By Oscar Fanuel Kameta
The coming of COVID-19 in March 2020 in Malawi which led to the declaration of state of natural disaster, affected many sectors including the education sector due to the closure of schools. This required strategists to keep learners and students engaged which also facilitated the birth of the Bloomers Learning Initiative.
Bloomers Learning Initiative focused and invested its attention and resources on the provision of FREE lessons to Form 4 and standard 8 students, who had to be kept up and engaged due to the prolonged school closure effects. Through live Whats App, lessons offered from Monday to Friday and the initiative managed to reach out to 1200 standard 8 learners and form 4 students during the schools closure period.
The lessons were coupled with motivational talks which extraordinarily kept the learners and students under the initiative engaged and motivated.
Soon after the reopening of schools, the free lessons were called off with a great feedback on the learners and students who benefitted during from the initiative. This gave energy to the founders of the initiative as 2 months later they continued with the initiative with a great focus on the reduction of illiteracy in Malawi.
One of the founders of the initiative, Jane Chekecheke together with 2 team members from primary and secondary (teachers), Mrs Sothini Phiri and Mr Victor Mkandawire later started providing training on creative writing. This targeted the students and learners again and from the onset of this initiative, they have reached out 11 schools countrywide with 2 published books one of them winning a global award, the African Authors Honoree Awards, which was greatly supported by the World Connect and Muhammad Sanusi Sustainable Development Goal Fund.
Registering her gratitude and sanguinity, one of the founders of Bloomers Learning Initiative, Jane Chekecheke revealed their plans for the initiative; “We are looking forward to publishing 8 more books with support from MSSDG Fund by the end of 2022. We are also constructing a library at Karonga School for the deaf in driving towards having a conducive reading and writing environment. Our initiative needs more funding in order to reach out to more schools in Malawi and beyond our borders”, Chekecheke revealed.
Although they are currently not meeting their desired operational budget, they are optimistic towards achieving their target goals and objectives for the initiative; We would like to construct more libraries as well as renovating and turning some existent structures in schools into libraries. We would like to go digital in the near future, rather than just having books being published in hard copy. We are appealing to well-wishers, organizations and the government to support us with resources in order to reach out to schools in all Malawian Districts and beyond”, Chekecheke delineated.
Currently, the Bloomers Learning initiative can be reached out through +265 (0) 993 955 902 for inquiries, partnerships and donations or any other noble cause.