Project information

A teacher's house for Ngala Primary School

To increase the number of teachers in Ngala Primary School, Malawi, so that pupil teacher ratios drop below 110:1

June 2016 - July 2017

Charity information: Malawi Education Link(MEL)

Malawi Education Link(MEL) logo
  • Need


    The Malawi government expects communities to provide teachers' houses with a tin roof. It then puts those teachers on the payroll... but the majority of rural communities consist of subsistence farmers without the money to pay for roofing tin, cement, windows & door frames!


    The Ngala community have made their own bricks, will provide the necessary sand and water, builders. They just need our help with materials that can be bought or made locally, thereby also supporting local individuals, businesses.
    Once this house is built, Ngala community will gain a teacher paid by the government.. and pupil:teacher ratios will go down.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To reduce pupil:teacher ratios in Ngala Primary School


    » Working with Ngala community, making it possible for them to build a teacher's house.

    By making it possible to employ an additional teacher.

    Aim 2

    To raise the quality of teaching standards in Ngala Primary School


    » Enable Ngala community to attract better qualified teachers through on-site, quality (by local standards) housing.
    » Motivate teaching staff to raise standards of learning by improving their living standards and easy access to their work environment.

    By monitoring teaching and learning standards through Charles Mndala, the school's Primary Education Advisor (PEA). We work closely with all the area's PEAs.

  • Impact


    1. More children will pass the Junior Certificate Examination, allowing access to secondary school for those who can afford it. (Monitoring of pass rate, checking with PEA).
    2. Children with Special Needs will be more likely to receive additional support. (Monitored through Edgar Thom, the Community Welfare Assistant).
    3. Ngala FP School will be eligible for additional resources, support. (Monitored via the PEAs and MEL).


    Previous experience of building in some 40 Malawian schools, to date, shows that the community's failure to play their part (ie insufficient bricks, slow-working builders etc) is now rare: communities have learnt we work to a strict time scale and when Caroline Hansford leaves, the money does too, so we rarely lag behind in projects, now: if circumstances outside our control hinder completion, we come back later. All projects to date have been completed, often ahead of time.


    Caroline Hansford takes personal responsibility for supervision of all aspects of the project, with regular visits, monitoring of expenditure, quality of work. This is fed back to donors in whatever form they stipulate. MEL also distributes its newsletter at least twice yearly.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,650

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      Amount Heading Description
      £2,105 materials roofing tin, cement, window & door frames etc.
      £305 transport & labour to deliver materials to the school site (bricks are made on site, sand from the lake, water pumped.
      £240 paint & chalkboard limewashing, bitumastic, chalkboard paint.
  • Background


    Ngala is a small village located in Central Malawi, along the shores of Lake Malawi. Dwangwa, 17kms to the south, is the nearest small town. The vast majority of its population is subsistence farmers, fishermen. Like the rest of Malawi, it has been stricken by drought and famine in the last 2 years, but communities are strong, well-aware that they must grasp every opportunity to improve their children's education. That's the only reliable way out of poverty.


    The 1440 pupils currently being taught by 13 teachers, several living some distance from the school. Pupils with Special Needs of every sort stand NO chance of receiving additional support at present!

    As frequently the only wage earners in a village, teachers are expected to lend money from their small pay packets of some £45/month - hence the need to live on the school site to escape this pressure, gain better quality housing that enables them to give more of their time and energy in school.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    MEL has been building, maintaining schools, teachers' houses in this area since 1999. We have established excellent & unique working practices with the PEAs, schools & their communities. Caroline Hansford spends up to 6 months of each year in Ngala, supervising, MEL's projects, working with the communities & providing assistance in other forms (we support albinos, sponsor needy secondary & tertiary students, work with local clinics, bring out volunteers from UK, dig boreholes...).

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    CAroline Hansford MBE - MEL Leader (Self-Funded Volunteer)

    Managing, monitoring, supporting, feeding back to trustees

    Moffat Banda - Building Supervisor (Paid At Local Rates)

    Moffat has worked with Caroline since 1999 and supervises all building work, transportation, builders, reporting to Caroline

    Senior Group Village Headman Kamkondo (Partner)

    i/c Likuchi Community Based Organisation under which MEL is registered in Malawi. He authorises, is kept informed, manages any local problems.

    MEL's Trustees (Volunteers)

    They play an indispensable role in managing, monitoring and encouraging MEL's work.