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Rafiki Safari Camp, on the edge of Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve, has managed to prevail upon a small NGO called With Change in Mind (WCIM) to fund and assist with the building of a Kindergarten and Community Resource Centre in the local village. WCIM has undertaken numerous projects in Malawi including a similar project close to Senga Bay. The NGO obtains all funding from individual donors in USA and welcomes donations from anyone with a desire to assist local communities. The land on which the school is being built, was generously donated by the local village headman who has also offered the school the full use of water from his borehole.

The centre will be used as a full-time kindergarten classroom, an after school program for primary school students, and in the future, at the community’s request, for things like adult literacy and health education. WCIM always follows the lead of each community it supports and attempts to provide resources that the local families need.

The project, when complete will support up to 60 kindergarten students and 4 full time staff members being teachers, garden manager and guard. The salaries will be funded by WCIM. The parents of the children will contribute to the project by paying a small monthly fee and by assisting with the cooking of two meals each day to be served to the scholars of the kindergarten. Vegetables from the school’s garden will be used to help provide daily meals, and WCIM will also supplement the meals with other nutritious food.

The nearby residents are extremely positive and excited about the project and around 40 of the ladies arrived with their babies (future scholars) on the day of breaking ground with shovels and hoes to clear the site. There was a great deal of joviality and singing and the site was cleared within about 2 hours.

Once cleared, the building contractor took over and commenced with excavating the ground for wall foundations. The project includes a large classroom building, kitchen block and toilet block. At the bottom end of the site is a large shady Kachere tree that will be used for outdoor classes. Also on the site will be the vegetable garden as mentioned above and a play area for the children during break periods.

The team at Rafiki Safari Camp welcome and congratulate With Change in Mind for its support of child and family development in Malawi.