Lilongwe Academy International School emerged national winner of the Beautify Malawi Trust’s My clean school my pride competition, the first lady’s initiative that is aimed at promoting good sanitation practices among school going children in the country.
The competition, which was rolled out last year has seen private schools from across the country, under Independent Schools Association of Malawi (Isama), competing at zonal, regional and national levels.
Speaking at the award presentation ceremony which attracted pupils from different schools across the nation, the founder and patron of Beam Trust, Madame Gertrude Mutharika the idea of the competition was to turn pupils into change agents in their respective homes and communities, and called on them to continue being good ambassadors of Beam Trust wherever they will be.
“We took the first step at instilling a culture of good hygiene practices in our children, realizing that training a child is like training a future generation. We all need to keep our homes and public spaces clean. A beautiful Malawi begins with us. Let us all join hands in teaching the young ones to uphold good hygiene practices,” said Mutharika adding that this was a learning experience before the trust could replicate the initiative in public schools.
On his part, principal of Lilongwe Academy Richard Chikudo attributed their two time victory to the team spirit that went around the institution.
“It is our culture to make our environment clean. The students are well aware that they should drop papers anywhere and anyhow but in designated bins that the school has. We are very pleased to come out as victors in such a stiff competition. We wish to get the trophy again next year, so we will work hard to retain it,” he said.
On his part, Chinese Ambassador to Malawi, Shi-Ting Wang, who was also guest of honour at the function, commended Madame Gertrude Mutharika for her commitment to improving sanitation and the well being of the country. In support, the Chinese government donated laptop computers, television screens and sports kits that formed some of the prizes to the winning schools.
Among the winning schools were Ekwendeni Girls Secondary School, Mary Mount, Phwezi Girls, Victory Christian School, Baptist Academy, Golden Gate Private, Zipatso Academy, Kings Foundation and Aslam Boys Secondary school.
As overall winner, Lilongwe Academy was followed by Saint Patrick’s Academy in second place and Phwezi Girls in third position. The prizes ranged from a 5 000-litre water tank for the winning team, a 37-inch plasma television, a desktop and laptop computer, wheelbarrows, shovels, watering cans, bins and sports kits, among others.