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“Our mission is to impact impoverished emerging and developing nations by empowering teachers with educational resources that enhance their ability to teach and instills in students a lifelong desire to learn.”

Malawi and a New Beginning

Dec 30 2015

Malawi and a new beginning…

So as we start this New Year with a new blog addition it only seems fitting to start our story at the beginning; but the question is which beginning do we start with?   There was the beginning of when we moved to South Africa in 2003, and the beginning of when we started going to Malawi in 2004, then there was the beginning of getting into the Malawi Schools in 2009 and there was the beginning of the idea of the PAL (Portable Academic Lapdesk).   All of these were great beginning but the one I think we need to concentrate on is the beginning in 2012 where someone challenged us to, “Just find a way to get it produced”.

You see we were headed down one production path and meeting all sorts of obstacles along the way.   But when we stepped back, heeded those words, and sought a different path of production everything changed…  We found a company, Signs for Success – in Spokane, WA, that helped us think outside of the box and by 2013 we were ready to distribute PALs in 5 Malawi Schools as a trial run.   We are glad to inform you that nearly 1,200 PALs have now been distributed in 5 different countries.   AND best of all we are planning on distributing another 1,450 PALs this year in another 16 schools in Malawi and Zambia.   It is estimated that the original 1,200 PALs have reached over 25,000 school children and the Teacher’s Manuals are being used by an estimated 276 teachers.

Africa 2015 jpgs-471If you are on this web page or reading this blog through our FB Page then you can see the idea of the PAL.   It is simple, has no moving parts, no electronics to get messed up with by African dirt, sun, wind and rain.  And we can now say it is holding up extremely well.   The UV protection is working great as is the aluminum composite and laminating process.   In fact the original PALs we distributed in 2014 look great.

The PAL offers students all the basics of education on a lapdesk, for the first time they are seeing amazing visuals.   When you have sat in a classroom on the ground with no desk and used a brick as your chair; you have not had posters on the wall or in fact very few teaching aids, the PAL offers you something fun, colorful and exciting.  Just read some of the comments we are getting from teachers, in their own words.

Zambia School“At first I had problems in teaching the solar system but with the available of the PAL the topic was successful.”

“Most learners are able to recite their multiplication tables and telling time through the PAL.”

“Teaching becomes simple to me because learners participate actively using these PALs”

“I am successful in my teaching because PALs have helped me to clarify concepts that are difficult to teach and it has helped learners to succeed in their studies.  I enjoy teaching using PALs because my style of teaching has improved greatly.”

“These PALs must be sent to many schools to encourage learners to success.”

“I just want to encourage that this system should not stop distributed in schools because my learners are learned quickly through PAL.”

Wow, with such encouraging words from the teachers we are so excited to see what is yet to come.  

Have a great New Year and if you have made a resolution to do more to help others here is your opportunity.   All donations are tax deductible.