Back in 2012, a Physics student from the University of Manchester- Jamie Proctor- went to Malawi with the vision of starting a project.
An organisation introduced Jamie to the Mlambe School in the small village of Chikolongo. The school was made up of an amazing community of welcoming children and teachers. However, the school itself was not in the best state. With just one government school block and most lessons being taught outside under trees, it was clear that The Mlambe School could be a perfect place to start an innovative educational project.
There was full support from the chiefs and the community; two men in particular, Steven and Geoffrey, went above and beyond to accommodate Jamie. It was here that Jamie founded The Mlambe Project.
On return to the UK, Jamie worked with a small budget hoping to find a cheaper and more sustainable method of building than the traditional brick method. Jamie came across a technique known as Earthbag building. The technique had been used widely across the world, but not yet utilised in Malawi.
A year later, the first Earthbag building was constructed at The Mlambe School by a team from Chikolongo and volunteers from the UK. The Mlambe Project has now grown immensely, transforming into a charity that continually provides support to the community and the school, as well as promoting the highly effective method of Earthbag building across Malawi.
Everything we implement in the village is not done unless supported by the whole community; all of our plans are also always checked and confirmed with the chiefs.
For all of our building, we have an amazing team from the village who are now employed as official Earthbag ‘experts’, and Steven and Geoffrey now act as Project Managers. As Earthbag building is a new technique in Malawi, it means these experts have all been trained with new skills- providing employment and new skills to be of use in the future.
The Mlambe School has completely transformed into a place that the community should and do feel proud of. We aim to continue creating innovative methods that are both low cost and high impact to develop the school.