The Mother Teresa Nursery was devised in order to provide severely lacking pre-School education to one the poorest townships in the Southern region of Malawi. The Centre aims to offer an International-standard of pre-School education; two-thirds of the students, who are aged 1-5 years, have fully-sponsored or heavily subsidised places, so as to ensure that the facility is accessible to the community’s neediest families.
“Evidence shows that the first years of a child’s life set the stage for all future growth. In the earliest years of life, especially from pregnancy to two years old, babies and children need nutrition, protection and stimulation for healthy brain development.” (UNICEF, Malawi)
“The students, even at their young age, can recognise that the building is special, and the environment that has been created here is dramatically different from what they are used to.”
(Fortune Machado, MTCC Room Leader)
Year of Construction
Total Building Area (Approx. GEA)
Number of Storeys
(£132,157 GBP – rate correct as of 24th August 2020)
Cost per m²
An international-standard of construction and design was required to match the Centre’s educational aspirations. The building comprises 8 classrooms, set across 2 storeys. Each unit has an area of 70m2 and includes integrated WCs and a Kitchen area, removing the need for students to leave the room during the day. External learning spaces are located adjacent to the classrooms, allowing for a range of teaching methods to be implemented.
The building utilises Beehive’s site-made ‘Hydraform’ interlocking blocks (which are formed using local soil) as an infill to the reinforced concrete structural frame. The roof structure comprises a series of timber trusses, which are expressed internally at higher level to create a dramatic and interesting 3D ceiling-scape to the classroom interiors.
Catholic Community Support
Supporting the Vulnerable
“The building has created jobs for the community, helped less privileged children access quality education, care and meals. Relationships have also been built through the interaction of us workers and parents, as we come from different areas.”
(Doreen Mwale, MTCC Assistant Daycare Team Leader)
Meet The Team
The project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals
The Mother Teresa Children’s Centre is a first of its kind in Malawi; the first to be based on the UK SureStart model, helping to transform the lives of hundreds of families and help children to have the best possible start in life.
- There is day care for up to 175 children a year, with UK staffing and space ratios. Many of these children are orphans, or particularly vulnerable and receive their care completely free of charge. Others pay monthly fees because their parents work. Whether fee paying or free, all children are treated the same at Mother Teresa and all children have the opportunity to lead their own learning through play in a supportive, creative and caring environment.
- All Care Givers have completed a full year of training and qualified with their Diploma in Early Years Education and Professional Childcare
- We provide a comprehensive outreach and family support service, bringing preventative child protection to the community for the first time
- There are facilities for early years healthcare provision including baby weighing and vaccination clinics, giving parents and children the opportunity to also access other centre services such as stay and play groups while they are keeping their family healthy
- The centre is situated on the newly developed “campus” of enterprise and learning: along with the primary school, an IT Training Academy and small social-enterprise units, parents are able to train and work supported by access to subsidised childcare places and knowing their children are safe.
- The building was designed purposefully to enable any agency who shares our vision to work together, share information and learn from each other and we help to train others in the community who care for young children.
Between January 2012 to March 2105 over 10,000 families accessed support from Mother Teresa Children’s Centre
Special thanks to all those who sponsor a childcare place for an orphan or vulnerable child. Every child who is sponsored has a full time place in our nursery including three healthy meals a day; this makes a huge difference to the life of some of the neediest children in Malawi. If you would like to be part of our “Give a Child a Chance” sponsorship scheme please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Or print and complete this form: Helping is Simple
Our vision is that children will:
- Enjoy and achieve- so they are better prepared for school and lifelong education
- Stay healthy and safe- by preventing problems from occurring and strengthening families so they can care for their children.
- Make a positive contribution- through participation and involvement in the decisions that affect their community and lives
- Achieve economic wellbeing- by helping parents to gain new skills and the confidence they need to have to be work ready