There’s close cooperation between the African-Hungarian Union (AHU) and the Jacaranda Foundation, which operates a school near Malawi’s most populated city that is maintained for orphan children. Hungarian doctors have recently visited the school, and besides giving out medication they also examined hundreds of children in the institution, reports globoport.hu.
„We have approximately 400 students now” – Luc Deschamps, Executive Director of the Jacaranda Foundation told Róbert Richárd Kiss. The school is among the few in Malawi and in Africa which provides free and quality education for underprivileged children. The Director and Kiss talked about the school, its mission, about the African-Hungarian Union, and the Hungarian Trade and Cultural Center (HTCC) that operates in Malawi.
The institution is run by the Jacaranda Foundation and provides primary-and secondary education for children between the ages of 6 and 18; it also supports those who wish to have a higher education after they finished high school. The foundation supports twenty such students now and covers the cost of their university education – said Luc Deschamps
The school provides food, clothing, text books, and other accessories necessary for the children, and educates them on AIDS and other contagious diseases. They also organize music and sport programs for the children. Students have the opportunity to pursue agricultural training, or to learn a profession, such as joinery, bricklaying, carpentry, hairdressing, or tailoring. The institution also prepares students how to use a computer and the internet, and provides access to learning materials online.
The school was founded by Marie Da Silva in 2002, who is also the President of Jacaranda Foundation. Da Silva worked as a nanny in the United States for 19 years. She returned to Malawi when her father died of AIDS and founded the Jacaranda School for Orphans within her family house. Da Silva turned the bedrooms, the living room, the pantry, even the garage, into classrooms. For nine years, she spent a third of the monthly income she earned working as a nanny on the salaries of the teachers and the few school supplies she could afford. In October 2008, Da Silva was recognized as a Top Ten CNN Hero for her dedication to orphans in Malawi. Da Silva currently shares her time between traveling the world for fundraising, and giving speeches at schools and universities.
Through the contribution of the Hungarian Trade and Cultural Center (HTCC) based in Malawi, the African-Hungarian Union could get in contact with the school. Luc Deschamps said that thanks to the HTCC Hungarian doctors were able to visit the institution, and besides giving away medications, they also examined each and every student. “Nothing like this has ever happened to them before – said Deschamps – it was a great help on the part of the Hungarian doctors, the HTCC, and the AHU.”
Deschamps added that the doctors did not only help the students, but visited the local residents as well, and they will be forever thankful for that. He emphasized what a great help Csaba Szeremley, Director of the Malawi based HTCC was. “Csaba is a good friend of ours, and helps us a lot; through him, we could form a close bond with the HTCC, and now with the AHU as well, which is great news.” Deschamps thanked every Hungarian their contribution, and hopes to work with them in the future.
based on an article of globport.hu
translated by Adrienn Sain