To date, eleven schools have been built with funds raised through a combination of donations from guests at Nkwichi Lodge, schools in the UK, church groups, and private companies. A past generous donation enabled MWCT to furnish the majority of its completed schools, and create employment and provide carpenter training in the area, to produce over 400 students, teacher and headmaster's desks. Once built, the Provincial Government of Niassa sends between one and eight teachers to work at these schools. Click here to read a summary about individual village schools.
In line with the ethos of the Manda Wilderness Community Trust, rather than simply taking over and building schools, the Trust provides villagers with the financial and logistical means to develop their own school buildings and educational systems. Each of the eleven villages with schools have had to plan their school project, making thousands of burnt bricks while also transporting water and sand to the site. The Trust then provides materials such as cement, iron roofing sheets, planks, and nails that are outside the means of the villages and not locally available.
The Trust typically also pays for 75 percent of all skilled labour needed to complete the project, with the Village Committees negotiating contracts, ensuring that they can afford to pay their 25 percent. While this often means that a school takes between two and five years to build, this formula has given the village ownership and pride in their school's achievements.
Plans to inaugurate a Girls' Boarding House in Cobué to support the government built secondary school are underway, with the initial building phases now completed. The Boarding House will accommodate 40 of the area's most disadvantaged yet talented young women and encourage much-needed educational development for young women from remote villages who would not otherwise have access to secondary education. Several finishing touches on the project must be completed, such as paint, screens for the windows, furniture and curtains before its expected inauguration in 2013.
Village Committees have further school blocks in the pipeline including, but not limited to a permanent school building in Litanda and an additional school block in Ngofi. The Trust also supports the construction of teacher's houses, helping to reduce teacher turnover and making the Manda Wilderness region a more appealing working prospect.