Banda Hill School

Banda Hill Primary School

We were contacted by GVH Mzengeleza in 2016 asking for support in developing Banda Hill Primary School. The community built, wooden structures had been gutted by fire, forcing learners to school out in the open or in their now blackned and unsafe classrooms. Banda Hill had over 300 children across four classrooms and was in a very sorry state when we visited. However, we found very quickly that the community at Banda Hill wanted change and wanted better, spear-headed by some very inspiring, leading ladies....

Theresa Kachindamoto, now world famous for breaking up child marriages in Malawi is the Senior Chief presiding over this area. The Group Village Chief is Mrs Mzengeleza who comes to the school weekly to monitor our work and is a very present and active leader. The school Head teacher is Mrs Bendere who has been excellent in organizing both staff and students whenever we visit and in maintaining the school. They are a very active leadership team and, as a result, we have achieved some remarkable developments over the past two years...

In April 2017 a fabulous team of volunteers from Bishop's Stortford College, Hertfordshire, travelled to Malawi to help decorate two brand new classrooms, a staffroom and a store room at Banda Hill. They worked hard to raise funds for the development back in UK and did an incredible job creating 'walls that talk' and bright, inspiring learning environments. They also helped develop a Permaculture Garden and planted trees in the school grounds. 

In the months that followed the community at Banda Hill then developed a flower garden and extended their Permaculture Garden. They built their own fences and dug their own well to ensure its survival. They also planted over 300 trees to create shaded areas and to protect the new classrooms from wind in the future. As a consequence, after building two classrooms, a staffroom and a storeroom for them in 2016-17 we provided three additional classrooms, officially in spring 2018. A further three classrooms, toilets and 60 desks and chairs were provided in 2019 together with a borehole- a game changer for the school community and permaculture garden.


The transformation at Banda Hill cannot be under played; from four dilapidated, community built wooden classrooms with dirt floors they now have 8 new classrooms, providing a bright and inspiring learning environment. Enrolment has risen from 227 pupils in 2016 to 635 in September 2019.  We provided three new toilets and a tippy-tap to prevent children from missing school due to menstruation or illness from poor hygiene. It is a happy, motivated little school with a strong community and outstanding leadership.

Check out the before and after images ->

  • IMG_3379
  • Banda 2
  • Banda rooms 1
  • Banda 1
  • New block at Banda 2018

Oscar's Library

In May 2018 we opened 'Oscar's Library,' built in loving memory of Oscar Jefferies. The first, and only library to be built at a Primary School in the area for miles in all directions, the library has become a source of information and inspiration for the whole community.

With funding from the Fonthill Foundtaion and support from Bishop Mackenzie International School, Lilongwe, and Saint Andrews Primary School, Blantyre, this beautiful Library continues to grow. We led a four day 'Library Training CPD' earlier this year to teachers and comunity members and are often updating the library's books and resources.