Class in the palm leaves

Shaded by a mango tree and shielded by woven walls, Mwinikas help others learn to read.

So what does it take to teach Mwinika people to read in a village? How about some palm leaves woven into wall-like structures and some mango trees?

That’s what you would see if you went to the yard of the home of one of the leaders in that village.

The developing teacher would be a young man that’s not quite done with 12th grade. That may sound unusual but that level of education here would be like having a bachelor’s degree in the USA, according to Francois and Nadia Hattingh.

You can imagine the difficulties of this particular learning institution. What happens when it rains? Well, while the palm walls help with some of the distractions, the mango trees don’t keep the rain from hitting the students.

The teacher says he’s “still very nervous with … heart running … legs are shaking when standing in front of the class!”

Nadia says, “In the background the hostess and her daughter are busy plaiting hair.”

The Hattingh family fights malaria as well as spiritual attack as progress is made. The evil one knows that if these dear people learn to read and write, they will one day be able to read God’s Word.

Printing and producing materials can be a huge hurdle for the staff at this little school. The computer and electricity issues can be quite challenging. Perseverance through all these challenges can be an exhausting accomplishment.

It doesn’t sound like anyone is giving up though. The teacher in training is getting instructed by the one qualified teacher. He will also go back and finish school and dreams of going on to teacher’s college, doubling their efforts.

Nadia is the coordinator of all this. She has fought through malaria and motherhood developing a manual for these teachers.