David Wise tells his story of telling four students that they have their education costs covered by The School Fund’s donors.
“Last Wednesday Lemani and I rounded up the four students sponsored by
The School Fund, Edwin Mussa, Lucia Tchale, Mariam Balewa and Yasi
Adamu, and escorted them in a field trip to the nearest internet café.
After about an hour in a crowded minibus, we arrived at our
destination only to find that the whole region had lost power for the
foreseeable future. Things can often happen this way in Malawi, so
instead of feeling defeated Lemani and I took the opportunity to treat
the students to a dinner of rice and chicken, reschedule a new
training session and to impress upon them the importance of their
The students already knew that their school fees were being covered
by foreign donors but until they actually saw their profile pages,
they would not be able to fully understand the opportunities that
awaited them. Eager to fulfill their responsibilities, the students
happily agreed to reschedule the training session for the coming
Saturday, even though it was on the weekend.
At 7:00 AM on Saturday the 30th, our students showed up at the Mvuu
Camp Education Centre ready to embark on their first experience with a
computer. First, we went through the basics, showing them how to turn
on the computer, operate the mouse and locate Internet Explorer. We
then showed them how to enter the address for The School Fund and how
to search for it in the search bar. After they learned how to log
into their accounts, the students were very interested to see their
profile pages and the information they already contained.
Each student had prepared for their training by writing their journal
entries in advance so that in their first experience with a keyboard,
they could focus on typing rather than grammar and sentence structure.
For about an hour, the students experimented with the keyboard,
slowly making their way through their journal entries. Edwin finished
his assignment first and started looking around the website. We
showed him the profiles of his fellow students and showed him how to
leave a message. Consistent with his reputation, Edwin left a prank
on Lucia’s page saying “Lucia, I wrote to you a year ago but have not
heard back. What is Wrong!” He became embarrassed when he learned
that he could not erase his post so he quickly posted an apology, but
not before he got a laugh out of Lucia, Yasi and Mariam.
All in all it was a really fun day and the students enjoyed
their experience. They will require a lot of assistance, but we are
happy to have them back and to guide them as they develop their