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
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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The volunteering programme was a great success again this year. We flew out to Malawi at the end of July and spent two weeks working alongside the Malawi teachers concentrating on teaching English and Maths as well as try out some simple scientific experiments. The Malawi teachers were encouraged to teach in groups rather than to the whole class, this was a great success after they had overcome their initial fear.
The afternoons were spent playing football, bat and ball games, as well as indoor puzzles such as lotto, snap and pairs. The resources that came out in the container were brilliant and we spent much time showing the children and teachers how to use them. Everyone really enjoyed playing with the indoor games and the bats and balls were an amazing hit with children, parents and teachers!
This year we gave out 101 bags to children throughout all 9 schools. They were given to children who had really tried at school or achieved well, had attended school as well as to those that needed them.
Thanks to Accor hotels and the container, we were able to make sure each school had 2 working computers. The Bandawe School for the Deaf and the Learning support classroom at Bandawe School also have some DVDs for the children to enjoy – all donated by people here.
All our generous donors have made it possible this year for us to ensure that at least 2 classrooms in each of the nine school have lights so that extra lessons can be carried out in the evening – particularly in the lead up to the Standard 8 exams.
At present there are links between 2 UK , 1 Spanish school and Malawi schools; they provide funds for educational resources and there is some communication between children.
We currently sponsor 8 children through secondary school. The sponsorship programme has been incredibly successful and more sponsors are always needed!
Wisdom has encephalitis, his mother carried him to school every day. He now has a buggy kindly donated by Mountain Buggy, which means she doesn’t have to carry him to and from school every day.
The Weekes family generously made up parcels for each of the children at the School for the Hearing Impaired. The children were thrilled and used their name labels as items of jewellery! William, Thomas and Simon (sponsored child) built a playground under the direction of a teacher. Florence, Nia and Tilly painted the corridor in the girls' dormitory.
Mandy and Pete Cooper, two trustees arrived just ahead of the container in June. They began the amazing job of emptying and then distributing its contents. There was a huge amount of donations , one of the most popular being the bikes! These were given to the teachers who lived furthest from the schools and were put to great use immediately in distributing the exam papers to all the schools.
Sewing machines, knitting and associated resources were also a huge success. Thanks to the various donors Mandy was able to provide schools with sewing machines and gave a few lessons on their use and the types of things they could make to sell to make money for their schools.
Bags of clothes and shoes were distributed amongst all the schools, as were the books, games and toys. We had so many clothes and toys that we have also given some to the local nurseries and orphanages.
Mandy and Pete visited all the schools and monitored use of resources as well as computers, solar lights etc. They also identified which schools had libraries, making a few alterations as were necessary, in preparation for the arrival of the books from the container.
Chris spent 10 days in Malawi during January battling with the rain, thunder and consequent lack of electricity. He visited all 9 schools, ensured they were using the resources we had given them and making contact with all the teachers. Whilst at Chifira School Chris came across Faith in his wheelchair. Faith is paralysed from the waist down and as such had no control of his bladder. His parents couldn’t afford nappies. Thankfully after a pleading letter, the Weekes family came to the rescue and provided the funds for Chris to buy him nappies. This continues now. He is an incredibly happy boy and his family are so very grateful for all that has been done for him.
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