• Liwiro Secondary School

New construction of the Liwiro Secondary School

Anniversary project: One year before the 20th anniversary of the foundation of our association (August 2023), we have started construction of a second, completely new secondary school including teachers’ houses. This project, the Liwiro Secondary School, is possible thanks to a generous donation from the estate of an extremely well-meaning lady from Wolfsburg. She had expressed the wish during her lifetime, and stipulated in her will that the majority of her fortune should go to the Christian Liebig Foundation after her death – for children and education in Malawi.

Beatrice von Keyserlingk, together with CLS board member and project leader Christian Paulmann, is excited about the new task: “This sum will enable us to provide young people in the greater Blantyre area with another secondary school. This is a great opportunity for this educationally deprived area. If we get enough donations and support for the new project, we could even build a dormitory for about 80 girls.”

  • Place:

    Liwiro, north of Blantyre, catchment area with 32 villages.

  • Project duration:

    2022 – at least 2024

  • Initial Situation:

    8 ha. wasteland, area: 32 villages with approx. 9000 junior school children.

  • Goals:

    Accessible secondary school with classrooms, teacher houses, dormitory.

  • Status:

    Building phase 1: School building and teacher houses (finished Feb. 2024)

    Building phase 2: Girls‘ dormitory and furnishing of all the buildings (begin in March 2024)

Secondary schools: In short supply in Malawi

Girls at school in Africa

Very few girls attend secondary school – usually there aren’t any close by.

Why a secondary school? According to the Ministry of Education, only about 16 percent of the relevant age group in Malawi attend a secondary school. Girls are currently behind boys in all relevant data – especially in school attendance and in passing exams.

This was reason enough for us to invest in education again after the construction of the, in the meantime 18 year-old, successful Christian Liebig Secondary School.

Hungry for an education: 1,100 potential pupils from 32 communities

During the first half of 2022, our local partners, including CLS representative Janet Kasambala-Phillips, looked around for suitable building sites in the greater Blantyre area and found what they were looking for.

32 villages belong to the new school’s catchment area.

They are all between half a kilometre and 14 kilometres away from the construction site. 9,500 pupils currently attend primary schools here, of which about 1,100 have the grades that would allow them to attend a secondary school. Since the nearest secondary school is currently 30 kilometres away, the conditions are ideal for our project.

The Liwiro Secondary School would be a learning and living space for 480 children and young people.

group of people in malawi sitting on chairs outside

32 communities are located within 14 kilometre radius of the building site.

32 communities are located within 14 kilometre radius of the building site.

African woman in rose dress in front of a fountain

Advance construction of a well. Here with Janet Kasambala-Phillips, local representative of the Christian Liebig Foundation.

Approval by the Ministry of Education was obtained quickly and the rights to the site have been clarified. The groundbreaking ceremony was thus able to take place on 31st May 2022 in the presence of several representatives from politics, the chiefs of the committed community and the building partners. Everyone was very excited that there will be a secondary school in this densely populated area with many primary schools but hardly any secondary schools.

wide landscape with red sand

There’s plenty of room here for our big plans!

A well, which was necessary for construction and can later be used for the school’s water supply, was already drilled in advance. We used synergies: The service provider was working nearby anyway to install more wells from our fundraising campaign “Corona Emergency Aid” (see also here – report only in German language).

Cooperation project: Partnership with renowned church-based organisation CCAP

group of people outside

The Liwiro Secondary School is a cooperation project with the church sponsor CCAP, which will run the school after completion.

For the first time, we are building the secondary school in cooperation with a church organisation, CCAP Blantyre Synod, which already manages around 300 primary and secondary schools as well as a university in Malawi. CCAP is responsible for the construction as a local partner and will also run the school once it is finished.

The school is recognised by the government as a “Community Day Secondary School”. This ensures that the school will be equipped with teaching materials and that teachers will be sent to the school.

Our trusted and reliable construction manager Nick Gaunt was awarded the contract for the construction of the buildings. We currently expect the construction to take about 14 months.

Construction in stages: Classrooms, teachers’ houses, sanitary facilities are the core facilities

Due to the current economic situation in the country and in view of the amount of donations currently available for this project, we are building the school in stages.

We will start with the classrooms, including furniture, and two double teachers’ houses, with electricity and water supply of course.

Once this infrastructure is complete, the school can start operating as a “day school”.

technical drawings of a house

Classrooms on paper …

Children in Malawi in front of a school building

… and here in stone. The local primary school children are already having a “taster”!

Future prospects: Dormitory and canteen for the Liwiro Secondary School

girl at African school house

Looking ahead: a second building phase from spring 2024 will see the construction of a dormitory for girls. These facilities will ensure that all can attend the school, even those whose daily journey to school is too far or too dangerous. The construction of the dormitory has been made possible by a generous donation from the Johannes Beese Stiftung and supported by a grant from LetsBuildASchool.

2nd building phase: Your donation is needed!

Furnishing all classrooms with furniture as well as laboratory equipment (approx. €8500), a library (approx. €2200), 25 computers and a utility room (approx. €10,000), which will, among other things, be equipped with kitchen appliances, childcare utensils and sewing materials are also part of the second building phase.

These have not yet been fully financed.

A school kitchen with a dining hall would ideally round off the educational opportunity. Funding is still lacking for this too.

Project donation

Milestone for a better future: New building of the Liwiro Secondary School

Support us in our anniversary project and help to satisfy the “hunger for education” of 480 pupils every year. Every donation helps!

Your donation has an impact

  • One school desk

    70 €

  • One computer

    550 €

  • Classroom for home economics

    10,000 €