CAWS guests set up local school in Nyika to support the community

Chelinda Primary School has been continuously developed and upgraded thanks to the generous contributions of several CAWS guests. Their efforts have helped to provide many students in the remote wilderness location of Nyika with access to an education and a more suitable learning environment.

CAWS guest Linda Ward has been instrumental in supporting the development and refurbishment of Chelinda Primary School, which is located in close proximity to our properties Chelinda Camp and Lodge. Linda has been the main donor and sponsor of many of the projects that are linked to the school. Although she is based in Texas, USA, she spent most of her adult years in South Africa and now visits Malawi at least twice a year to provide funding and support for St. Hillary and Chelinda Primary Schools.

The school before the renovations

The school before the renovations

The Chelinda Primary School is attended by a total of 120 students and is further supported by four teachers and administrative staff.

Linda first got involved with Chelinda Primary School in March 2015, at which point she decided to raise funds for eight sets of desks and chairs for the school’s teachers and 40 desks for the students. This project was completed in November 2015, with the help of artisans from the local community – which thereby helped to create employment opportunities.

In October 2015, Linda donated funds to to provide students and teachers alike with their own backpacks and books. In January 2016, Linda visited the school for the official handing over of the desk and chair sets. The school’s students, teachers and administration organised a special ceremony for her and the students put together a performance of theatre and poetry to show their gratitude.

The school post renovations

The school post renovations

Linda then went on to raise additional funds to facilitate the renovation of the school, which included repainting the interior and exterior of the building. The process started in June 2016 (again with the help of local artisans) and was completed in mid-August. Linda visited the school again in September and was delighted to see that the once drab and dingy building had been transformed into a bright and vibrant primary school. Linda has also generously sponsored school uniforms and learning aids to six grade 8 students who have been accepted into form 1 and will start secondary school in the new academic year.

The school has benefited immensely from the generous donations of Linda and other CAWS guests who have extended their support in various capacities, by sponsoring uniforms, learning aids, medicines, sports equipment and books.

Commenting on the school’s progress, Paul Kilham- Manager, Chelinda Camp and Lodge (part of the Central African Wilderness Safaris portfolio) said: “In summary, Chelinda Primary School has been blessed by wonderful kind hearted people, whose generosity has changed the lives of young learners living in a very isolated community. The biggest reward of all is to see the smiles of joy on these young faces as they receive even the smallest of gifts. There is also a great sense of pride in their renovated school which without a doubt is the smartest and brightest looking building of its type for many a mile.”

Also commenting on the school, Chris Badger – Managing Director, Central African Wilderness Safaris stated, “We are grateful to Linda Ward and our other CAWS guests for contributing to the development of Chelinda Primary School. We strive to support local communities near our camps and are delighted that our guests have gone the extra mile to extend their support to our community projects as well.”


Students at the school during a lesson

Students at the school during a lesson

Potential donors are welcome to contact directly if they would like to contribute to the development of the school. Going forward, funds will be used to purchase bricks and mortar to upgrade the classrooms and bathroom blocks. Thereafter funds will be used for learning aids and to pay teachers’ salaries.

Note: All funds released will require authorisation from the donor and the Head Office Accounts team along with the Chelinda Camp and Lodge management will co-ordinate the process to ensure full transparency. An updated ledger will also be available for scrutiny at any time.

About Us: Central African Wilderness Safaris (CAWS) is an ecotourism company that offers the finest quality safari experiences and the ultimate holiday getaways in the warm heart of Africa. CAWS offers both up-market tailor-made luxury safaris as well as more affordable budget safari options. The company is dedicated to offering personalised and authentic travel experiences that have a minimal impact on the planet and a lasting impact on people. For a safari in Malawi, a tailor-made holiday in Malawi or budget getaway contact'