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  • Ethan Kapelka

St. John's Starfish Foundation's Mbelekete Borehole Completed

In February 2023, the borehole at Mbelekete School in Dowa, Malawi in Africa was formally dedicated after being built in December last year. Funds were raised for its construction by St. John's Starfish Foundation, a student-founded organization through St. John's Northwestern Academies. In collaboration with WASH For Life, the group chose the location of the borehole: Mbelekete Lea School. The borehole will serve a community 600 families, including teachers and students, for many years to come.

Dedication signage is painted on the side of the Mbelekete School Borehole

St. John's Starfish Foundation

St. John's Starfish Foundation was crucial in the funding and development of this borehole. Five members from the student-founded group presented their mission at the annual Heritage Society Dinner in late October last year. Many generous donors contributed to their mission and their first borehole was funded.

Members of St. John's Starfish Foundation attend the Heritage Society Dinner in late October last year.

Just a month after the borehole was funded, the location of the borehole was decided by the members of the group. They worked with Steve Hamer, the President of WASH For Life, to discuss possible locations for the new borehole. The group eventually voted for the Mbelekete Lea School in Dowa, Malawi.

The new borehole was dedicated by St. John's Northwestern Starfish Foundation

Malawi's Wet Season Has Its Challenges (For Building a Borehole)

The wet season in Malawi posed some challenges during the construction of the borehole. According to worldbank.org, "Malawi has two main seasons, namely the cool dry season between May and October with mean temperatures of around 13°C in June and July and the hot wet season between November and April with temperatures between 30°- 35°C."


Because the borehole was constructed during Malawi's rainy season, there were some delays due to heavy rains. Regardless of the challenges the weather posed, the borehole was completed.


Borehole Dedication Ceremony

Patrick Tembwe, the person overseeing the borehole program in Malawi, gave a speech at the borehole dedication ceremony:


A poem was written and presented by a woman at the ceremony, with translation below:

"Borehole"

By Legnat Cholaka

Translated from Chichewa by Patrick Tembwe


My name is borehole

A very important person everywhere

In schools, villages, hospitals and even in towns

Everyone loves me


My name is borehole

I provide a lot of services here at school

Quenching thirst, mopping classrooms, construction, washing clothes and girls' washrooms


My name is borehole,

I need to be taken care of,

Keep me away from animals,

Young ones too misuse me,


My name is borehole,

I have come here today at this school,

Learners, teachers and community members,

How do you feel about my presence?

My name is borehole



Hopeful Future Ahead

The borehole in Mbelekete is the 23rd constructed through WASH For Life, the first to be formally dedicated in 2023. It will serve hundreds of community members in the coming years. We are hopeful and are looking forward to building more boreholes in Malawi this year.


With your support, we will continue our mission to provide clean water to communities.


Visit St. John's Starfish Foundation's GoFundMe fundraiser here.

Please consider donating and share our good word with friends and family. Read about WASH For Life on our blog and sign up for our newsletter.

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