Reading Camp Mentor: Samuel Kamanga

On World Teacher’s Day, we think it is important to celebrate the incredible work of teachers, volunteers, school support workers, and librarians in Malawi and across the world. Teaching plays a central role in community development, as educating children well has a long-term impact like no other. With resources stretched in Nkhata Bay North, the core work of teachers is being enhanced by volunteer mentors in the community to improve literacy levels and transform people’s lives. 

In an area with under-resourced and crowded primary schools and where many children stay out of school to supplement the family income, after-school Reading Camps are dramatically improving literacy levels from a young age. Supported with training and resources by Temwa, mentors provide students with the opportunity to learn reading and writing skills.

In late 2017, Temwa introduced six Reading Camps at different primary schools in the region, which are now regularly attended by over 800 registered students. Mentors teach children to read and write in Chichewa (the national language), Tumbuka (the local language) and English.

Samuel Kamanga, 38, is a mentor at the Usisya Reading Camp. Samuel’s involvement with Temwa first began back in 2004 when he was trained as a bricklayer and helped to build the Usisya Community Centre. Bricklaying became his profession and enabled Samuel to send his children to school. His hard work and involvement in the community for more than a decade, meant he was encouraged to become a Reading Camp mentor – parents and the community leadership believed he would be a good role model to students.

During Samuel’s time as a volunteer mentor, he has seen first-hand the positive impact that the Reading Camps have, including improved literacy rates and how comfortable the children are in their learning. As a parent himself, Samuel is keen to recommend Temwa’s Reading Camps to other parents, as he recognises how important education is for his own children and the wider community. Inspired to share this work, he and other the mentors meet regularly with village leaders and parents to encourage them to bring their children to the Camp.

‘I work with children in my community, to make the children more educated, so to reduce the number of illiterate people in my village’

Funding from the UK has enabled Temwa to provide full training, teaching materials and regular support visits to help Samuel deliver a thriving weekly Reading Camp. With your support, Samuel is helping transform the future of his community.

To help us carry on this work, please set up a monthly donation to Temwa today.

Click here to read about Fishani and Spelling Bees, and also learn about Emily’s story as a primary school teacher here.

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