under a tree and later, the villagers came together and built a simple school room. Sadly, poor materials and lack of foundation, caused the building to collapse and there were no resources to maintain or rebuild it. 83 children are currently registered, 51 boys and 32 girls.

On assessment, we developed the concept from a simple room to a Community Centre which would incorporate the Zayambika Nursery School, and so much more besides…..

From the beginning this project was challenging - mostly because of the remote location of the village.  We couldn’t even get there till after the rains,but the local villagers worked hard building a “road” - a dirt track filled with stones, clods of earth and branches - which would allow our 4x4 to get most of the way.

So in April we visited for the first time, and were overwhelmed by the warm welcome received from the whole village. Their eagerness to facilitate their children’s education, backed by years of voluntary teaching by dedicated villagers, really impressed us. The children sang, the women danced, the men shared their conviction that education was the route out of poverty for their little ones.  We decided to go ahead with the build despite the difficulties.

The foundations were dug as the ruins of the old building were

torn down. We’d located and bought bricks locally and the villagers

carried each of the 30,000 by foot, wheelbarrow or pushbike.

They also brought river sand to site in the same way.

A nursery school in the remote areas needed a room to work from. Elders and officials approached Aid Africa/Open Hand Projects in the hope we may be able to help....  

Welcome to Msikita Village!

In July 2016, hundreds gathered to witness the official opening of Msikita Community Centre, and its hand over to the local community.

Msika’s well

Our part was to provide everything else—cement, iron roofing sheets & timbers, doors, windows and a building team. We could only transport materials to site by our motortrike, as no commercial trucks would venture out so far on such poor roads.   

The building took shape, and by the end of June, it was finished - plastered, painted, windows glazed and ready for the opening celebrations.

Alongside, trees will be grown for reforestation - for fuel and composting, and we’re providing seeds and promoting the growth of moringa to improve nutrition and general health for all.

People poured in, thrilled at this wonderful asset that has been built in their community. They see it as empowerment to improve education, and encouragement to continue development of their area. They anticipate, not only will the Nursery School meet here, but also much-needed adult literacy classes, civic meetings and health support.

There were solemn, appreciative speeches, then the time came for the cutting of the ribbon by the guest of honour—Chiringa’s Police Chief—and the opening of the door to welcome the community.

Opening Ceremony,

8th July 2016

Zayambika Nursery School