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Students Finish Cardinal Classroom in Malawi, Africa

Students Finish Cardinal Classroom in Malawi, Africa

Otterbein students left their mark on Nkhoma Village, Malawi, when they finished the Cardinal Classroom in July. Six Otterbein students spent time on the construction site as part of the May term Senior Year Experience/Integrative Studies (SYE/INST) course and recently received word that the classroom block will be ready to accept students this month at the Nkhoma Primary School.

The Cardinal Classroom project was conceived after the 2014 Malawi trip by students Jordan Donica ’16 and Matthew Hofacre ’17. Both were instrumental in organizing a fund-raising initiative to lay the building’s foundation. In summer 2015, Hofacre returned to Malawi with Otterbein students and presented the funds to the school headmaster. This year, students raised enough to complete the building.

 “We are excited that what we first thought would be a one-classroom addition to the school became a classroom block of two classes that will house 40 students each,” said Glenna Jackson, Otterbein Religion and Philosophy professor and SYE/INST Africa course designer. “The school officials shared with us that the block will serve as a model for future classroom design, including iron sheets for a roof where previously buildings had thatch construction.”

Students spent a week in Nkhoma Village living with host families and working in the school and local hospital. They provided funds not only for the classroom, but for hospital and medical supplies, and purchased a new heater for the maternity unit when the equipment broke during the students’ visit.

 “The most memorable part of our trip to Malawi is the kindness and the love that was offered to us by everyone we met,” said nursing student Corinne Saul ’19.

Zoo and Conservation Science sophomore Madison MacElrevey said she will never forget the beautiful landscapes, heartwarming people and life-changing opportunities.

“I encourage everyone who wants to take a trip to Africa to really get involved in the culture and lifestyle of the people. Don’t just be a tourist,” MacElrevey said

Students spent time in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa. For additional information about enrolling in the spring 2017 Africa course or the Cardinal Classroom project, contact Denise Shively dshively@otterbein.edu or Glenna Jackson gjackson@otterbein.edu

Learn more about Senior Year Experience courses at Otterbein.