Educating educators in the world’s poorest country

Norwegian enthusiast and social entrepreneur Marit Svahn has opened seven new preschools in Malawi with support from the Kavli Trust. The project is also training their teachers.

Thanks to the work of Ms Svahn, 18 students graduated as Malawi’s first preschool teachers in March 2012. A new course for 25 student educators is due to begin in November. Malawi ranks as one of the world’s poorest countries. Half of its roughly 15 million inhabitants are under the age of 15, and about 1.5 million children are orphans. Demand for preschool facilities is huge. That explains why the Kavli Trust is supporting Ms Svahn’s project, which covers both the opening of new schools and training their teachers. The goal is to collaborate with the Malawian government on scaling up the project and establishing state provision for educating preschool teachers in the country. Opened on 1 May, the seven new schools established by the project can accommodate 420 children – largely orphans aged from three to six years.

Each school has both teachers and cooks, who ensure that the pupils receive a nutritious meal every deal. The children learn basic skills with an eye to continued education.
In addition, they develop their basic skills through song, dance and drama. The schools will also provide teaching experience for the new class of preschool educators. Support from the trust is acknowledged by including “Kavli” in the name of each school – such as Kavli Preschool Kalowa and Kavli Preschool Majojo. And caviar from Kavli was served at the post-examination party for the graduating teachers. They gave it a good reception, having never tasted anything similar before.

For more information on our charitable projects: www.http://kavlifondet.no Bergen, 30 May 2012 Inger Elise Iversen