soil based blocksAs you surely know by now, we have tried to make our Loyola Jesuit Secondary School (LJSS) “green” in many ways.  That is, we have tried to be ecologically sensitive in construction so that we can be environmentally positive in instruction. 

The biggest effort has come in the use of soil based blocks (SSB) and not kiln burnt bricks in the building of the walls of the many structures on the campus of LJSS.  Bricks that are molded of clay and then cooked in simple brick ovens for many days require a lot of trees to be cut down and used for the fires.  And that means much deforestation in what was once a heavily forested Malawi!

Deforestation contributes to climate change, which we have been experiencing in too many sad ways in recent years.

So we are happy that we have been committed to using the SSBs in construction of the school.  (See Blogs for 23 June 2012 and 21 January 2013.)  These blocks are more durable and attractive, as well as ecologically sound! Delayed and sporadic rainfall has devastating effects on agricultural with serious consequences for the availability of food for the 15 million Malawians.

And now a new contribution to the “green” feeling of LJSS: furniture made from trees grown in renewable plots!  This means that our local joinery (carpentry shop) is making furniture for classrooms, offices and hostels (dormitories) from wood that comes from a plot where trees are not simply cut down but also replanted.  Another effort at curtailing deforestation in this beautiful country!

The pictures here are taken in the joinery and show the desks and chairs constructed and ready to be placed in the classrooms.  We opted for individual desks and chairs rather than the more common bench arrangements because this will allow movement in the classroom for more interactive exchanges. And that’s supposed to be better for positive educational situations!

Teacher's desk

Chairs under construction in carpentry shop

Desk and chair

What is important to note is that it should be easier and more realistic for instruction on environmental concerns to go on in a classroom where construction with ecological concerns has had a priority.

What do you think?

The last picture was taken several months ago and shows students from our neighbours, St. Joseph’s Primary School, eagerly occupying a classroom still under construction.   God willing, and with some additional funding from generous donors, by this coming September we will see some of these young women and men sitting on great green furniture in a great green classroom!

students on classroom floor

Eager primary school students sit on the floor of a classroom under construction,  where they one day hope they will sit with sturdy desks and chairs!

One Responseso far.

  1. […] One detail, both big and little, is how to assure that LJSS is as “green” as possible.  By that we mean that in both construction and instruction our school should be environmentally sensitive, ecologically sound.  (See earlier blog)  […]

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