Linslade student heads to Malawi to help teach at an orphanage

Michael visited The Smile Orphanage in Malawi last year
Michael visited The Smile Orphanage in Malawi last year

A former Vandyke student is heading to Malawi on Thursday (March 8) to help at an orphanage for two months.

Michael Carter, of Linslade, will also be teaching lessons to the children at The Smile Malawi Orphanage.

Michael visited The Smile Orphanage in Malawi last year chEG3hCAVIyNsAzvRUKQ

Michael visited The Smile Orphanage in Malawi last year chEG3hCAVIyNsAzvRUKQ

The 20-year-old, who is studying at University to become a Paramedic, visited the orphanage in 2015 on a school expedition, and this will be third trip to the country.

He said: “That first trip was an incredible and eye-opening trip that made me fall in live with the country and children.

“I decided to return to the orphanage in January last year and spend five weeks volunteering, supporting the children, working on small projects around the site and teaching lessons at the school.

“The school is so underfunded that they often have classes of over 200 pupils and have children being so poor they share exercise books and even swap pencils with friends depending on who needs it most for that class.

“These kids are desperate for an education, you won’t find one of the 200 not paying attention to the teacher.”

The Smile Malawi Orphanage is home to around 40 orphaned children aged three to 19, providing a safe, family environment. They have three warm meals a day, private education and the best medical cover they can get goes a very long way to help support the children.

They provide aid and support to the local school and give opportunities of work to the local village. It is desperate for funds to keep supplying the children with the best support they can.

Michael said: “I’ll be teaching at the school for the whole time I’m there and expect to teach over 200 lessons of basic Maths and English but also answering the 100’s of questions that will be thrown at me by the children.

“I have paid my own way there and keep and I’m hoping to take as much donated items out there as possible.”

He has already received lots of donations and Jandel Engineering in Leighton Buzzard paid for an extra bag for him to take on the plane, meaning he can take 70kg of supplies with him.

He said: “All of these tiny things we just shrug off as normal goes so very far for these children. It makes a massive difference in their everyday lives.

“Being able to go out there and just give time and patience to these wonderful children is the smallest thing on the planet anyone can do. They are incredibly happy all the time.”