Zambesi Mission


ZEC is deeply involved in 25 schools with fine opportunities for Christian input.

All were originally mission schools and taken over by the Government when Malawi became independent in 1964 although the Church retained responsibilities for the appointment of the Headteachers.

Financial constraints at both Government and Church level have made it very difficult to maintain the fabric and facilities and ZEC is now making a bold attempt to reactivate its schools work.

Zambesi Mission is supporting ZEC as help is given in four key ways


  Administratively - advising head teachers on school management and administration and encouraging co-operation between teachers, parents and the community in general. The ZEC Education Coordinator works closely with head teachers, school committees and parent-teacher associations;

  Academically - seeking to raise standards by encouraging the many unqualified teachers to undergo training and schools to prepare as many pupils as possible for the Malawian Certificates of Education.

  Spiritually - planning and conducting school assemblies, counselling sessions and teaching on such topics as relationships and HIV/AIDS. Francis is in the process of setting up a team of school chaplains who will be available in every locality for this work. These are usually serving pastors and elders and in some cases it is necessary to organise training sessions before they take on the work.

  Materially - providing some school books, Bibles, blackboard paint, footballs, wall charts and other classroom equipment….

.….and there are many ways we can help!


Not many children in Malawi have the privilege of owning a book and few schools have many to use in their lessons. Children are often without paper and pencils also.

There are academic publishers and distributors in Blantyre but most schools need financial help if they are going to take advantage.



Sometimes there are no buildings at all - classes are held in the open air! Several times in recent years Churches in the UK have helped ZM to help ZEC to provide better buildings.



Whilst primary education is free in Malawi, very few families are able to pay the modest fees required for secondary education. ZM is now involved in a scholarship scheme which is providing secondary education for an increasing number of pupils.


A coat of paint and a few repairs can do wonders for a classroom but furnishing and equipping it is quite another matter! Computers, photocopiers and video equipment are of limited value because few locations have electricity. But
a desk or two would be useful! Very few classrooms have any. Paper, pencils and chalk are scarce, too. All these items are available in Malawi, but the funds rarely are.



Part of the Manyowe project was to build two toilet blocks (one of which was sponsored by a Church in Whepstead, Suffolk). Most schools have no such facilities apart from a few very inadequate cane shelters. Many also lack a water supply of their own.

The following extract from a Junior School survey illustrates the need ~











Staff Houses


Water supply


Exercise books


Study books




Sports equipment



Future plans - "the Headmaster personally requests a bicycle as he has to travel to the District Education Office every month to collect the staff wages".


Most Zambesi Evangelical Churches have large, active Sunday Schools. Classes are frequently held in the open air because of the lack of adequate buildings.

They lack resources, too, and need help in a number of ways -



Few adults can afford to buy their own Bible so it is very unlikely that a child will ever have one. They cost about £4.

  Teaching aids

Some Bible notes and teaching booklets are now available. Visual aids of various kinds are needed.

  Paper & pencils

Basic items like pens, pencils, paper and rubbers are often not available even in day schools through lack of funds.

For more information about Sunday Schools please see Sunday Schools & Children's Work.

Zambesi Mission is a registered charity in England & Wales (1165004) and in Scotland ( SCO46748)