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At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
November NUI Galway Student Fundraises to Build a Post Primary School in Malawi
NUI Galway student Nicole Loughlin is organising a fundraising campaign entitled ‘Let’s Make it Happen’, to fund the building of a Post Primary School in Malawi.
Nicole, a fourth year student on the BA Mathematics and Education Programme, is from Shrule, Co. Mayo, and her idea originated from a summer visit to Malawi, where she witnessed first-hand the poverty crisis than engulfs this developing country. Malnourished babies and children struggling to survive, orphanages attempting to take care of children with no parents and children walking severe distances every day in order to try and get any form of education so that they can better themselves.
Nicole said: “Prior to my visit I was filled with the stereotypical perceptions of a developing country which included images of poor malnourished infants barely dressed, displaying ribs and swollen stomachs. I was pleasantly surprised and shocked however as I was presented with smiling faces of respectful and loving children.”
After meeting some of the children of Malawi Nicole, a pre-service teacher, was inspired to take action and proposed to organise the construction of a rural secondary school as it was clear that the provision of education was minimal.
While the ‘Let’s Make it Happen’ campaign is formed around the building of a secondary school, Nicole’s vision is to go much further than this and wishes to reach as many people as possible. She commented: “My aim is to bring people on this social venture where we work towards one united goal - coming together as school communities and wider, to raise awareness surrounding developing countries and Global Citizenship Education. The aim is to construct this Post Primary School, while also establishing lasting connections with a rural community on the other side of the world, our world.”
Nicole is currently on School Placement at her own secondary school, Presentation College Headford, where she is kickstarting the campaign. Here she is mentoring a committee of Transition Year students to help her with the campaign. Students in her TY Maths class are participating in a Statistical Research Project whereby they investigate, analyse and subsequently draw conclusions on the contrasts that present us between the developed and developing world.
The School of Education at NUI Galway is fully supportive of the campaign and commends the great work Nicole is doing in creating awareness of Development Education and building a school in Malawi. Dr Cornelia Connolly, Joint Programme Director of the BA Mathematics and Education Programme, said: “This project exemplifies the calibre of pre-service teacher on our BA Mathematics and Education programme and we are fully supportive of the project and Nicole’s work.”
Nicole’s classmates and a number of other local schools have agreed to fundraise for the project the aim is to encourage other regional schools participate in the Global Citizenship Education Week running from Monday, 10 December until Friday, 14 December. A week in which Global Citizenship is celebrated and students are made aware of conditions which children of similar ages are facing every day in developing countries.
In order to build a two-classroom rural school along with two pit latrines the campaign needs to raise approximately €11,000. To raise such a substantial amount, the ‘Lets Make it Happen’ campaign are inviting schools to participate in a ‘Christmas Jumper Day’ on Friday, 14 December, where students have permission to wear their Christmas Jumper to school and in turn will donate €2. Taking into consideration some schools may have already fundraisers in place, or may not be able to run a ‘Christmas Jumper Day’, schools are invited to participate and fundraise by their own means.