Rita Britz, the founder of Bolera Palms Primary School, is a teacher with 21 years experience. She first came to Malawi in 1991 and fell in love with the country and its people. She has lived and experienced life all around Malawi, teaching in schools in Blantyre. After setting up and running the successful business in both Blantyre and Lilongwe with her husband Danie Britz. They settled at the lake in 2003 with hopes of a quieter life, which did not last long. They both took the decision to restore Palm Beach Leisure Resort to its former glory.
At the same time Rita started to teach the children from the neighbouring village in old unused dilapidated cottages while they were being restored. Rita and her class had to move four times, until they ran out of houses to invade. She then went to the village chief and asked for some land to build a school.
The Bolera Palms Primary School started as one classroom in 2007 and was completed, ready for its first intake of 30 children in January 2009. It now runs at capacity with four classrooms and 120 children. Through Rita’s passion and enthusiasm to help, it has become far more than just a primary school.
Taryn came to Bolera Palms School in 2008 to teach in the first class, where she fell in love with the people, culture are country. After 6 months in Malawi she returned to the UK to pursue a career in Education. Taryn worked in a number of last resort schools teaching children with behavioural, emotional and learning difficulties. In 2011 she returned to Malawi and Bolera Palms as the School Manager.
This year Taryn hope to work with teachers from public school to them create engaging and exciting lessons with the limited resources they have.
Jurriaan and Trijnet van Haaren
Jurriaan and Trijnet van Haaren are from The Netherlands. In the summer of 2008 we’ve found the school on our Pre- Honeymoon to Malawi. We fell in love immediately! At the time there was only one classroom and the library. We decided to support the school and the children. On our way home we wrote the text to put up a website.
We started to raise money for the first classroom and the library (e.g. bookshelves and tables and chairs). Then we raised the money for the toilet building and septic tank, which was built in 2008. In 2009 we became an official foundation: ‘Stichting Bolera Palms School’. With the help of all our sponsors we’ve built the 2nd and 3rd classroom and the wall around the school.
In the next years we will continue to support the big projects, but we also take the responsibility to raise money for maintenance and the annual costs, especially the feeding program.
We really love the school, the kids and all the work Rita has done! We feel very privileged to help, together with all the people in the Netherlands who support our foundation!
Katie first fell in love with Malawi in 2015 during her gap year which she spent volunteering in the school teaching a Standard 2 class as well as creating extra-curricular activities. Katie fell in love with the children, the people, and teaching. She returned to the UK to pursue a teaching job for 2 years before returning to Malawi to work in the school again and to help anyone who wishes to volunteer with us. Her first hand experience with us makes her the perfect person to send any questions that you may have!