Teacher Housing at Mikuyu

October 13, 2023
Community Updates

Teacher housing in Mikuyu

When we first visited, four teachers were sharing two derelict houses.

In Malawi, teachers are assigned to their school by the government. In practice, this means a teacher can be posted to a school miles from their hometown. In turn, the school must provide accommodation for teachers and their families at their school.

In a poor, remote village like Mikuyu, teacher housing can be very poor quality. This makes it difficult to persuade teachers to accept a position, and those who are there often try to find a more comfortable position at a different school.

Good teacher accommodation is the most important priority because it provides stability for the school and its community.

When we first visited Mikuyu in 2018, the teacher accommodation was totally inadequate. Four teachers shared two derelict houses. One teacher had to cycle from his home, and while that was just five miles away the journey along a dirt road took around an hour on a dry day. If the weather was bad and the road impassable, he didn’t always make it.

The need to improve things was so pressing that we immediately arranged to renovate the existing housing. This helped to give the school hope that would get better, but it was only a start.

Now that Mikuyu has a borehole, the classrooms have been renovated and the library and admin block has been completed, we’ve looked again at teacher housing, with the intention of providing enough accommodation for eight teachers and their families.

This will be a fantastic long-term investment in Mikuyu’s future and give a level of stability that the community currently lacks.

But before any money is committed, we’ll discuss the plans with the school’s board of governors to evaluate designs and work up a clear budget, deploying the same partnership approach that worked so well for the recent construction of the library and admin block. Working closely with the people we want to help will make the biggest difference.

In this spirit of partnership, the Mikuyu community will provide the bricks and sand. Our role is to evaluate contractor quotes, provide the additional funding and closely monitor progress with the help of Oscar Mponda, our diligent project manager on the ground.

We’d love to keep you up to date on this work, so please follow us on Instagram and Facebook.

Before: Poorly fitting windows and leaking roof

Before: Poorly fitting windows and leaking roof

After: Initial renovations for both houses have made things better, but there is still more to do

After: Initial renovations for both houses have made things better, but there is still more to do

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