Hooke Court in Malawi was established as a UK charity in 2015 having been involved with 9 schools in the Bandawe area of Malawi since 2011. The charity has 8 trustees – most of whom are highly qualified teachers and Head Teachers.
Our charity aims to help improve standards of primary education in the these 9 schools by providing UK trained teachers to give advice and help in and out of the classroom as well as to fund raise to give the schools basic resources.
Mandy Cooper, trustee and her husband Pete, have spent many months in Malawi over recent years and have developed a strong relationship with the teachers in the Bandawe area of Malawi. As a result of this it was decided that Hooke Court would become involved in helping the schools in this area. Since 2014 we have been taking groups of volunteers to help implement phonics in the schools, provide team building activities for the children and carry out minor repair and maintenance in the classrooms. In August 2015 a party of 17 volunteers travelled to Malawi to work with the teachers and children. We raised money to pay for renovations to a girl’s boarding house, repair and resource some classrooms and provide a few basic resources for two schools. Two UK schools also forged links with 2 Malawi schools.
In September 2015 the Hooke Court in Malawi Charity was formed.
In 2015 the World Bank ranked Malawi as the poorest country in the world based on GDP. Only 40 – 50% of children complete primary education and 11% complete secondary education.
The Government made primary school education free for all children a few years ago but refrained from providing the schools with any more funding, resources or infrastructure to support this initiative. Consequently, teachers are faced with classes of 100 – 120 or more children with no resources except possibly a few desks. The parents are too poor to provide pencils and paper, the school has no money to buy such items making learning a very difficult task.
The Government have more recently stipulated that all children from 5 years old are to be taught everything in English. Previously, this was compulsory from 11 years old. Teachers need to have a comprehensive understanding of the English language and ways of teaching reading to enable this to be implemented.
At 13 years old, the children must take a test to enable them to enter into secondary education. The cost of this test is 50p, which is far too expensive for most so the majority of children leave school and join their parents farming for survival.
‘a fabulous opportunity for us to develop our skills and knowledge as well as helping others.’
Upcoming and past fundraising events
Come and try your luck at the 4th Hooke Race Night. Complete with a 2 Course Hot Supper. Event organised by David and Gilly Brugge.
Tickets: £12.50 are available from Gilly (Tel: 01308 863282)
or from Ros at Hooke Court (Tel: 01308 862260)
The One Hundred Club is up and running. For £5 a month you have the opportunity of winning one of 4 prizes every month - £50 for first prize!
If you would like to join please contact Ros Bush on 01308 862260 or
‘it has been the experience of a lifetime – thank you. I now have to start fund raising and spread the word.!’
GET INVOLVED! - Join our team of volunteers who go out for 2 weeks in July & August to help teach and maintain the local schools.
‘I have learnt a lot about myself and my outlook. Loved the project, beyond my expectations’
Your money could help to raise much needed funds for the people in one of the poorest countries in the world.
This can cost as little as £70 per term and will enable a 13 year old child to continue their education rather than join their parents in the fields.
You can make a single donation or monthly donation...
At Virgin Money Giving you can make a donation, or set up a monthly donation plan or start a fundraising event.
Make a Donation
Easy Fundraising is a new way of making FREE donations as you shop. Just sign up and choose Hooke Court Malawi as your chosen charity. Over 3000 stores (including Ebay, Argos & Amazon ) have signed up.
Please make cheque payable to: Hooke Court in Malawi
Postal Address: Sarah McConnell, Hooke Court, Dorset DT8 3NX
Boost your donation by 25p of Gift Aid for every £1 you donate!
Please download the form, fill and return by post or email to:
Sarah McConnell, Hooke Court, Dorset DT8 3NX
Download Gift Aid Form
Trustee, Alan Vian flew out to Malawi for a month to visit all the schools within our zone. Whilst there he taught, tested and watched English in a variety of Standards as well as checking the classroom displays we had put up in 2015 and 2016. Alan also met with Chiefs from the villages, the Regional Inspection Team and the Deputy Director of Education for Nkhata Bay. The programme for the summer volunteers was also discussed and planned.
One warm Saturday evening in May we held our annual fund raising evening. This year, the theme was a Night on Safari. The amazing costumes that everyone wore mixed with the Round House in the background made for a very realistic safari evening! Sundowners were enjoyed around the bomas before heading inside for an authentic safari style dinner. Due to incredibly generous donors, we held a very successful auction. The whole event raised in excess of £8000. Thank you to everyone who took part!
Mandy Cooper (Trustee) and Pete Cooper, flew out in June to check on the use of resources provided for the past year, review the farming programme and finalise plans for summer volunteer programme. It was another highly successful trip – the schools who had farming input were both able to feed their children a bowl of porridge a day, as well as some sweet potato in one school.
All bags donated by ‘School in a Bag’ in summer 2016 were seen and had obviously been well used – another great achievement. Whilst checking the School for the Hearing Impaired, it was noted that the boys boarding house was desperately in need of repair particularly where rats had eaten through the ceilings.
The overall outcome of the visit was very positive and highlighted many projects for the summer volunteers to get involved with!
Our two week teaching programme was unbelievably successful this year. Both the teachers and children not only enjoyed themselves but also gained an amazing amount from the experience. We set up 3 centres and transported children to the centres. On arrival at the centres on day one, the volunteers who had been expecting to team teach about 60 children, were actually faced with approximately 400 children – this meant each volunteer had to teach 120 children on their own – a truly authentic Malawi experience! We did amend this for the following days and limited numbers to 60 per class!
The end of programme INSET day was a very constructive experience for all concerned and in fact Benford Mwakayuni, Deputy District Education Manager, Nkhata Bay, was very complimentary and impressed with our work. He told the Malawi teachers they were the best trained teachers in Malawi!
A massive thank you must go to Accor Hotels who donated 12 laptops this year, which were set up accordingly and distributed amongst all 9 schools. We spent time showing the teachers and children how they could be used. Benford told us that the first time he had touched a computer was at university not when he was 7 years old!
This year saw the distribution of resources as we did last year – again Benford told his teachers that not only were they the most trained but also the most well resourced teachers in the whole of Malawi.
This year, the amazing charity, School in a Bag kindly donated another 240 bags to the children in Malawi. They were given out in front of the whole community for each school and given to chosen children for effort and attainment. This was very well received and enabled us to extend our links with the local communities.
Following on from Pete and Mandy’s visit in June and the generosity of the Weekes family, we were able to revamp the boys dormitory - the ceiling, electrics and plumbing were repaired and the walls painted. Mattresses were also bought.
This year has seen the number of schools being sponsored by UK and Spanish Schools increase to three. We have been running these sponsorship programmes for a few years and they are proving to be incredibly beneficial for both the UK and Malawi schools. We are so grateful for all the work the schools do to help those in Malawi!
Student sponsorship has also seen an increase in the numbers of children being supported through secondary school. We now provide support for 4 children to attend secondary school, without which they would be farming in the fields.
Last year the charity provided funds for 2 schools to start farming projects with the aid of Masters, a local expert in growing crops. This has proved to be so successful we are continuing the project at the same schools on a larger scale as well as introducing farming into a third school.
If you would like to Volunteer, Donate or have any questions in regards to the Charity, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Hooke Court in Malawi
Dorset DT8 3NX
Telephone: 01308 862260