Africa link celebration
A PIONEERING partnership between a rural school and one in one of the poorest parts of Africa has been celebrated at a village reception.
Pluckley primary and Chikwawa primary in Malawi linked in October 2007, and last year two teachers from Pluckley travelled to Africa to study the needs of youngsters in a community desperate for help.
They went there as supporters of the charity Starfish Malawi, which is arranging programmes to help schools link and learn together.
Such has been the success of the project that it was the first to be granted funding from the Department of International Development.
That money enabled Chikwawa head teacher Jailos Chirwa and his deputy Peter Katema to travel to Pluckley on Monday for a week-long visit to discover more about life in an English rural school and plan joint curriculum activities. To celebrate their arrival, they were welcomed at a reception by Ashford mayor Cllr John Link and his mayoress wife Jill, the deputy High Commissioner of Malawi Flossie Gomile Chidyaonga, and Chris Knott, a founder of Starfish Malawi.
Also there were school staff, governors, parents and leading members of the community.
On Tuesday, the children celebrated with a Malawi day and were joined by pupils from Homewood School, Tenterden, who held drumming workshops.
The reception for visitors from Chikwawa school in Malawi at Pluckley primary
Head teacher Jailos Chiwra meets Ashford mayor Cllr John Link