September to July
Literacy rate (15+ years old)
Primary school – 94.5%
Lower secondary school – 92.0%
Upper secondary school – 70.3%
Children (6 – 11 years) – n/a
Adolescents (12 to 14 years) – 308,121
Youth (15 – 17) – 534,399
The village of Zeza is a rural community located in the Kasungu District of Malawi, with a population of 1,200 people. Most community members are subsistence farmers who rear livestock and grow tobacco, groundnuts, beans, soya, and corn.
Currently, Zeza’s primary school has six teachers and educates all eight grade levels, but is operating out of only four permanent classrooms. This means that at best, these classrooms can only serve half of the student population. Due to this lack of infrastructure, many children have to study outside under trees, completely exposed to distractions and the elements. The roofs on some of the classrooms are also caving in, making those buildings unsafe for the children. These challenges are pushing some of Zeza’s youth to abandon their studies altogether.
School administrators, parents, and students have been stressed over the shortage of classrooms for years. And with the next closest proper school a 7 km walk over dry terrain, the children of Zeza were left with few options. We hope that the development of a new proper school block and latrines will be a relief to the local community, who will participate in the project’s construction — helping to ensure sustainability and commitment. Zeza’s leaders will also be working closely with staff members from buildOn — our partner organization on the ground — to increase the number of students enrolled in this school.
About the country
Republic of Malawi
18.1 million people
Malawian kwacha (MWK)
English and Chichewa
Malawi has a sub-tropical climate, which is relatively dry.
May to October, characterized by little to no rainfall and temperatures ranging from 26°C (78°F) to 31°C (87°F).
November to April, characterized by higher levels of rainfall and humidity, with temperatures ranging from 20°C (68°F) to 30°C (80°F)
Liwonde is one of Malawi’s most popular game parks, with its beautiful setting and teeming wildlife offering thrilling safaris.
Vwasa Wildlife Reserve is an area of marsh and plain with a few rocky outcrops. The reserve has a wonderful mix of vegetation: forest, grassland, thin woodland, and marsh. This rich habitat attracts a splendid range of birdlife.
Nyika is Malawi’s largest park, with an area extending across the great Nyika plateau: a granitic dome of rolling ‘whaleback’ hills cut by streams and interspersed with pockets of sheltered evergreen forest. Its beautiful scenery leaves visitors lost for words. Often compared to wilderness areas found in Europe, Nyika has the added attractions of being inhabited by large numbers of African safari animals and, at times, sitting above the clouds.
A concentration of small lodges, each with its own beach, is found around Chintheche on Lake Malawi’s northern shores. These are some of the best beaches on Lake Malawi.
Lilongwe: Sunbird Lilongwe Hotel, Latitude 13 Hotel
Chintheche: Makuzi Beach Lodge
Places to eat
Best souvenirs from the country
Carved wooden masks, hand woven twig rugs, textiles, tribal jewelry, local art
Proposed one week tour
Day 1: Lilongwe: Liwonde National Park
Day 2: Kasungu: School visit
Day 3: Mzuzu: Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve
Day 4: Nyika: Nyika National Park
Day 5: Nyika: Nyika National Park
Day 6: Chintheche: Beaches
Day 7: Lilongwe: Lilongwe Wildlife Trust