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Dear Kate: Thanks for your messages. I posted a photo of girls at St. Mary Girls which we just finished building. It took three and a half years. I am proud of the fact that it will accommodate 600 girls, and that makes it the largest Girls Boarding School in Northern Malawi.

Regarding curriculum at the new Saragossa Secondary the students would follow the national curriculum so that they can pass the MSCE (Malawi Secondary Certificate of Education). These courses include four levels of the following: Math, English, Bible Knowledge, Agriculture, History/Geography, Chichewa and one year for each science -- Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Physical Science. The trade courses would be chosen by the student. They would choose one of these: Carpentry, Hair Dressing, Electrical Installation, Hotel/Catering, Fashion/Design or Bookeeping. If you were a student you would arrive at 7 A.M. and attend these classes, have a free lunch at noon, and continue attending classes until 3 P.M. Then you might participate in a sport or a club such as choir, journalism, Environmental Protection. Once a week there would be chores.

The web pages you cited are also run by the same Catholic Order that is submitting this proposal for Saragossa Secondary. We are the Marianists or Society of Mary founded in France by Fr. William Joseph Chaminade in 1817. Our Charism is Education for the Poor which we believe is one of the best expressions of Social Justice. Education is a life-long Gift which keeps on giving to the recipient and their children. I have lived in Africa for more than 40 years and most of the time I have been involved in nutrition programs. One thing that I have noticed is that seldom do you see an educated woman with a malnourished child. Even if she does not have a job a woman who has graduated Secondary School knows what to do for her child to be well fed and healthy. She will know what local foods are available and she will know which foods are essential. When it comes to nutrition, knowledge and confidence in problem-solving are the main resources one needs.

Thanks for your questions. Please keep asking. I will return to Malawi on 5th April but I will be able to continue this conversation on the internet though it will be a little more challenging.
Peter Daino, Saragossa Secondary Project, Malawi

Thanks for any advice you can give.