School Projects

Malealea Development Scholarship Program

Would you like to sponsor a child?

Thank you for your interest in Malealea and the people who live here. We would like to tell you a little bit about the history of sponsorship in Malealea and current initiatives to help the community with education.

Tourists have always expressed an interest in the welfare of the local villagers, particularly children. Visits to the local school have been a popular choice on the agenda of activities at Malealea with tourists often finding the school visit a highlight. Indeed, it is very moving to see children having to cope in such different conditions to those in more affluent countries. And, it is deeply appreciated when tourists do feel moved to contribute towards education and the upliftment of the community.

Background to sponsorship in Malealea

In the past, tourists gave money to the teachers in an effort to help the school. Unfortunately such good intentions often turned into temptations for the teachers, who themselves have many needs. It was then decided that the money should be channelled differently, and two separate funds were set up, a school building fund, and a fund for sponsorship of individual students.

The school building fund was very successful. As you will see when you visit Makheteng Primary School, there are three very nice new classrooms complete with desks, blackboards and murals. Thanks to the generous donations made by tourists, children now enjoy learning in a comfortable and stimulating environment. We are also planning to build a new staff room for the teachers’ use.

The fund for sponsorship of individual students was less successful. While a number of individual students definitely benefited from being sponsored, there were also many problems.

  1. The first was a set of problems related to equal opportunity. All the children in the valley understandably want a chance to be sponsored. However, the opportunity was usually only available to children at the schools which tourists visited. For this reason, many children left the schools they were attending hoping that they too might be sponsored if they could meet a willing tourist at another school. This meant some students were walking for over two hours to attend at the schools where tourists visited. Certain schools became overcrowded while other schools lost not only the children, but the government subsidies as well.
  2. Secondly, students who were lucky enough to receive sponsorship often had difficulty because they become the target of jealousy from families who weren’t able to receive sponsorship. This created divisions and ill will in the community.
  3. Thirdly, sponsorship was in some instances abused. Sponsored students forged receipts in an effort to benefit further financially, creating even greater problems and distress in the community.
  4. And lastly, sponsorship created a dependency on tourists not only for school fees, but for general needs. Children and adults wrote to tourists pleading for assistance. Tourists were seen as the only way out of financial difficulty, a perception that does little to build independence and self-respect in the community.

In addition to the problems above, there have also been some general changes in the education system, such as the introduction of free primary school education, which have prompted us to re-evaluate and revise the sponsorship programme.

Revised scholarship programme

Because primary education is now free, we are concentrating our efforts on secondary school education, and are directing our resources towards developing education at the local Malealea High School. We are doing this in several ways:

  1. Firstly, we have set up a general (as opposed to an individual) scholarship fund. Would-be sponsors are encouraged to make a contribution into the Malealea Scholarship Fund. These funds are then allocated to candidates whose selection is based on need, desire, and academic accomplishment in that order of priority. The selection process is transparent and fair, giving every scholar in the Malealea valley an equal opportunity to apply. Funds are properly audited and accounted for in a transparent way, cutting out the risk that funds may be abused.
  2. Secondly, the scholarship programme has been conceived within a vocational training framework where the scholarship forms part of an integrated work/study programme. Candidates are engaged in a range of work related activities that offer them an opportunity to develop vocational and academic skills – while they in turn contribute to the school as a way of acknowledging their scholarship. The work portion of the program is varied to utilize the interest and talents of the students giving them the widest range of experience. Activities include working in school improvement projects, agricultural projects, and community development projects. Each student is required to work 200 hours per year. The work experience is supervised and designed to reinforce classroom learning. Each student has an exercise book in which they record, in English, each work task they undertake. After 20 hours of work this book is submitted to the staff for inspection. All entries are in complete sentences with correct spelling. If tasks involve mathematics, the calculations will be included. Examples are the area of a wall painted, the amount of materials used, or the time required to do a job. In addition, special sessions are held to discuss issues like HIV/AIDS, educational opportunities, and community responsibility.
    We believe that offering students an opportunity to earn their own education is one manner in which they can be introduced to talents of which they may have been unaware. It is the aim of the program to provide the student with a positive introduction to productivity and craftsmanship. At the conclusion of each project the student should be able to tell friends and family, “I did that”. At the end of the program the student should say, “I can do that”.
  3. And finally, we are also supporting the development of the high School itself. Through a partnership with two British schools, the school is being electrified, computers are being introduced, and a comprehensive library established. Our aim is to develop the resources at the school, as well as the opportunity of accessing those resources though scholarships.

It costs R1000 to send a child to school for one year. If you are able to make any kind of contribution to this programme, please contact Mick or Di Jones who will be able to give you the details for the Scholarship Fund Account.

With thanks
Gillian Attwood
Chairperson of the Malealea Development Trust

Below are experiences that can happen if sponsorship is not monitored correctly.

 

 

 

 

 

Malealea High School Library Info

By Chris Bradford

I have now shipped nearly 1000 books to Di headed for Malealea. I have more than 1000 waiting to be picked up, sorted, catalogued and shipped. Poor Mary Ann! She is going to be very busy when they arrive. I hope she starts training local people in library skills.

It turns out that this idea of donating books to support literacy in Africa is very popular here. I meet with nothing but support for this project. It is a good vehicle to do some education about Africa at the same time. It may be hard to believe on your end because you have only received one box, but at some not too distant point in the future, Malealea Valley is going to have all the books it needs for the time being.

I would like to continue this project, expanding to other communities in Lesotho and Africa. I have already been sending books to a school in Zambia for Aids orphans. My real dream is to establish sister schools because I think so much more can happen to benefit both sides in the long run. But I think the libraries are a good first step and a more organic way to begin a cross-cultural relationship between communities.

I need help on your side of the equation identifying communities or schools that have in place the necessary ingredients to make a library successful. In my mind, the major ingredients are:

  1. A room in a clean dry space to store the books
  2. Educated personnel who are capable of.setting up and operating a library or willing to be trained
  3. A reader population with enough English to be motivated to read the books.

Do you see other necessary ingredients that we should use as criteria for selection?

Gillian, I know your area of expertise is community development and you have solid experience as well, so I am hopeful you will be able to help me with this. It seems to me that if I can partner with an existing established organization (perhaps like the Peace Corps), this might go a long ways towards creating the libraries. I would very much appreciate your thinking on this subject. I’m under the impression that Malealea is much further along than most communities in Lesotho in terms of community development. Are there others that you feel are in a position to benefit from books? Are there other organizations besides the Peace Corps that I should consider partnering with? What can you advise me in terms of direction?

When Mary Ann has had some more experience setting up your libraries, I am hopeful she will share what she has learned, so we can incorporate her experience and shorten the learning curve for future communities. She is creating a model for other communities. Maybe she would even be willing to train teachers in other communities how to set up and run a library? I’m just thinking out loud and maybe planting a seed at this point.

In February, I am planning to pull together a group of people to create more support structure to what I am doing and hopefully develop financing strategies. By then, I hope to have identified and contacted an organization already operating in Africa that I could work with.

Back to Malealea and the Sister School idea. Where is the Royston School that you mentioned Malealea High School is already partnered with? What is the nature of their current relationship? Do you have contact information so that I might communicate with someone at Royston? I’d love to learn what they have found out. Have you had any teachers indicate an interest in partnering with an American school? I have two elementary schools ready to go.

Where do you have to go to get these emails? Do you have access to a printer?
Hope you are all well.
Chris

Reply from Gillian

With regards to royston high school, the nature of their relationship with Malealea high school is also one where they assist the school with fundrasing efforts to improve the high school. for example, thy have raised funds for a wind turbine which generates electricity for the school. they also support the school in other ways such as buying trees and planting them with the Malealea high school students at the school. For them, they also benefit from the programme as a cultural exchange programme whereby they come out with about 16-20 students to Malealea once a year and spend a week or so engaged in projects with the Malealea school students. They have done much to improve the school and lend hope to the idea of really making it a better educational institution. The contact person for this project is a man by the name of Ken Dunn. His email address is k2dunn@tinyworld.co.uk or KD@city.sheffield.sch.uk. I am sure he would be very glad to correspond with you and would be delighted to hear of your interest in their partnership with Malealea high school.

Library update – Malealea High School

23 January 2005
To: Malealea Development Trust
From: Mary Ann Eisemann
RE: Malealea High School Library

The High School Library is coming along nicely. Students are showing interest and a few community members as well shown interest and have made use of the library. There is still much work to be done before we officially open which I anticipate will be in early March. In this report I would like to express what we have accomplished, what we are doing presently, and what we hope to accomplish in the following 18 months.

What we have accomplished

  • Re-decorated an unused classroom to be used for the library.
  • With the help of Reginah, a student working off school fees, sorted, catalogued, labeled, and carded 442 books that were already here.
  • Contacted book donor organizations and individuals requesting donations of books.
  • Visited and consulted with librarians at St. Thomas School, Mafeteng Public Library, and Lesotho National Library Services in Maseru.
  • Obtained information from LNLS regarding a school library training workshop which would be useful for my counterpart.
  • Visited the four primary schools in Malealea to determine need for and nature of library services at these schools.
  • Received 854 books from school libraries and individuals from the United States; of these 94 have been processed.

What we are doing presently

  • Continuing to catalogue and process the books.
  • Bookshelves are being built and all shelving should be completed by the end of February.
  • Developing title list of local books and books in the Sesotho language.
  • Assessing library needs regarding furniture and book processing supplies. Presently we are using recycled catalog cards and making book pockets and cards out of whatever paper we can latch on to.
  • What we hope to accomplish in the next 18 months
  • Catalogue and process approximately 2000 more books that are on their way from individuals in the United States and the books that are purchased locally.
  • Issue library cards to students and interested members of the community.
  • Develop and teach an appropriate course in library usage and etiquette to high school students and interested members of the community.
  • Train counterpart and interested work-study students how to process books, circulation, and general library procedures.
  • Initiate a Teen to Tot program in conjunction with the local pre-school.
  • Establish branch libraries at the four local primary schools.
  • Build and decorate books storage boxes.
  • Develop system of circulating and maintaining primary collections.
  • Plan monthly visits to schools to encourage reading and literacy.
  • As there seems to be an interest in poetry amongst students and youth of the area, I would like to form a poetry-writing circle. In conjunction with this I would like to collect life stories of individuals written in Sesotho and translated into English thus improving their English and my Sesotho.
  • Send Basotho counterpart for High School library skills training offered by Lesotho National Library Services in Maseru.
  • Establish an international letter-writing club encouraging a group of students to correspond monthly with peers in UK and USA.

It is our projection that over the next 18 months we will need the following materials and supplies. These will be one-time expenditures.

  • Library supplies to catalog, process, and circulate approximately 3000 volumes.
  • Library furniture
  • 4 student tables
  • 16 student chairs
  • Teacher desk and chair
  • Worktable with 2 chairs
  • Card catalog table Group study table
  • Building materials for storage cabinet and shelving to be built by work-study students under supervision of staff.
  • Materials to build and decorate book storage boxes for the primary schools.
  • Means to transport books from MHS to primary schools. (via donkey!!)
  • Funds to purchase local and Sesotho language books.
  • Per diem bus fare and lunch for Basotho counterpart’s formal training.

I estimate the total cost of establishing a sustainable library system consisting of a main library at Malealea High School and four primary school branches by July of 2006 to be approximately 15,000 Rand.

Malealea High School Reports

21 January 2005
To: Malealea Development Trust
From: Phil Eisemann
RE: Malealea High School Projects

On Monday the 2005 school term will open at the Malealea High School. We are excited about the new term both for things accomplished and things planned. In this memo I will address four projects of particular interest: the work/study scholarship program, general improvements to the facility, the wind/solar electrical system and the May visit of students and staff from the Royston School.

Work/Study Scholarship Program

Twenty students will enter Form A supported by the Royston School and other donors. Students, nominated by the headmistresses of the primary schools, sat for an examination on January 6, 2005. A committee including the headmaster of Malealea High School selected from the 29 who sat the examination. The selection was based on need, desire, and academic accomplishment in that order of priority. Students awarded scholarships are required to perform services for the school and community in exchange for education. Each student is required to work 200 hours per year. The school fees are 1000 Moluti per annum, students are receiving the minimum wage of 5 Moluti per hour. This work is designed to be an important part of the learning experience and is divided into three segments: housekeeping, integrated learning, and work experience.

Housekeeping and general maintenance of the facility have been sadly lacking. Each student will provide 40 hours per year of general maintenance services. One student will be assigned to each of the classrooms and the library for a period on one week every fifth week. They will be responsible to daily sweep and mop the floor, wash the chalkboard, clean the windows, and remove the trash. The work will be inspected by a member of the staff and when satisfactory will be signed off as one hour. A fifth student will be responsible for cleaning the grounds around the school buildings. It is hoped that student responsibility will spread and better care will be taken with the facilities.

The integrated learning portion of the program will use the work experience to reinforce classroom lessons. Each student will have an exercise book in which they will record, in English, each task. After 20 hours of work this book will be submitted to the staff for inspection. All entries will be in complete sentences with correct spelling. When tasks involve mathematics the calculations will be included. Examples are the area of a floor or wall painted or cleaned, the amount of materials used, or the time required to do a job. In addition, special sessions will be held to discuss issues like HIV/AIDS, educational opportunities, and community responsibility.

The work portion of the program will be varied to utilize the interest and talents of the students giving them the widest range of experience. Work around the school will include; plastering and painting the classroom building, working on the electrical system, work in the gardens, work in the library, maintenance of school grounds, and general facility improvements. Community projects include; repairs and maintenance of primary school facilities, work in the local clinic, donga reclamation, work in daycare centers, community film nights, environmental improvements, and primary tutoring. The possibilities are endless. Work will be done after school, on Saturdays, and on school holidays. During the summer break before the 2005 term three students worked to cover school fees. Both the attitude and work was excellent. We are optimistic about this program.

Improvements to the facility

Working with the three students covering school fees major improvements were made to the facility. An unused room was redecorated into a library. Half of the bookshelves were built and we expect to finish the rest within a month. A second room, in atrocious condition, was reconditioned and is now a usable classroom. Someone in the past decided to weld windows shut rather than repair them. All of the windows across the back of one building were unusable; one room was completely sealed. Windows were cut open and the necessary repairs made. All broken and cracked glass was replaced. Eleven desks were constructed from a stack of damaged desks in one of the unused rooms. These are now being used in the Form A classroom. The roofs of both classroom buildings were rusting. The rust was removed with wire brushes and paint applied. In four of the five rooms the tile floors were so badly damaged as to be beyond repair. There were large holes in the concrete under the tile. In these rooms the tile was removed, the floor patched and painted. Since construction paint was never applied to the exposed ends of the roof trusses. They were in the early stages of deterioration, all were painted and sealed. The spouting was removed, painted, and rehung. Students are painting a mural on the gable end of one building and murals are planned for the front and gable ends of the other buildings. There is a marked difference in the appearance of the facilities. It is hoped these improvements will raise the status of the school in the eyes of the community and the students.

Under the current plan by July of 2006 the facility should be in a state where only routine maintenance will be required. The following improvements are planned working with the work/study scholarship students in that time frame.

  • Plaster and paint deteriorating exterior of older classroom building. Materials required: concrete, sand, 60 liters exterior acrylic paint. Cost- M 1178
  • Patch and seal concrete deck in front of classroom buildings. Materials required: concrete, sand, silicon sealer. Cost- M 683
  • Repair, strip, and wax two remaining tile floors. Materials required: 12 tiles, mastic cement, 3 liters of wax stripper, 10 liters of floor wax. Cost- M 397
  • Paint exterior of Hall building. Materials required: 40 liters of exterior acrylic paint, 5 liters of high gloss red paint (window frames), 40 liters roof paint. Cost- M 2598
  • Paint interior of Hall building: Materials required: 60 liters acrylic paint Cost- M1764
  • Second coat painted floors. Materials required: 35 liters high gloss floor paint. Cost- M1497
  • Install soft ceiling in 3 classrooms. Materials required: 175 square meters of jute sacking, 440 meters 4mm steel wire, 1 ½ k 6cm tacks. Cost- M 3794
  • Build new watchman’s house and front gate structure (currently the night watchman is using the powerhouse. This is unsafe and totally unsatisfactory) Cost- M 2517
  • Begin construction of library and Media Center. Cost- M 5444
  • Wind/solar electrical system: A careful study has been made of the system and after consideration and consultation it has been decided that all of the distribution wiring must be replaced. Parts can be salvaged but the wiring was so poorly executed it is causing damage to the system. Indeed, the inverter stopped working and is currently in Johannesburg for repairs. A possible cause of the damage was a nearby lightening strike. The towers for the solar panels have been set and the panels will be installed in the first week of February 2005. These will not be connected to the batteries until the inverter is returned. The wind turbine is working well and currently is keeping up the charge in the batteries. Although in theory the system should generate 4KWH per day it is almost impossible to predict how this will serve when utilized by a system. Therefore, it is important that the distribution system be installed in phases and each phase carefully tested. As the system shows itself capable of supplying each phase an additional phase will be added. During the month of February 2005 we plan to set poles and extend wiring to the school office and the water pump. When we are assured the solar panels and wind turbine can meet this load we will wire the classrooms and the laboratory. The final phase will be the eight staff houses. Below is a list of required materials.

All prices quoted by ElektroVroomen of Bloemfontein in South African Rand:

  • 425m 10 1/p AIRDAC SNE 8487.00
  • 3-RBCON03 Ready Board “C” 2x2oacb 353.00 per 1059.00
  • 18-Cable Hanger for 25 mm Bundle 31.25 per 641.25
  • 8- RBCON 03 Ready Board with 1/p KWH meter 662.27 per 5298.16
  • 8- Interior wiring packages for homes 324.63 per 2597.04
  • 1-Wiring package for Office 462.34 per 462.34

Total 18,544.79

 

Royston School Visit

In May of this year the 30 students and three staff from the Royston School in the UK are planning to visit for one week. We have already begun to plan and anticipate both a productive and enjoyable experience. The Royston students will be divided into three groups each supervised by a member of their staff. To each of these groups will be added 7 students from the Malealea High School and a member of our staff. We are planning three work projects: building gardens in a local community, painting and repairs at Malealea Primary School, facility and donga work at the Malealea High School. A tight is proposed. Under this schedule the groups will work four hours in the morning, possibly from 08:00 to 12:00. An hour will be allotted for lunch. After lunch an afternoon fun activity will be planned. These will include a games day (football, volleyball, Sesotho games, any games the Royston people bring along), an afternoon of entertainment (singing, skits, other endeavors), explore the villages (students will break into groups and explore the local areas), a combie ride to Ha Sisso for a visit with the Chief (you have not lived until you have ridden in a combie). On the middle day of the visit there will be no work so the Royston Students and their teachers can visit the places of interest here in the Malealea Valley. Some possible choices are the Botsoala Falls, the Bushman paintings, or the Litsokeleng Gorge.

Of course, all of these plans are at a very embryonic stage. We would welcome any suggestions from members of the Board or students and staff making the trip from Royston. We will try to assure maximum intermingling with the students and staff of the Malealea High School and as much of the “African Experience as we can give in the set period.

12 April 2005
To: Malealea Development Trust
From: Phil Eisemann RE: Work/Study Scholarships and Integrated Learning

As the Malealea Development Trust plans to award 21 three-year work/study scholarships beginning with the 2005 school year it is appropriate that planning be done. This memo presents a rational for work/study scholarships, suggests administration procedures for the work portion, and proposes a means by which the work/study program can be made an integral part of education.

Rationale

A possible residual of the colonial period is a general disassociation of manual labour with education. It is my observation that the majority of students and their teachers view physical labor as beneath the dignity of an “educated” person. The United States was in a very similar situation when slavery was abolished. It is only within the last 40 years that a concerted effort has been made to make vocational training an integral part of education. I refer you to Booker T. Washington, Howard Gardner, and Joe L. Kinchlow. Indeed, an influential segment of the community in the United States is vigorously opposed to continuation of these initiatives. I believe it is critical schools offer students with creativity and dexterity an opportunity to develop skills in a wide range of productive endeavours.

Offering students an opportunity to earn their own education is one manner in which they can be introduced to talents of which they may have been unaware. To be effective these types of programs must be carefully planned. The psychological cliché “The process is more important than the product” is critical. It is the aim of the program to provide the student with a positive introduction to productivity and craftsmanship. At the conclusion of each project the student should be able to tell friends and family, “I did that”. At the end of the program the student should say, “I can do that”:

Adminstration

The attitude of the school administration and most particularly the individual supervising the students is critical to the success of the program. If the students perceive they are being given “make work” tasks the program will be counterproductive. In every case the student must understand the purpose of the project, its role in the improvement of the community, and see results. This requires careful planning and constant attention to the status of the participants.

Potential projects

  • School improvements
    We are currently in this phase. The buildings at the Malealea High School have fallen into general disrepair. Extensive repair and improvements to the existing structures should be completed by August 2006. If, however, the work/study scholarship program is to continue in January of 2007 there will be 60 students working for their education. New projects will have to be devised. I suggest continuation of the stone pavements, construction of an incinerator, construction of a sheltered student gathering area, and building of a gateway at the entrance of the school which would include a guard house. The possibilities are limited only by available resources and creativity and ability of the administrator.
  • School maintenance
    The improvements to the existing structures will be meaningless if through neglect the buildings are allowed to return to a shabby condition. A schedule of maintenance will keep the structures presentable and allow for long and productive use. This maintenance can be divided into two categories: housekeeping and facilities maintenance. Housekeeping: In the next section I propose an allocation of the work hours. It is suggested that each student spend 40 hours doing housekeeping duties. This figure is arrived at by taking five rooms times 150 school days divided by 21 students and rounding off. Each student will be expected on forty occasions to clean one room at the close of the school day. This will include sweeping and mopping the floor, arranging the desks, cleaning the chalk boards, and cleaning the windows. The room will be presented to the administrator for inspection. One hour of credit will be awarded for a completed task regardless of time spent. This will encourage students to pressure peers to keep the rooms neat. The committee will note that the number of hours spent housekeeping will decrease as the number of students in the work/study program increases. Facilities maintenance: These tasks will include periodic interior and exterior painting, grounds maintenance, and general repairs. These tasks should be assigned based on skill and willingness. They should be counted as general project hours.
  • Agricultural projects
    The Malealea High School has approximately four hectors of arable land, two ready sources of water, numerous fruit trees, a mandate from the Ministry of Education to teach Agriculture, a huge supply of young able workers, and a nearby market for fruit and vegetables. At the moment most of the land is lying fallow and the fruit is either eaten green or falls on the ground. With a very small investment a water harvesting system could be built on the classroom buildings providing a third source of water. It has been suggested the Headmaster apply to the Peace Corps or an NGO for a person to teach agriculture and oversee the development of the school’s land for the production of fruit and vegetables. This person could also supervise the work portion of the scholarships. The fruit and vegetables produced by the school could be used to finance future scholarships. This would be an excellent opportunity for students to use their hours while learning agricultural skills and perpetuating the work/study program. It is strongly recommended the Malealea Development Trust exert every effort to provide the technical assistance the headmaster requires to get this project started.
  • Community development
    The condition of the facilities at the four primary schools is no better, and in some cases much worse, than the High School. Conditions at Litsokeleng Primary are appalling. The large building at Makheteng is in dreadful condition and the new building needs exterior paint. Botsoela Primary’s buildings are relatively new, however, one quarter of the structure is incomplete and the rest is badly in need of maintenance. Malealea Primary is in the best condition but it needs exterior and interior paint and general maintenance. These alone are many hours of available work. The community football field needs weekly maintenance and the community hall will need regular housekeeping and maintenance. There are more hours than can be counted required to reclaim dungas in the immediate area of the school. Work/study students could assist in the libraries, clinics, and childcare centres of the community.

It will fall to the board of the Malealea Development Trust to allocate the hours to be worked. The original suggestion used 5 Moluti per hour as a base. School fees are 1000 Moluti. Therefore, each work/study scholar would have to work 200 hours per year or 50 four hour days to satisfy their obligation. Currently, there are two young men working under the auspices of the Malealea School Board. One is working for his sister who just finished Form A and will be passing to Form B. The other will be starting in Form A for the 2005 term and is working off his fees. These workers are receiving 36 Moluti per four hour day or 9 Moluti per hour. They are being asked to work off 1250 Moluti which included a 250 Moluti “book fee”. It will take 36 four hour days for them to complete their obligation. It will be necessary to rectify this discrepancy.

For the sake of this memo the 5 Moluti per hour pay scale is used. It is proposed the hours be allotted as follows:

  • 40 hours housekeeping duties
  • 20 hours integrated learning
  • 140 general work hours

This schedule will vary by the number of students, as mentioned above, and the hourly rate set. This ratio is suggested because the four-hour day is the most productive with high school students. This schedule would allow fulfilment of general work hours in 35 days. There are 35 potential workdays in both the summer and winter school breaks. This does not include weekends. It would be possible for most of the 60 possible work/study scholars to work off their hours during school vacations, weekends, and holidays. After school opportunities will also be offered.

It is recommended that the work policy be set at once. The Malealea Development Trust should inform the work/study scholars in writing exactly what is expected. A document of commitment should be signed by all parties at the time the scholarships are awarded.

Integrated education

It is probable that the majority of the students completing the work/study scholarship program will not go to university. A greater number will go directly to work or attend technical schools. The skills they learn while working in the work/study program may form the basis for their life career. In any case it is important that the lessons learned while employed be reinforced. This will be done during the 20 hours of integrated learning. Each student will be required to keep a daily log in which they will describe, in English, exactly what they did during that period of work. This will include the math as well as the description. For example, when painting a wall they will be asked to calculate the number of square feet they painted and note how many liters of paint were required to do the job. A part of the housekeeping task will be a description of the room and an exact accounting of the time required to do the task. The housekeeping will include reporting any damage done to the room so the maintenance crew can make the repairs. These records will be written up on the student’s own time. The books will be submitted to the administrator every 20 hours. When they have been read and corrected the student will be credited with one hour. Again, if the student is careful and prepares the log well it may take less than an hour. If, on the other hand, a lot of correction and rewriting has to be done it could take far longer than an hour.

It is the aim of this program to allow the student to see the practical uses of what they are learning in the classroom. Teaching of skills is a benefit of the work/study program. The application of academic skills is the purpose of the integration.

 

Malealea Work Camp – Royston & City Schools

Agenda
by J. Phillip Eisemann
United States Peace Corps Volunteer
Assigned to the Malealea Development Trust.

Introduction

We in the Malealea Valley anxiously anticipate the visit of the students and faculty of the Royston and City schools. It is our aim to provide the opportunity for an experience far beyond that of tourist. By participating in community development projects you will know the real Africa and do something to make it a better place. You will be working with Basotho students and adults and you will leave the Malealea Valley with memories and bonds to last a lifetime.

Projects

The students and supervisors will be divided among six projects. We are presenting them at this time so wherever possible students can be assigned to the project of their choice.

  • The Malealea High School Library
    MaryAnn Eisemann is a United States Peace Corps volunteer whose assignment is to establish a library at the Malealea High School. More than 3000 volumes have been contributed by people in the United States and the United Kingdom. With the Malealea Workers she has been cataloguing and shelving. This project is limited to six. Three will be from the visiting students and three from the Malealea Workers.
  • Malealea High School
    The Malealea Workers have already redone the inside of the old classroom building and the outside of the new building. During your stay we plan to paint the exterior of the old classroom building. All of the masonry work has been done and the building is ready for paint. Local artists painted a mural and figures on the walls of the new classroom building. If any of the visiting students has artistic talents they are encouraged to bring brushes. We have paints. We will entertain any proposals for figures or a mural on the walls of the old classroom building.
  • Malealea Primary School
    The Malealea Primary School is adjacent to the High School. This school is badly in need of maintenance. Panes of glass must be replaced. Window and door frames need paint. The interior of all of the classrooms need painting. This is a big project and we hope you can make a big dent in the work.
  • Makheteng Primary School
    This school is closer to the Malealea Lodge. It is the largest primary school in the area. The Malealea Development Trust built a new three room classroom building. This is in need of exterior painting and the roof joice need paint. The older and larger building which houses the first four standards is very old and badly in need of patching. This will be primarily a masonry job. All of the windows need to be sealed and there are large holes and cracks in the walls.
  • Malealea Pre-school
    About 100 meters from the Malealea High School is the Malealea Pre-School. This is a small and struggling enterprise. The Malealea Development Trust is supporting this pre-school as well as another nearer the Lodge. We plan to build some playground equipment for the school. Also we will to paint exposed wood and the unfinished concrete block walls.
  • Tsinyane Dam
    This is a community water conservation and gardening project. We will work with the community members to prepare their plots for the new planting.

Proposed daily agenda

  • Sunday, June 5
    Royston and City students arrive approx17:00 hrs. Rooms are assigned and everybody settles in.
  • Monday June 6
    Royston and City students and faculty meet with Malealea Works and staff in the hall at the Lodge at 09:00 hrs. Introductions are made and job assignments settled. Each team leader will take his team to the job site and walk them through the work to be done. Tools and supplies will be inventoried and any needs noted. All teams will meet at the Malealea Lodge Hall no later than 12:30 hrs for lunch. At lunch we will be joined by members of the Malealea High School staff. After lunch crews will introduce their members and explain what they are going to be doing for the rest of the week. The remainder of the day is free time. Supervisors will meet to discuss any work situation.
  • Tuesday, June 7
    All crews will report to their job sites by 09:00 hrs. Work will be planned so crews can arrive at the Malealea Lodge hall for lunch at 12:30 hrs. After lunch there will be a double elimination volleyball tournament with teams formed from work groups.
  • Wednesday, June 8
    All crews will report to their job sites by 09:00 hrs. A Sesotho meal will be served in the Hall at 12:30 hrs. After the meal all workers will join in learning and playing Sesotho games. Supervisors will meet to plan for Friday’s work.
  • Thursday, June 9
    There will be no work today. It is suggested the Royston and City students take a pony trek to the Falls and the Cave paintings. This is the opportunity to see the country.
  • Friday, June 10
    All crews will report to job sites by 09:00 hrs. Lunch will be served at 12:30 hrs. After lunch there will be singing, dancing, reading and joking. Anyone with a talent is invited to display it.
  • Saturday, June 11
    All crews report for last day of work at 09:00 hrs. Lunch will be served at 12:30 hrs in the Hall. After lunch there will be a wrap up session in which each crew will be asked to explain what they did and how well they did it.
  • Sunday, June 12
    This is a day off. It is suggested Royston and City school students attend at least a part of one of the church services in the area. It is another look at the culture and an opportunity to hear some wonderful singing.
  • Monday, June 13
    Royston and City Students and faculty leave Malealea Lodge.

Some suggestions

  • Clothing
    It will be winter in the Malealea Valley and all of the crews will be working outside or in unheated buildings. Most of the work will be dirty or involve paint. It is strongly suggested that all workers bring warm old cloths for working on the sites. Dress in layers. It is better to bring several thick shirts or sweaters than one heavy coat. As you work you will get warm and with this method you can take off layers. To those of us from the north of the northern hemisphere Lesotho’s winters are quite mild. It is not necessary to be prepared for the worst you are used to. I advise checking local Lesotho weather on the internet and clothing yourself accordingly.
  • Logistics
    The only transportation available is by foot. You are going to do a lot of walking. At the same time you are going to be working in the same shoes. It is advised that you bring a comfortable and old pair of trainers for the work part of the project. Rain is rare in June so mud will not be an issue. As with the cloths dirt and paint will be an issue. It would be best if you brought a pair of trainers you did not plan to take with on your return to England.
  • Job Assignments
    It is requested that each student and faculty member select a first, second, and third choice of project. This will give the staff here an opportunity to place all persons in their job of choice. When this is not possible placement will be random. These choices should be e-mailed to the Malealea Lodge as soon as possible. If there are students who would like to undertake the mural project we would appreciate air mailing a color sketch to Phil Eisemann, c/o Malealea Lodge, P.O. Box 263, Motsekuoa, 194 Lesotho. To assure delivery please enclose a copy of the above choice list in this envelope. With the local mail system it is best to be redundant.
  • Restrictions
    On all job sites and during passage to and from the Malealea Lodge smoking and the consumption of alcohol is strictly forbidden. Any person who feels they cannot pass a four hour period without the use of tobacco or alcohol is invited to exclude themselves from the project.

Suggestions

We welcome any suggestions or comments regarding this agenda. This is a proposal rather than a set agenda. Please address suggestions or comments to Phil Eisemann at the address above and by e-mail to the Malealea Lodge.

We look forward to an enjoyable, safe, productive and memorable week. Please help us to achieve this aim by offering any suggestions which you deem relevant.

 

Malealea – Yorkshire Link

June 2005
By Ken Dunn

The background

As a geography teacher I have taught all about eco-tourism – the idea that tourist money helps local people and environments.

On a visit to Southern Africa in 2000 I encountered what must be one of the best examples of eco-tourism anywhere in the world. Nestling within the tiny community of Malealea in “The Kingdom in The Sky”, which is Lesotho, is Malealea Lodge. Run by Lesotho nationals, Di and Mick Jones, Malealea Lodge offers homely cooking, comfortable accommodation and guided excursions into the environs of the area.

Where this differs from most operations is that the profit from such activities is ploughed into the local community with amazing effect.

I am well travelled, having taken school visits to five continents including some disturbingly poor areas such as Kashmir and Bolivia, but this visit to a 3000 strong community in Malealea fired my imagination.

At Royston High School, with the assistance of some fantastically supportive colleagues, I have been able to do some amazing things on environmental issues.

Recycling lots of different things not only taught an important environmental message, it also raised cash! When I suggested to the environment group that this cash should be sent to Malealea to help build some new classrooms, they were all in agreement.

With the cash, we sent out letters of introduction. The letters we got back were stunning and began to open eyes.

In addition to recycling I have pioneered the use of wind and solar power in the school grounds. Royston has its own wind turbine and solar panels, which power a micro- river system.

The notion of taking this technology to Lesotho through a school environmental expedition began to emerge.

Hundreds of hours later after, and after incredible community support, the Royston High School Malealea Expedition set off to Cape Town.

Dragoman – overland travel experts – very generously looked after us and made our journey through South Africa up into the mountains of Lesotho (and back again), an amazing, trouble – free experience of a lifetime.

The Wind, Solar and Pupil Power Expedition of 2003 The seventeen – day expedition in May of 2003 was a hugely significant undertaking for all involved and for the two link communities of Royston in Barnsley and Malealea in Lesotho. Sixteen pupils aged 15 years old, accompanied by four school staff a doctor and a nurse flew to Cape Town and journeyed overland to the mountain community of Malealea in Lesotho. Overland travel experts Dragoman assisted the group and provided transport, drivers and a wealth of local knowledge all at cost price!

Our journey into Cape Town and through South Africa was extremely thought provoking but when we entered “The Kingdom in the Sky”, which is Lesotho, things took on an all –together more personal feel.

After a very warm reception at Malealea Lodge we quickly visited the High School to check on the installation of the wind turbine and solar panels.

With the work on the renewable power system going to plan we set about discovering our surroundings.

A walk to Botsoela falls assisted us in gaining our bearings but it was the work alongside our Basotho friends that meant the most to us.

I was acutely aware of the soil erosion problem afflicting the area and was very keen to plant trees when we came out. Molomo, a government forester who helped us source both forest trees and fruit trees, ably assisted us in this respect.

An orchard was planted in the grounds of Malealea High School and hundreds of fast growing forest trees were planted to provide soil stability and a source of fuel wood.

We were hugely privileged to work alongside the Tsinyane Learning Circle. This is a community action learning group, which really is on the move! Community worker Gillian Attwood has fired them up and they are thoroughly empowered and determined to change their lot. Having identified that a lack of water is the major obstacle for them, they set about excavating a small reservoir a task that our expedition engaged on for two days.

This was to prove one of the most enriching experiences of our expedition. Working alongside three generations of highly industrious, effusive and enthusiastic community members brought out the very best in human nature.

Our doctor and nurse spent an afternoon in Malealea clinic where they observed the amazing Mahkhalisho at work. Through conversation with Mahkhalisho they identified what equipment would be practical for us to send out and a post expedition fund raising initiative made this so.

After a brief but uplifting visit to Makatheng Primary School we went to the official opening of the High School electrification system. With representation from the British High Commission present The Chief of Malealea and myself flicked the switch and the lights came on and the computer buzzed into life.

A photograph of the Mayor and Mayoress of Barnsley Mr Bill and Pat Newman and a shield with the Barnsley coat of arms was presented to the Chief of the village, M’e Makhauta Mahao, and the head teacher of the school.

A mandatory game of football was undertaken with Lesotho one nil victors! A rematch is sure to follow this June!

Returning to South Yorkshire the journey undertaken was not only in terms of miles covered. The eyes and minds of those involved had been opened wide.

The challenge that now faced us was how to convey those emotions to people back home in our own community.

All were encouraged (and at times hounded) to write down our emotions on the expedition and where possible write this up as poems. With the help of Barnsley Rotary Club and The Print Unit of Barnsley Council we were able to produce a small poetry book detailing our thoughts and emotions. A civic reception was held in Barnsley Town Hall for the expedition members and their families, but perhaps the most telling and poignant moment came when the now 16 year old pupils stood up in front of their peers and told them exactly what it was all about and how much this experience had meant to them.

A Change of Job / Extending the link!

In the autumn of 2003 I saw a very attractive job advertised in the national press in a large school in Sheffield.

The post would be a significant promotion and very important to my career but I was not prepared to move if the new school would not embrace the link with Malealea. As it turned out The Head teacher and the selection panel welcomed this idea with open arms and I moved to The City School in Sheffield in January 2004 as Assistant Head teacher.

The Joint School Expedition of 2005

The Royston community were very keen to continue the link with Malealea, and The City School community were keen on being informed of what was possible.

It was a very obvious decision to take that I should lead a joint school expedition to Malealea and that is indeed what has been planned for May/June of this year.

The Expedition will be 40 strong, comprising 18 pupils from The City School, 13 pupils from Royston, 6 teachers and 3 doctors.

The aim of the link is obviously very wide reaching and the Expedition will go along way to develop relationships, understanding and friendships.

The Expedition will also have specific objectives.

We clearly wish to follow up on the work started in 2003 with Malealea High School. We intend to bring or buy en route computers and TV video equipment for use in classes. We want to undertake a number of common DIY projects such as painting and renovating classrooms in The High School and in two of the local primary schools. We wish to work along side community members in preparing their plots for planting and to discover in true eco-tourist fashion the delights of this stunning environment! Our doctors would also like to work with Makhalisho the clinic nurse to explore ways in which we could work collaboratively to provide greater medical assistance for the community. We wish to explore with the community arts group the possibilities of marketing and selling some of their produce in the UK, not least to us when we are there!!!

The Future Vision

Through fund raising in our two UK communities we have committed ourselves to support 15 students to attend Malealea High School for the next three years. With the Malealea Development Trust and the excellent US Peace Corp personnel we are extending the electricity supply more extensively throughout The High School and into the teacher’s homes. We hope the advent of telecommunications in the Malealea Valley will open up a new world for us in communicating with our friends across the world. Video and email not to mention telephone contact will make life so much easier and more immediate.

It seems a very obvious extension of our link thus far to extend our involvement to teacher placements (in both directions) and eventually to bringing pupils from Malealea to South Yorkshire.

The City School in Sheffield is pursuing the specialist status in Business and Enterprise and this it is undertaking with a highly ethical stance. It makes very good sense to work closely with our friends in Malealea to bring a very pure form of fair trade to the UK market and in doing so increase opportunities within our link community. The link with Royston is more firmly established for obvious reasons and I feel sure the community would be receptive to arts and crafts from Lesotho.

Soil erosion and a sustainable source of fuel wood is also a concern and we have an on-going appeal to sponsor trees. We should also like to fund more fuel-efficient stoves.

I have also been working with a number of professionals on the issue of water within the Malealea Valley. EWB and RedR namely Engineers Without Borders and Registered Engineers for Disaster Relief have provided me with a detailed list of questions and we will endeavour to answer these in June. There seems a very good chance that an engineering placement could be secured for Malealea through these contacts.

In conclusion Di and Mick Jones have got a lot to answer for!!!

Our work with Malealea has been brought to the attention of a very wide range of people from The Royal Geographical Society to the UK Government. Indeed just last week we got a personally signed letter from Gordon Brown which is now proudly displayed on our School website www.city.sheffield.sch.uk then follow Malealea link.

Communication is vital and face-to-face meetings irreplaceable. We will learn so much from our visit in June and go forward invigorated to work with our Basotho partners.

Leave a Reply