• Christian Liebig Secondary School

The Christian Liebig Foundation’s first project: the construction of a secondary school in Malawi

On March 10, 2004, the foundation stone for the Christian Liebig Secondary School (CLSS) was laid by Mr. George Kalombola, the district administrator and a World Vision Malawi staff member, in a festive ceremony.

The school was built in cooperation with World Vision Malawi and World Vision Deutschland e.V. in the already existing regional development project Mpanda in the district Blantyre-Rural. Proceeds from the RTL Donation Marathon 2006 were used to co-finance the CLSS and to repair damage caused by a devastating storm in 2005/2006.

The school

At last a real place to learn!

The site consists of a large school building with eight classrooms for up to 400 children, who are currently taught by 20 teachers. The grounds also include water closets, a library with an extensive collection of textbooks and a science laboratory. The purchase of school materials and teacher housing is also part of the secondary school standard. About half of the teachers live on the campus.

A wall with an entrance gate and a gatehouse provide security in everyday school life. In April 2009, the campus was connected to the national power grid, which does not always supply electricity reliably. A water tank enables the supply of drinking water.

The school meal provides a basic supply of food for the pupils to start the day. The meal is organised by the Mary’s Meals organisation. Since the opening of the school, up to 70 students per year receive their diplomas and thus have the opportunity to study. In the 2015/16 school year, CLSS recorded a graduation rate of 82%, the best average since the educational institution was founded.

In 2015/16, CLF again supported the school with a larger donation of building materials. This enabled the community to build new housing units for the teaching staff and to extend existing latrines. The teachers’ houses were completed by July 2017 and are therefore ready for occupancy from the new school year.

A dormitory for girls

In October 2013 a dormitory for girls was opened on the school grounds. Here up to 72 young women find a place to sleep, study and have an undisturbed stay.

In keeping with our goals of supporting young women in particular, a safe place for secondary school students has been created here. Many girls live very far away and have to rent a room during the school week, sometimes under very precarious conditions – there is no privacy or personal space here. The consequences are not only unwanted pregnancies but also rape and in most cases dropping out of school. The dormitory is located on the premises and is surrounded by a separate wall; a supervisor looks after the residents.

The CLF awards partial scholarships for 25 out of 72 places in the girls’ drug

CLF provides a share of the funding for 25 girls so that they have their own permanent accommodation in the dormitory during the school year and can concentrate on learning. 200 euros are enough for one girl to live safely for a whole year! With success: the best of all graduates in 2015/16 was a girl from the dormitory.

This construction project was supported by the RTL Spendenmarathon, the Monika and Horst Schumacher Foundation and Kinderlachen e.V., who each used their donations to finance part of the interior design, as well as a donation from some German students.

Sewing as an optional subject

Needle, thread and fabrics – the sewing class at the secondary school

In 2009, the range of courses at the school was expanded to include the elective subject sewing. The aim is to provide young people with basic knowledge in this field.

The sewing class provides additional training for the young men and women. Here, the participants learn how to make clothes, bags and other products themselves on five foot-operated machines. What is not needed for personal use can be sold. The sewing class was supported by Burda Style, among others, who provided cuts and exercise books free of charge. The course participants received material support from Germany in the form of booklets, buttons, sewing thread and zippers from Burda and the Gütermann company.

In August 2010 the six-week sewing course of Nina Hofmann, a young German, was a complete success despite the holidays. Those interested in sewing, boys and girls alike, followed the lessons with great enthusiasm, which were held four times a day for up to ten “apprentices”. In the evenings, numerous mothers also appeared, who asked for help in mending individual pieces of clothing. As part of another campaign in autumn 2016, seven sewing students, under the guidance of the former CLF board member Annette Wucherer, tailored a small bag made of traditional fabrics.

Background information: Education system

In Malawi all children can attend primary school free of charge. After primary school, however, the educational path ends for many because secondary schools are hardly available outside the big cities and in addition to the school fees, costs for accommodation in a boarding school would be incurred. A qualified vocational training or even an academic education thus remains an unattainable goal for most gifted young people.

In view of the high rate of AIDS-infected people in Malawi, which includes a disproportionately high number of members of the urban and mobile educational strata, an educational emergency is unfolding that could set the country back behind its current level of development. With the construction of this educational institution, the foundation is one step closer to its goal of building schools for Africa and thus helping people to help themselves.

Die Schulbücherei der CLS-Sekundarschule.