Pascal Bagaluza came to Dzaleka refugee camp from the Democratic Republic of Congo 13 years ago. He had skills in film-making and used those to earn a living. However, after 9 years Pascal realized that the drastic shortage of schools in Dzaleka needed a solution.
He initially rented a church where refugee teachers provided classes. The demand pushed him to expand, and Comfort the Community was formally established, with a view to include Malawian teachers and children into the initiative. A piece of land was bought in Lilambwe village, adjacent to the refugee camp, and a simple school structure was erected.
Today the school is staffed by an equal number of Malawian and refugee teachers, under the leadership of Malawian education professionals. They provide nursery, primary and secondary classes to over 570 children. Two out of three students are Malawian, and the rest refugees. Most students attend the school at no cost, with the others contributing 5,000 MK per month each ($6.15).
Despite long waiting lists of students who cannot be accommodated in the insufficient buildings, books borrowed from other institutions, and the need for a bigger borehole to meet the sanitation needs of the school, Comfort the Community achieved the best passing scores in the whole district for the primary school examination this past year. This is an indication of the passion and vision that the school staff transmit to its students: aiming high despite the circumstances.
The land that Comfort the Community owns has plenty of space for further development, and the existing buildings need to be completed. With an impact investor, INUA Consulting would support Comfort the Community to develop a sustainability strategy to reach their full potential.