Panhellenic members help build school in Kasungu

Sororities accumulated about $37,000 to build in central region of Malawi

Anna+McLeod%2C+Kappa+Kappa+Gamma+member%2C+says+villagers+educated+them+on+the+local+culture+and+they+participated+in+different+cultural+workshops+during+their+time+in+Kasungu.
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Panhellenic members help build school in Kasungu

Anna McLeod, Kappa Kappa Gamma member, says villagers educated them on the local culture and they participated in different cultural workshops during their time in Kasungu.

Anna McLeod, Kappa Kappa Gamma member, says villagers educated them on the local culture and they participated in different cultural workshops during their time in Kasungu.

COURTESY OF ANNA MCLEOD

Anna McLeod, Kappa Kappa Gamma member, says villagers educated them on the local culture and they participated in different cultural workshops during their time in Kasungu.

COURTESY OF ANNA MCLEOD

COURTESY OF ANNA MCLEOD

Anna McLeod, Kappa Kappa Gamma member, says villagers educated them on the local culture and they participated in different cultural workshops during their time in Kasungu.

ELAYNE RODRIGUEZ, Evergreen reporter

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Members of the Panhellenic sororities fundraised to help build a school in Malawi, Africa, over spring break.

Anna McLeod, Kappa Kappa Gamma member, said the Panhellenic sororities fundraised about $37,000 to build a new school in the Kasungu district, which is in the central region of Malawi.

Annaka Brayton, Alpha Omicron Pi member, said they went to Africa under buildOn, an international nonprofit organization.

McLeod said Megan Harre, assistant director for the Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life, and 11 sorority members participated in the trip.

“When we got to the village, there was a big welcoming ceremony the first day we were there,” she said. “It was the most welcoming I have ever felt in my life.”

McLeod said they learned about the culture and certain languages the first day they arrived.

Brayton said villagers in Kasungu were friendly and welcoming, which made it easier to adjust to the culture after a two-day flight.

Brayton said they had two translators who led them around Kasungu, and buildOn provided a construction manager to help build the school.

McLeod said they had a trek leader who helped them coordinate schedules for the week. They worked all week on different tasks, and villagers educated them on the local culture. The group also participated in different cultural workshops in the evening.

“One person taught us how they make their [water] hose, [and] one person taught us how to make peanut butter,” she said.

McLeod said about 200 boys and 200 girls started first grade at a local school in Kasungu. A majority of the children dropped out because of the distance and weather conditions. As a result, 20 boys and 20 girls were left by the time the children reached eighth grade.

Brayton said the school has grades one through six, but the group is helping to build a second one. The new building will now allow children in grades seven and eight to attend school.

“There was this little girl in my host family, and she walks three hours every day to get to school,” McLeod said. “Now that the school is finished, she is going to walk seven minutes.”

She said it was a life-changing experience and something none of them will forget.

“It was cool to be able to meet all the women, not only in [the village],” McLeod said, “but also get close with some of the women in the Panhellenic sorority.”