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Young Chorleywood teacher, Olivia Cookson, set to teach at Malawi school
A Chorleywood teacher has given up all her home comforts to spend the next academic year educating youngsters in Africa.
Olivia Cookson, of Haddon Road, is currently volunteering in Malawi and living in a hut with no electricity or running water.
The 21-year-old, who’s living with another volunteer, travels to and from school in an overcrowded minibus filled with locals, chickens and ducks.
She also uses this mode of transport to travel somewhere with internet access and to buy food.
The primary education graduate travelled to Malawi last month and is hoping to set up a cultural exchange between the Ngara school where she is working as a volunteer and British schools.
Ms Cookson is spending the next eight months teaching at the school, and is writing a blog about her experiences there, which she is eager for schools in Chorleywood to use as a teaching aid.
She said: "Many primary schools study different cultures and Africa is a particularly popular topic.
"So teachers in the UK could use my blog to give their pupils an insight into what life is like here.
"I would also like to put my pupils in Ngara in touch with British children so that they could exchange letters, and this would help the Malawi children with their English."
As well as teaching Malawi’s youngsters, Ms Cookson is trying to raise money for uniforms and new netballs for the school.
In addition to this, one of the things she is finding most rewarding is running a club for young girls in order to give them the opportunity to talk about any issues they have in a safe environment.
She said: "Girls here are essentially second class citizens, so we restarted this club, which was set up by previous volunteers, to give the girls an opportunity to talk through any issues they may have."
To find out more about Ms Cookson’s adventure, visit her blog at http://mymalawiadventure.wordpress.com/
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