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Letter from Malawi

The following edited letter from the deputy head at Minga school, Sydney Mdoka, was handed over with an envelope crammed with pen-pal letters from the pupils.

"Hello Daniel, Nicky, Sandra and the staff of Sanday school.

"It is really wonderful to see the relationship between Minga and Sanday Schools grow from strength to strength.

"I should proudly say that the visit to Orkney by our pupils remains an unforgettable adventure to them and the entire school of Minga. You actually put us on the map!

"Bravo to the organisers of the trip and all those who took part in caring for our pupils during their stay there.

"I also wish to thank all those who kindly contributed to the initial cash donations and material support for the development of Minga school.

"We have planned to install electricity and buy at least two computers for the school. We hope that with the computers we shall be communicating very frequently by email and that that will bring us closer than ever.

"Part of the money shall be used for building a new library in order to promote individual learning among our pupils. Adjacent to the library shall be the computer room.

"We have also planned to purchase durable desks to improve the learning environment especially for Form 1 and 2 pupils who are currently sitting on the floor I "The other lot of the money shall be used for renovations of the existing structures, the two classroom blocks and the staffroom.

Turning to the project of producing a shared resource, our pupils have welcomed the idea overwhelmingly. Although they had little time to come up with excellent replies, I still hope that you will find their letters quite informing and interesting, though with lots of pidgin English.

"I hope your pupils will enjoy going through their friends' letters just as ours did.

I should then thank you for the girls' sports uniform that has been presented to Minga by Sylvia. It is very beautiful and fitting them well.

"May I also thank Nicky for the Geography books she sent me. I urge you to continue supporting us with such rare resources.

Our school year ends in early November I (When) Nicky comes in October I hope she will return to Orkney a very fluent speaker of chi-Chewa, our vernacular language, besides being an excellent dancer of chimtali, our traditional dance.

"Please be prepared to share with us your teaching techniques and learn from us as well.

I look forward to the success of the project ..."

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