Help Fulfil the Dreams of These Malawian Children

The Chichiri Primary School project is very personal to me because before my family migrated to the United Kingdom and the United States over 23 years ago, Chichiri is where I began my educational journey. In 2019, when I visited the school for the first time since I left Malawi, I wept. It was extremely difficult for me to reconcile that while I was finishing my doctoral studies at one of Switzerland’s best institutions, I began my academic journey at a school with no windows, ceilings, floors, functioning bathrooms or sufficient learning materials, such as textbooks.

Through the African Diaspora Leadership in Action (ADLA), an NGO mobilizing Africans in the diaspora and on the continent for sustainable impact in Africa, I would like to kindly ask all of you join us and help fulfil the dreams of the students at Chichiri Primary School in Blantyre, Malawi. 

53139852_1607463394781074_r.jpegPic: This is me (Eleanor) when I went to Chichiri Primary School

I felt burdened and equally called upon that rebuilding this school and community was one reason I had access to many privileged spaces. As you will see from the pictures below and the YouTube video, the conditions of Chichiri Primary School are profoundly desperate. In the video, the students themselves discuss what they so desperately want to see in their school; these are their own dreams for Chichiri.

In honor of this privilege I have had to complete my educational journey with PhD, and to stand as a symbol that something extraordinary can come out of a place like Chichiri, I want to call on you, my dear family, mentors, friends, humanitarians, well-wishers, human citizens, to join me as we take on the responsibility of shaping the world around us in small and extraordinary ways. I kindly ask you to join me on this journey of service and financially support the Chichiri Primary School project.

I want the students at Chichiri to be aware that there is a community of people worldwide, including an alumna of the school, who believe in their future and their potential to one day be the ones who impact their immediate environment.

The Chichiri Primary School project is divided into six phases that we will implement over 24 months. The total running cost of the Chichiri Primary School renovation and textbook allocation project is approximately USD 180,000. The first three phases, which we are kickstarting now and will be implemented by August 2021, have a total running cost of approximately USD 82,000 which is what we are raising in this initial crowdfunding campaign.


Phase one of the Chichiri Primary School Project is the address of the most urgent and immediate needs. These include: The purchase of 276 desks so that students in standard 2-4 (7-9 year olds) at Chichiri Primary School are not having to learn from the floor. It costs just $35 to move a student from the floor to a desk; the repair of 17 toilets ensuring that the 1510 students at Chichiri are not having to share a mere 3 toilets; the repair and mending of leaking classrooms which impact the learning process of students especially in the winter.

53139852_1607463289881094_r.jpegDuring this pandemic, students at Chichiri have continued to learn from the floor
53139852_1607463633608626_r.jpegOur immediate goal is to raise enough money to move students from learning from the floor to sitting on desks. It costs $35 for a desk. The conditions at Chichiri are desperate

 Goal for Phase One: $20,000 by January, 2021


Phase two of the Chichiri Primary School Project is the address of the lack of access to critical learning and teaching materials. The school administration discusses how for every 200 students in a grade, they receive from the government just 4 books (per subject) for all those learners. Meaning, in a classroom setting of 50 students, they have 1 book for 50 students to share. With a cost of  $3.50 for student books and $3 for teachers books, we need $33,000 to purchase enough teaching and learning materials for 1510 students. Reflecting on the issue on sustainability, books can be used for a period of 5 years.

53139852_1607464095812406_r.jpegDuring our discussions, teachers expressed the challenge of  transferring knowledge without sufficient teaching materials.  They don't have sufficient books to effectively  teach and are missing such basic materials as chalk for the black board.
53139852_1607464036758333_r.jpegStudents expressed not having sufficient materials to assist them in their learning journey. They have to share 1 text book to every 50 students.

Goal for Phase Two: $33,000 by August 2021


Phase two of the Chichiri Primary School Project is the building of 20 toilets. The bathroom situation at Chichiri Primary School is very grave as only 3 toilets, 2 for the girls and 1 for the boys, are functional for the 1510 student body. A desperate health concern, when we visited the school premises in 2019, the conditions of the bathrooms were such that no human being should at all be using them. As 17 toilets that are going to be repaired in phase one of the project, the commitment in phase three of the project is to build an additional 20 toilets. Our commitment is to have a total of 37 toilets at the end of August 2021.

53139852_1607464750598261_r.jpegThe toilets at Chichiri are inhumane
53139852_1607464785229476_r.jpegOnly three toilets are functional in a school with a student body of 1510 students
53139852_1607464825608238_r.jpegOur goal is to fix the 17 broken toilets and build an additional 20 toilets

Goal of Phase Three: $29,000 by December 2021

Thank you for positively responding to my call and for embarking on this journey with me. Thank you for helping me make my commitment tangible and for your own leadership in action.

For more information, kindly visit

To partner, become an ADLA Ambassador, or support the project in other ways, you can also email us through our website or our Instagram @adlaprojects 

Thank you so much for your support.

Sincerely and on behalf of ADLA,

Eleanor T. Khonje, PhD
Founder and Executive Director


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    • CHF15 
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    • CHF100 
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Eleanor T. Khonje 
Genève, GE, Switzerland
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