Mkango scales up CSR activities in education sector
…hands over facilities for school feeding programme
By Deborah Manda
Mineral exploration and development firm, Mkango Resources, has pledged to continue assisting communities surrounding its flagship Songwe Hill Rare Earth Project in Phalombe with various interventions in the education sector.
Country Manager for Mkango Burton Kachinjika made the pledge recently when he handed over two kitchens and dining halls to Changa and Mphembedzu primary schools in the area.
Kachinjika said Mkango decided to help with the school feeding facilities following its fact finding mission which confirmed that the two schools did not have a feeding programme, which negatively affected the lessons.
Our fact finding mission established that Namalimwe Primary School in this same area has a feeding programme and noticed that learners there were more attentive and happier than the pupils at Changa and Mphembedzu schools which did not have feeding programmes,
Kachinjika explained that the President of Mkango Resources, Alexander lemon, thereafter approached a well-wisher Nishkam Langar in London where the two agreed to pursue the project.
The community contributed bricks and sand while Mkango provided construction materials and equipment at a cost of 15 million Kwacha. UK based non-governmental organization, Zero Hunger and Langar, will be providing food stuffs to the schools.
Our aim to improve class attendance as currently a good number of children do not go to school. We hope that with this school feeding programme, more children will be attracted to enroll at the schools and be able to concentrate on the lessons without worrying about hunger,
He said the company’s mission is to have an educated community in the Songwe Hill area and a part from coming up with the school feeding programme for the two schools, each year the company awards scholarships for secondary education to six students (three boys and three girls), and so far the company has 18 students under the scholarship scheme.
Zero Hunger Country Manager Amargeet Singh urged the school authorities to effectively coordinate with the organization to ensure that there is constant supply of food at the schools.
The school committee should keep us informed on the stock so that we send the next stock of food in good time,
Member of Parliament for Phalombe North East Denis Namachekecha Phiri commended Mkango and its partners for the initiative saying though the company is only in exploration stage, it is doing a lot for the people of the area.
Surely, these are the kind of investors we need. Here, you have given our children hope with the roaming hunger as they are assured that they will be able to eat porridge at school,
Primary Education Advisor for Nazombe Zone Abdul Gama also expressed gratitude to Mkango for the initiative saying with the development his zone will continue to be a star performer in terms of education standards.
My zone has 11 schools and only three schools did not have feeding programmes. With the latest development, there will only be one school without a feeding programme. This will ensure that my zone continues shining in Phalombe district by getting more learners selected to national secondary schools.
This piece was initially published in Malawi’s Mining & Trade Review Issue Number 59 (March 2018).