Joshua Orphanage and Community Care Organisation
Elmhurst School’s relationship with the Joshua Orphanage and Community Care Organisation (JOCC) in Malawi dates back to 2005. As part of the celebration of our 150 year anniversary, two members of the teaching staff visited JOCC during the Easter Holidays to volunteer and support the Orphanage with a number of their current programmes. Whilst in they worked alongside the local people in the feeding centres and assisted with teacher training alongside teaching classes of up to 100 children.
JOCC is a grassroots community development organisation working with over 30 villages across rural Blantyre. Their aim is to improve the lives of Malawian children and their communities through sustainable health, education and nutrition programmes. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, consistently ranked in the bottom 10. More than half of the population live on less than $1 a day and rely on subsistence farming. JOCC communities are all suffering from the debilitating effects of significant poverty, rising HIV/AIDS rates, poor road networks, lack of clean and piped water and very few health and education facilities.
Since Joshua began in 1999, they have worked with communities near Blantyre to achieve the following:
- Improved school facilities in primary and secondary schools by building classrooms, libraries and latrines
- Set up 22 community-based childcare centres for children aged 2-6 years and continue to run 14 of these
- Supported over 1800 young people to stay in secondary school education
- Run regular mobile health clinics reaching 1500 children every year
- Distributed emergency food aid and supported community rebuilding after flooding.
A lack of access to quality education is a huge problem in Malawi. Many children have to walk for up to two hours to reach the closest school. Thousands don’t complete their primary education, let alone secondary, and without an education they struggle to break out of the cycle of poverty. Access to pre-school education is limited and most children start primary school with developmental delay that will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
The education sector faces a number of challenges including: lack of qualified teachers and teacher training; inadequate classrooms; shortage of teaching and learning materials; poor sanitation facilities and high pupil to teacher ratio. Read more here: www.joshuainmalawi.org.uk
Benefit to our Boys and Girls
At Elmhurst School we are nurturing children who care deeply for those around them and global citizenship is a huge part of this:
- Our aim is to build on the pupils’ understanding of the world we live in, by providing them with the opportunity to make connections with the wider global community. They will be able to directly relate their own experience of growing up in London, to that of children their own age who live in extreme poverty.
- We want them to appreciate just how very different people’s circumstances can be: that the situation you are born into is luck of the draw. The difference between being born privileged or born poor.
- We hope to help our pupils make sense of the world and their place in it: To recognise that we are so much more than just ourselves and our personal experiences and to see the importance of contributing to the bigger picture.