Malawi Leaders of Learning (MLOL) was launched in September 2011.

Building on the success of the partnerships built by Glasgow’s Holyrood Learning Community, the ethos of our innovative initiative is about improving the quality of education in Glasgow and Malawi to reduce the impact of poverty on children and their families.

Initially we thought our aim was to improve learning and teaching in Malawi.

However, as the project has evolved it has become increasingly more apparent that our project is successfully contributing to the improvement of learning and teaching in Glasgow too.

In 2014 we achieved charitable status.

And in 2015, MLOL was delighted to be awarded more than £200,000 in funding grants from the Scottish Government to be used in the further development of MLOL from 2015 – 2018.

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Maureen McKenna

What have we achieved?

'Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.'
Nelson Mandela


Since June 2012, we have sent out a total of 35 staff to work in schools and nurseries (Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDCs) to work alongside Malawian teachers and caregivers improving learning and teaching.

Our MLOLs come from a range of backgrounds: primary headteachers, quality improvement officers, primary teachers, secondary teachers, active schools coordinators, nursery heads and child development officers.

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MYLOL is the young leader element of Malawi Leaders of Learning and has developed considerably over the last couple of years.

In 2014/15, we had two MYLOL groups operating consecutively.

The first MYLOL group, Springburn - 2 leaders and seven young people - emerged, as a follow up from the school’s previous MYLOL activities in 2014.

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Grace Kachuma

A day in the life of Grace Kachuma

I am the headteacher of Chitsime Primary School in the city of Blantyre, Malawi. We have 5,498 learners, 41 teachers but only 16 classrooms, so the school day takes place in two shifts. My day begins at 5am. I heat the water for my bath as my husband makes our breakfast. I leave home at 6am to walk the 3km to school; when I reach my office at 6.30am I wipe the sweat from my face and the dust from my feet.

I start by checking that everything in the office is in order. Then I check the outside premises, the classrooms, the toilets and the kitchen, making sure that the volunteers have enough water to prepare the porridge – we always have problems with water flow. Children often come to school without having eaten breakfast so they depend on the porridge we provide. The teachers arrive at 7am and assembly starts at 7.15am. Owing to limited space, the morning classes attend assembly in three groups, so I rotate between them. During assembly I encourage learners to work hard to improve their standard of living.

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Stella Maris

In March 2013, there were a small group of girls attending Stella Maris Secondary School in Blantyre, Malawi who no longer had the funds to stay in school and were sent home.

In March 2013, there were a small group of girls attending Stella Maris Secondary School in Blantyre, Malawi who no longer had the funds to stay in school and were sent home.

The girls came from very poor families or were orphans.

For the last two years, we have sponsored between 12 to 15 girls each year chosen by the school, who are in need of the sponsorship to stay in education.

Individuals or schools can donate money to cover the girls’ school fees, accommodation and uniform.

We know from research that the more educated women are in a developing country the more sustainable the country will become.

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MLOL Founder:

Maureen McKenna

MLOL Communications:

Fiona Ross

Stephen McGowan

General enquiries:

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