A former Mackie Academy pupil has returned from a year volunteering in an orphanage in Malawi.
Rosie Evison, who has just began studying at the University of Glasgow, was working as a teacher and a care-giver with volunteer organisations Project Trust and teaching the two oldest classes in a 100 child orphanage.
Before Rosie ventured off to Malawi, she had never heard of it before and the only thought she had about Africa as a whole was that it was a poor country. Although Rosie soon noticed that Malawi is one of the poorest countries in the world, she also realised that the people living there are extremely happy people who love to sing and dance, despite having very little possessions to their name.
Rosie was based at the poorest area in Malawi, in Nsanje district, and was working with children aged between 2 and 21 teaching science, expressive arts, biology and English. Whilst teaching, Rosie had to prepare children for their government exams that they needed to pass to be accepted into secondary school.
Rosie said: “Despite living in such a poor area they all have high hopes for the future; most of the boys want to be doctors. One boy had the ambition of becoming a doctor and worked so hard, making so many notes and after every test he made a list of what he needed to revise. He is definitely going to go far!
“I really enjoyed teaching and became really close friends to all my pupils. I taught them Scottish Country Dancing and now they think that is how people in Scotland dance all the time!
“As well as teaching them I also had the role of their mum, encouraging them, celebrating their good grades, comforting them over bad grades and just being there for them. After school I would play with whoever wanted to spend time with me. I would give hugs to whoever needed them.
“They had many questions about “Azungus” (white people), such as: ‘Do Azungus dream?’, ‘Do Azungus have jokes?’, ‘I have never ever seen an Azungu mop, can you mop?’
“Malawians have something that we lack in our society. Malawi is a very sociable country- everyone’s house is open all the time to visit and even though they don’t have much, they will share everything they do have, even the very young.”