Mother Teresa Children’s Centre is a purpose-built centre that comprises two buildings. The south block is a nursery providing care facilities and early years education for 230 children from 6 months to 6 years of age. The north block provides coordinated services for the poorest children.
The Children’s Centre is part of a bigger project called Krizevac Project/Beehive that is concerned with raising the standard of living of the people of Chilomoni, a poor township on the outskirts of Blantyre in Malawi. The idea is to provide education, training and business opportunities so that the improvements are sustainable, and when eventually the project will withdraw its support, the betterment to the area will be maintained.
There are many challenges to overcome when building in Malawi. One of them is inadequate supply of most building materials. For this reason, both buildings are concrete frames with in infill panels made of site produced inter-locking soil and cement dry stacking blocks. This system reduces transport and material costs and can be taught to unskilled labourers.
Giacomo was the project architect for the Children’s Centre when volunteering in Malawi.