Students in Malawi are still experiencing school closures and delays due to the spread of Covid 19, as cases throughout the country are still rising. Many returned to their home villages and remain there in a period of waiting. Medic to Medic student Casten Chikumbutso wrote to us about what this experience has been like.
For Casten, and many students like him, it is challenging to leave the university environment because they rely on it for internet access and computing services which are not available in their home villages. In this period of school closures, continuing their studies through online learning is not possible as so many students lack access to suitable devices (laptops, tablets or smartphones), power supply, or affordable internet bundles.
Students instead must spend their time with other activities. Casten filled his time visiting relatives and friends, gardening, and reading.
Having returned home due to Coronavirus pandemic, I have had a mixed bag of experiences. Firstly, I regret to have been unable to participate in this year’s Essay Competition. I rely on the College for a computer and Internet (even for my studies). Being at home means doing without these which perhaps proves to be impossible. Even for this update I had to first write on paper and type elsewhere.
Meanwhile, much has been positive. I have enjoyed playing with children of my village, visiting friends and relatives. And I currently have a small vegetable garden where I planted mustard seeds. I have also helped my grandmother harvest her maize and groundnuts after we harvested our family’s crops. However, my family’s harvest has been poor this year again.
Above all, however, I specially thank Medic to Medic for what you are to me. I can dream in colours because you have been and are there for me. I am really grateful.
During this COVID-19 holiday, I have also enjoyed studying. I have learned that as a professional, informed consent is paramount, because, “sometimes the ultimate decision is not ours as life savers but of the people we are saving.”
Apart from academic reading, I have read the book Take the Risk by Dr. Ben Carson. What fascinates me is how he makes decisions using the Best/Worst Analysis to solve problems in what he calls the “risky world.”
All in all, I look forward to a life at college after the COVID-19 pandemic. Above all, however, I specially thank Medic to Medic for what you are to me. I can dream in colours because you have been and are there for me. I am really grateful.
Reliefweb published a UN Malawi report on Covid 19 statistics, find it here.
Read about our current Big Give fundraising campaign in last week’s blog post.
Want to support students like Casten or learn more about Medic to Medic? Visit our website at medictomedic.org.uk