We all owe our teachers and schools so much. I never take for granted what all my teachers did for me all the way from primary through secondary to tertiary education.
Without those schools, I would not be doing what I do now. I would not even be able to earn a living. Well I would have struggled quite a bit to barely live.
Without education, even if I had a lot of food and some money, I would not have led a meaningful and complete life. I would have struggled to do things without much education.
That is why whenever I get a chance to give back to my schools, I do not hesitate. This Saturday, we will proudly cycle a good 46 kilometres (km) from Mzuzu City to the beach of Lake Malawi at Nkhata Bay Boma.
I expect to cycle for some three or maximum four hours without break. We want to raise K3.1 million for the purchase and installation of the solar power system at St. Patrick’s Seminary.
We do recognise that we enjoyed some good education there some 25 years ago because others made sacrifices. The little we can do to sacrifice a bit goes a long way to also support the current students there.
In today’s world, the students should not be in the dark even when Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) blackouts hit them hard. We should be able to put in place backup solar power systems that lighten up the dining hall, classrooms where students study at night and the chapel where they have mass every night.
For Mother Spatsey (as we fondly referred to St. Patrick’s Seminary), we shall sweat on Saturday because we believe this is a good cause. Even young ones realise the importance of such a cause. My 11-year-old son too wants to cycle for 11 of the 46 km and is busy getting pledges for people to support his 11 km. He says that everyone should be involved in supporting good causes and he believes this is a good cause.
We thank the originator of the idea, Christopher Mhone, who has done this cycle on the Mzuzu Nkhata Bay road each year for the last few years, raising money for St. Patrick’s Seminary. Christopher is a good friend and he was a class behind me at the school and so I thought I should join him in this noble project.
We started talking two years ago, but I failed to join in because I was away both in 2017 and 2018. This year, I had to block my diary and cancel a couple of other engagements to make this possible because I believe it is of paramount importance to give back to our old schools.
This, therefore, is to encourage you too to always think about giving back to your old schools. Let us not forget them completely. Remember your roots, where you have come from.
Once you remember, determine what action you will take to give back. Let us not be spectators. Let us be active players, offering support and resources to our old schools. You can copy and improve on this idea or you can come up with an entirely new way of supporting your old school. What matters is that you support your old school.
Do not expect it to be easy to give back to your old school. You will have to make big sacrifices. We have made our own sacrifices. Specifically, we have had to train for nearly three months to get the level of fitness, endurance and mental readiness to be able to cycle a good 46 km from Mzuzu to Nkhata Bay. That meant sparing enough time on a regular basis for the exercises and for rehearsing cycling. This has meant setting aside time to fundraise and talk to people.
If this touches you, you are encouraged to offer your support and details can be obtained via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can sponsor one or more kilometre at K5 000 per km. We thank you in advance and at the same time, we appeal that you emulate this and do something for your old school too. Good luck