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How School Books are Changing Lives at Satemwa

Satemwa Primary School, Malawi
Satemwa Primary School, Malawi

Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate, nestled in the Thyolo region of Malawi, has been a symbol of tradition and quality for almost a century. Established in the early 1920s by MacLean Kay, Satemwa has endured the test of time, passing down from generation to generation. Today, Alexander Kay, the grandson of MacLean Kay, continues to uphold the family legacy.

This blog post explores the importance of Satemwa Tea Estate to the local community and explains why Tea Kulture made the decision to support the Satemwa Primary school.

Satemwa Tea Estate, Malawi
Satemwa Tea Estate, Malawi

As one of the oldest tea estates in Malawi, Satemwa proudly produces a wide range of teas, including White, Green, Oolong, and Black tea. Their rich history and commitment to quality have set their position as a leader in the tea industry in Malawi. Unlike many plantations that rely on seasonal workers, Satemwa provides year-round employment for the majority of its workforce, offering stability and skilled jobs. But their mission goes beyond producing exceptional tea; it aims to uplift the local community and protect the environment.

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Satemwa Tea Estate have taken significant steps to combat Malawi’s deforestation crisis by planting a substantial number of trees. By choosing specific types of trees, they have positively impacted the local flora and fauna. Satemwa’s commitment to the environment is further demonstrated through their involvement in the UN Global Compact and their focus on implementing responsible corporate and social practices.

With the Satemwa Clinic within the estate, professional medical services are readily available to the employees, their families, and all the students. Additionally, Satemwa has funded a 24-hour ambulance service to facilitate referrals to hospitals in the nearby district of Thyolo, ensuring prompt medical attention when needed.

Satemwa Primary School, Malawi
Satemwa Primary School, Malawi

Education lies at the heart of Satemwa’s initiatives. One of their significant contributions is the Satemwa Primary School, which plays a vital role in providing education to the children of the estate’s employees and the surrounding area. The estate recognizes the importance of empowering the community through knowledge and has taken remarkable steps to invest in education. With the support of government funding, Satemwa maintains a primary school that caters to over 1,000 children. This collaborative effort ensures that children have access to quality education and a chance to build a brighter future.

But their commitment to education goes beyond the primary school. Satemwa understand the significance of higher education and have worked with charities to provide scholarships to promising students who may not have considered pursuing further studies. These efforts have made a substantial impact on the lives of over 100 students, opening the doors to new opportunities and brighter prospects.

Satemwa Primary School, Malawi
Satemwa Primary School, Malawi

The education system in Malawi faces numerous challenges. One of the major obstacles is the lack of adequate infrastructure and resources. Many schools in rural areas are poorly equipped, with limited access to basic amenities such as electricity, clean water, and textbooks. This hampers the learning experience and affects the quality of education provided.

Access to education also remains a significant concern in Malawi, particularly for children living in rural areas. The lack of schools in remote communities and the long distances children have to walk to reach the nearest school often deter parents from sending their children to school. Additionally, the cost of education, including school fees and the need for uniforms and learning materials, poses a financial burden on many families.

Another challenge is the high dropout rate, especially at the secondary school level. Poverty, early marriages, and cultural beliefs often force children, especially girls, to drop out of school and engage in menial labor or get married at a young age. This perpetuates the cycle of poverty and denies these individuals the opportunity to realize their full potential.

Satemwa Primary School, Malawi
Satemwa Primary School, Malawi

After visiting Satemwa Tea Estate in June 2023, we made the decision to donate new teacher’s guides and school books for children to the Primary School. With our support, Satemwa continues to empower the children of Malawi, opening doors to a brighter future for generations to come.

Indeed, Satemwa Tea and Coffee Estate is an example to us all thanks to their positive impact on an entire community.

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