MamaLita is the title of a project set up by NGOs Italian Scotland, Alleluya Care Centre (Malawi), University of Edinburgh, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh) and Mary’s Meals. The project involves running a school as well as setting up a college in Malawi.
That part of the project has already been achieved and the mamaLita School has been operating since September 2016. The School is supported by the Scottish Italian community and their Scottish (SCIO) charity, Italian Scotland. The premises where the school is located belong to a Malawian NGO, the Alleluya Care Centre. As part of their ECD programme, Mary's Meals provides both food to the kids in the school and training to the teachers.
This part of the project involves three different sections: Education, Nursery and Childcare, Farming.
Besides a nursery school, the mamaLita project involves creating an education college, where local teachers are trained. In other words, what the above nursery school already does, that is providing quality education to 100 kids, is surely good, but the key issue in sub-Saharan Africa is obviously training teachers to become better teachers. The college project will be implemented in three following steps.
Step one (2017) sending staff from the University of Glasgow to provide training sessions to the teachers at mamaLita nursery school as well as to teachers from surrounding schools (e.g. from other schools supported by Mary’s Meals). At this early step, mamaLita will not yet be issuing BAs, MAs or other legal qualifications, but of course a generic certificate of attendance will be handed out to the people who will have followed the training programme.
Step two (2018). During step one, an application will be lodged with the Malawian government for mamaLita to be granted full college status in Malawi, so that mamaLita is enabled to issue legal qualification to teachers. Based on meeting with the local authorities as well as with the Malawian High Commissioner in London, this process is expected to take up to two years, so that by…
…Step three (2019) mamaLita will be a fully fledged Malawian college training local teachers to become better teachers.
Nursery and Childcare
As stated above, mamaLita school is based in the Alleluya Care Centre, a Malawian NGO which has been operating in support of 0 to 3 years old kids for over forty years. The Alleluya Care Centre accommodates, feeds and provides basic health care to orphans or other most vulnerable kids in their early stage of their lives. They have incubators as well as other pieces of equipment that cannot be taken for granted in Malawi. So building on their excellent reputation and level of experience, the nursery school at Queen Margaret University has offered to send their staff over to help improve the level of care provided to the kids. So basically the Nursery and Childcare college project will follow the same steps as the above Education college project, namely: (step one, 2017) training local child caregivers, while (step two, 2018) getting full college status and (step three, 2019) issuing fully legal caregivers’ qualifications in Malawi.
To achieve their impressive standard of care for their children, the Alleluya Care Centre has been sourcing food for their kids basically in-house. They have been growing their own crops, farming their own poultry and raising their own livestock. They also look after an impressive vegetable garden. They own a tractor and very many tools and a lot of farming equipment. A dedicated staff of farmers have been working there for decades. Now the time has come to make all this knowledge and experience available to the wider community. Unlike projects A (Education) and B (Nursery and Childcare) where the University of Glasgow and Queen Margaret University have already promised to help, project C (Farming) is still at the initial step of looking for a partner to implement it. We will soon submit our ideas to the SRUC and other qualified rural education institutions in Scotland.