The living schoolyard transformation in Malawi

The project, called "Living Schoolyard Transformation," was created to increase food security through the installation of food gardens in primary schools and increase children’s knowledge of food growing.

Nutrition is an important aspect of children’s education – only well-nourished and healthy children can successfully take part in education and seize the chance to create promising futures for themselves. Establishing fruit and vegetable gardens in primary schools and teaching children a sustainable approach to the environment promises to bring positive change.

The Re&Act-sponsored pilot ran through mid-2018 with the goal to implement the programme in 70 schools, focusing first on locations most affected by 2017 drought.

Re&Act’s relationships with UNICEF and Malawi are lasting and important. One of the first schools in the Living Schoolyard Transformation pilot was Mchuchu Primary School – a school built byfunds and UNICEF 10 years ago.

Project updates – Phase I

  • Living Schoolyard transformation has been implemented in 70 schools

  • In order to support the transformation, 30 teachers volunteered in these schools

  • 89'000 students benefited

Sustainable Water Solution and Living schoolyard transformation – Phase II

In 2018 Re&Act agreed to expand the project to a second phase to provide sustainable water solutions in 100 schools and extended the successful model of the “Living Schoolyard Transformation” concept from 70 to the initially envisaged 100 schools in the districts of Machinga, Nkhotakota and Chikwawa.

Project Outcome

  • Total beneficiaries: By the end of the program, 143,816 students in the 100 schools and over 10,500 community members are benefitting from the programme

  • Water access: In total, 70,369 learners and an estimated 13,500 community members now have access to safe water

  • Living Schoolyard: 75 schools have woodlots with a variety of trees, 68 schools have orchards with fruit, 51 schools have a vegetable garden and 97 schools have a living schools club

  • Boreholes: 26 new boreholes in 26 schools were completed

Due to COVID-19, a further 22 reticulated water systems and boreholes were rehabilitated to support children returning to schools as schools reopening depended on the availability of safe water. Additionally, 43 schools received solid waste management and recycling training to ensure the school environment is clean and healthy.

UNICEF is a non-governmental organisation that advocates for the protection of children's rights, helps children across the world meet basic needs and expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. Re&Act and UNICEF have partnered to support innovative and sustainable projects for children since 2006.

For more information on UNICEF, click

Photos are coutesy of UNICEF: ©UNICEF

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