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
An evening of live music with a Rat Pack Swing Band.
A two course meal and west country cheese board, auction and raffle.
Dress: Posh frocks & DJs
Venue: The Barn, Hazelbury Mill
For tickets or information please contact Ros Bush on 01308 862260 or
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 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.
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Please make cheque payable to: Hooke Court in Malawi
Postal Address: Sarah McConnell, Hooke Court, Dorset DT8 3NX
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Download the latest Hooke Court Malawi Newsletter
Newsletter January 2020 - PDF
The annual summer visit to Malawi was a great success as usual this year. Mandy, Pete, Sarah, Chris and their family were joined by Fiona, Gilly, Anca, Jo, Richard, Tom, Louise and her children Mimi, Archie and Aggie all spent two weeks or more for some with the teachers and children in the Bandawe and Chintheche zones.
The expansion into Chintheche Zone brought an enormous amount of additional work and logistically it was quite demanding due to the sheer size of the geographical area the zone covers and inaccessibility of many schools.
The volunteers were all amazing as usual this year and everyone worked extremely well together and all were incredibly supportive, both of the project and each other.
Furthering the aim of encouraging more independence a six strong team of “super teachers” from the Bandawe Zone were chosen to be responsible for the 2 week “Super School”. The programme was based at Bandawe Primary School. Each school in the Zone selected 20 students and all teachers within the Zone were encouraged to attend. The charity provided mini buses to bring the children and teachers to Bandawe Primary School. The ‘super teachers’ did incredibly well with some support from the volunteers and had taken on board all that they had learnt from us this year as well as in previous years.
The sheer distances between schools meant a restructuring of the model used in Bandawe Super School programme. Schools were allocated to one of three Centre’s. The UK teaching team then ran sessions for two days at each centre, concentrating on phonics and maths. They were all really keen and eager to learn. Pencil cases that were kindly brought out by the Campbell family were given out at each centre.
Whilst all this teaching was going on, Aggie and Tilly ran an incredibly successful crèche, playing with younger children and setting up sports day races etc...
Mimi and Florence spent many hours reading with children in small groups and talking about the text.
Volunteers provided an opportunity for every child to attend an afternoon of sports or indoor games or art craft activities. Towards the end of the two weeks we had a big netball game where Tom certainly made his mark as an exuberant netball player – he just needs to learn a few rules for next year!! At the conclusion of each session prizes were presented to the child who had made the most improvement in the school year. School bags kindly donated by school in a bag were given out too.
Whilst we were in Malawi Fiona spent time with the sponsored children. She made sure they had all that they needed for the forthcoming year – uniform, school resources etc. and checked their reports. Fiona also gathered information for new students and paid all the fees.
Gilly and her team did an amazing job of driving round 12 schools in the Chintheche zones to put up displays in one classroom in each school. The thirteenth school – Msawa was a one hour hike up a mountain. Lots of us visited this school on a Friday afternoon, put up the display and according to the village made history. I don’t think they get very many visitors at all!
Pete spent lots of time checking sewing machines and bikes and doing repairs where necessary. The sewing machines have been put to brilliant use making things to sell as well as sanitary products for the girls. This has meant that girls attendance at school has greatly increased which is brilliant news. Thank you to Tina from last year and her school we were able to give more material etc. to other schools to sew similar products.
Overall we were very busy for the whole two weeks, checking and sorting out resources previously given out, helping children such as Patrick and Faith from last year as well as new children with eye conditions this year. Setting up Chintheche schools was exciting and tricky but everyone was incredibly welcoming towards us and grateful for everything we did for them. The volunteers were brilliant. They all worked hard, made a big difference and enjoyed a glass of wine at the end of every busy day. Each year we come back feeling that we have made more friends, helped a little more and mad e a little more difference to the lives of people who have very little.
If you would like to be part of the team next year please do get in touch. We are now recruiting volunteers for summer 2020!
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