Extreme Makeover: School Edition

Standard 1 and Standard 4 classroom which we have painted with teaching aids and murals to improve the learning environment in Mzuzu schools. I have hired a Malawian friend to continue painting at Mzuzu schools see below (click the "read more" link) for the missions, core values, and budget of the project. If you would like to sponsor a classroom or donate in part please contact me. We are eager to finish painting the remaining 12 classrooms at Zolozolo Primary School and move onto other schools in Mzuzu.


Our mission is to improve the quality of education in Malawi’s schools by creating an inviting and inspiring learning environment. We do this by painting classroom walls with interactive teaching aids and murals.


1) Bring art education to students and teachers by including them in the painting process.
2) Every picture has a purpose (teachers should be able to use the pictures in their lessons, and/or the pupils should be able to teach themselves lessons by interacting with the pictures on their own)
3) Always encourage gender equality and empowerment of individual talents and abilities.
4) Give pupils a high level of responsibility and have high expectations for the quality of their work. Guide, encourage and support them while they work pointing them towards success.
5) Foster a spirit of pride for the school and a sense of teamwork while working.


· Paint as many classrooms as possible using the money and supplies we have
· Buy all supplies locally to support the local economy
· Paint academic resources that can be used by teachers.
· Involve as many pupils as can be managed and supervised well. Make sure each child is given tasks and responsibilities.
· Include questions and words with pictures so the students can interact with the pictures and learn.


Supplies $60.00
Money Transfer Fees $20.00
Malawi Supervisor Salary $20.00
Transport $10.00

total $110.00


Children are visual learners, they learn and remember what they see. Therefore it is very important for a school to create an inviting, inspiring and engaging visual learning environment. An essential part of achieving this goal is to have teaching aids and colorful pictures on the walls each and every day for the children to interact with.

Children should not suffer for the bad acts of others. It is a shame that due to theft, teaching aids and other learning tools cannot be hung on the walls at Mzuzu schools. Because this is the case, we are motivated to paint the walls with teaching aids and pictures to improve the quality of education and create a strong learning environment. Painted walls should be well cared for, they can be washed whenever necessary, and should last many years into the future to the benefit of many children and teachers.

In addition to improving the visual learning environment, this project brings art education to students and teachers in Malawi. Government schools have not provided art education in Malawi since colonialism. Painting murals introduces new skills and opportunities for creativity and self-expression which is new to the vast majority of the students and even teachers that we work with. Many of them get to hold a paint brush and play with paint for the first time in their lives.

One classroom at a time, we are collaborating with teachers and students at local primary schools, making an effort to transform the currently empty rooms into something inviting, inspiring and engaging. Marissa Saints, an American artist who spent 2006 living in Mzuzu was inspired with this idea of painting classrooms during her time in Malawi. Mrs. Saints and her husband are both blessed to have mothers who are teachers, both of whom came paid the Saints a visit in Malawi. Mrs. Saints’ mother-in-law came in June bringing a suitcase full of teaching aids, posters and books. Mzuzu schools were very grateful to receive these things but eplained that they would have to remain in the principal's office under lock and key because they would be stolen if left unattended in the classrooms.

With Mrs. Saint’s mother visiting in September, the Lord gave her an idea for the schools. Why not paint the teaching aids directly on the walls so they can’t be stolen?

Painting teaching aids on the walls has absolutely transformed classrooms in Mzuzu. Children are excited to come to school, they are teaching themselves be reading the walls, teachers enjoy teaching in their new classroom and they are all proud of their work and their school.