In the United States, generally speaking, the talk of school uniforms is quite frightening. School boards across the nation have debated their pros and cons for decades upon decades. However, in Malawi, all students wear school uniforms. In fact, one can distinguish which school a child attends based upon the uniform he or she wears. In some sense, uniforms can provide dignity for the student who is able to remain in school and receive an education.
Many of the students at Agape House have experienced the dignity of a school uniform before their lives began on the street and they were unable to continue their public education. In a country with extreme poverty, many of them lose the opportunity to learn, in part because they must pay for their uniforms. With such poverty,they are unable to be well dressed in clean clothing or to even have shoes to protect their feet.
At Agape House, we provide our students uniforms free of charge. Uniforms help to redeem our students’ dignity. They also help our students distinguish the mentality of life at school and life on the street. As they put on a clean uniform each day as they arrive at school, they are reminded of their potential and worth that they have.
This past January, when the students received new yellow long sleeve shirts, they celebrated in the morning with dancing and song. Now, thanks to the hard work of two of our interns, Garret and Linnea, who hosted a bake sale at Greenville College’s Homecoming football game, Agape House students will soon be celebrating again. All of the proceeds from the bake sale will be used to provide more quality uniforms as new students continue to enroll at Agape House.