A Good Home

The Little School that Could

You may remember the village in Malawi that got its first school after a Jamaican-Canadian woman met a young Malawi vendor in a market in Cape Town, S. Africa and discovered that he yearned to become a teacher and educate his village.

Well, that young man Chimwemwe Musa (who goes by the name “Happy”) recently completed his teacher education and is now a fully qualified teacher! Guided and supported by the retired educator whom he met by chance in the Cape Town market, Happy and his community have been on a life-changing journey.

And the school that Kamala-Jean and Happy co-founded has kept growing and growing to educate not just the community’s children but also its adults.

Kamala-Jean and Happy

The women learned how to sew and now use their skills to make school uniforms and other clothing. And the men have been learning cabinet-making. Here are some of their creations:

I am happy to share this good news story because good news it is!

One of the things that have impressed me throughout is the respectful partnership between Kamala-Jean and Happy.

She’s been the one raising funds for these developments here in North America, while he’s often the one with the knowledge of what would work in his local community. Together they discuss the ideas for the development of Happy and his community, communicating often and listening to each other with trust and respect.

Congrats, Happy and Kamala-Jean!

49 thoughts on “The Little School that Could”

  1. It’s about time something good happened there. So much more is needed. I hated to see all those refugees being turned away at our border. We are really missing the mark. A little hope though, can go a long way.

    1. Yes, indeed. I still marvel at how Kamala-Jean met Happy totally by accident (divine intervention?) and realized that she could invest in his dreams, trust him and guide him along. Their partnership has been remarkable.

  2. Hello Cynthia. It’s been a while reading your delightful articles. I definitely got some catching up to do. What an appropriate title, “The Little School That Could.” It’s definitely an inspiring and heartwarming story. Brava! Touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing this uplifting experience about Happy, his hard work to achieve his dream, and his success with his students and fellow supporters.❤️

  3. This wonderful news, Cynthia, and a bright spot in world news for today, for me. If only success stories like these could make the daily headlines of major news outlets! These are the stories that inspire people to work together to do good! Thank you! ❤️

    1. Very welcome, dear Lavinia. I think Happy and Kamala-Jean still marvel at times at what can come of a chance conversation far from home, a shared interest in education and community development, and the trust, respect, and willingness to work hard towards shared goals.

    1. Thanks, Karen. His love of education indeed! That, and meeting a woman who loved education as much as he did, and was prepared to do everything she could to help him and the community realize their dreams.

  4. Reading this I am, slightly, tearing up because it’s such a lovely story. Congratulations to Happy and Kamala-Jean on their amazing achievement. Seriously impressive. Bless them all.

    1. Thank you for this lovely comment, MT. There are such important lessons to be learned from what these two founders have done: 2 persons with vision and honesty; a willing and supportive community; start small with one project and build on it; respectful and trusting partnership; a source of funding and people willing to do the work; etc.

  5. This is such good news, Cynthia, and we have so little good news these days. Hard work, vision, dedication, love of our fellow man/woman, insight and so many more qualities have gone into this successful project that will continue to grow, God willing.

  6. What a truly good news story – thanks, Cynthia. I’m looking at those woodworking projects and they’re amazing – so beautifully crafted. If he found someone in the states, my guess is that little school could make money selling items like that over here, too.
    Glad to hear from you and hope you’re well!

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