The winner of the 2016 SMP Member Award
for Youth impact is....
Dunblane Boys' Brigade
Please describe your Malawi link.
Over the past year, a project team of 16 boys from Dunblane Boys' Brigade raised over £70,000 in order to renovate and repair classrooms in two of our partnerships primary schools - Nansato and Pasani in Likhubula.
This group of boys aged between 14 and 18 did a tonne of work to raise all the money. We then travelled to Likhubula for two weeks to paint ten of the eighteen rooms in the two schools. The boys worked their socks off to get all the work done and they also showed an enormous amount of maturity to deal with the challenges they faced.
The interactions they had with the learners in the school as well as the wider community were awe-inspiring. They also created bonds with partnership funded bursars and really appreciated their global responsibilities. I cannot single any boy of this team out and can’t praise them enough.
How does your partnership advance the UN Sustainable Development Goal
4 - Quality Education
A huge part of the project was to make the boys understand the causes of poverty and how we can help people out of the circle of poverty. Working with Classroom’s For Malawi, the boys learned the causation chain of how the work they were doing improved the learners chances of getting a better education which in turn hopefully increases their chances of getting a better job and a chance to create a better life for their families. They also realised the huge benefits on the partnership community in general by having better educational facilities that attract better teachers.
Which of the SMP’s ‘Partnership Principles’ do you think you excel at?
This isn’t a one-off project. We are integrating Project Malawi into our offering in the Boys’ Brigade and the link with our partnership community will continue. We created bonds between the boys and the bursars that are sponsored by the partnership. The classrooms that we rebuilt will provide an improved learning experience for a number of years and future projects will look at the other primary schools in the partnership area as well as ensuring that the improved classrooms are kept to the same high standard. We also plan to inspire other BB companies around the country.
Congratulations to all the runners-up below:
Of course, the SMP isn’t really about competition between members, with winners and losers: we know all our members have an incredible story to tell about how they’re transforming lives through dignified partnership.
We hope the Member Awards are a fun and engaging way to help members tell their story, and of celebrating the impact all the many people-to-people links are having.
My Malawi link was established in 2014, starting a two year process to a 2016 expedition to visit our link school, Dzenza Primary. Throughout the process I discovered the SMP and got the opportunity to speak on behalf of the school at Parliament, describing our link and what made it so important, as well as attending other SMP events throughout the year. My partnership is driven by how important it is to establish a connection with somewhere else, how we benefit from our friends in Malawi. I believe in education for everyone, therefore our partnership through Gleniffer High School is so crucial to what I do, so much that I plan to return for another project with a group in 2017. I have discovered a passion for the warm heart of Africa, its people and culture. I cannot wait to be more involved and share my passion and drive.
In June 2016, I got the opportunity to travel to Dzenza Primary School in Malawi through Gleniffer High School’s sustainable partnership program. I worked with the Scottish charity Classrooms for Malawi and refurbished a five classroom block. In order to do this I spent two years fundraising £3500 to cover my travelling costs and £20,000 for our project work. I have seen the effect that work like GHS carried out can have, our project increased Dzenza’s school roll by 400 pupils and has encouraged more girls to come to school, and my heart has been completely captured by the cause. So, I write to my friend Deborah, a pupil at Dzenza, on a regular basis. I have made plans to return to Malawi as a volunteer for Classrooms for Malawi next June and see myself continuing to visit Malawi year after year.