Africa link cel­e­bra­tion

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Opinion - by Mike Ben­nett mben­nett@thek­m­group.co.uk

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.

Cel­e­brate

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.

Pic­tures: Gary Browne PD1553728

The re­cep­tion for vis­i­tors from Chik­wawa school in Malawi at Pluck­ley pri­mary

PD1553727

Head teacher Jai­los Chi­wra meets Ash­ford mayor Cllr John Link

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