Since 2015, Carol Suzdak has been visiting Cornerstone Ministries Malawi. One of the most outstanding and virtually visible contributions is the Carol Suzdak Resource Corner, a library stocked with approximately 200 books on various topics. During her recent trip, Our Samuel Malasa Banda (SMB) had a five minute chat with her to find out what inspires her.
Carol sitting at a sample desk for the Cornerstone Christian High School.
SMB: So Carol, why are you here in Malawi?
CS: I am here in Malawi for three r
easons; first is visiting Cornerstone Ministries, the other I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity and l am also visiting my son Chris in Zomba.
SMB: When did you first hear about Malawi?
CS: First hearing about Malawi, when I was a little girl, we had fish in our tanker called cichlids and I read that the only place they are found is in Malawi. So I knew about Lake Malawi when I was a little girl
SMB: Now that you are at Cornerstone, when did you know about this ministry?
CS: I first learnt about Cornerstone Ministries Malawi in 2014, I was on a Habitat for Humanity global village trip in Salima and for one of our cultural exchange programs, we visited this ministry, and that is where I met Danneck Falinya.
SMB: It seems you have been to Malawi, two or three times, what are interesting aspects about Malawi and her cultures?
CS: I really love Malawi because the people are so warm and friendly. And I love Cornerstone Ministries, the teachers are so warm, and they care about the children. Furthermore, the children are so responsive to the teachers.
SMB: Being one of the people who are helping fundraise for Cornerstone, donating books and other resources. What motivates you to help this ministry?
CS: What I love about Cornerstone Ministries Malawi is that I see what am contributing which I ,like to send books, the story behind that is I read ‘The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind’ of a boy who never had the chance to go to school but through reading he made a great innovation. So when I met Danneck I asked, “What do you need?”, and he said “books”, so I started sending books. And from there the relationship started. What I liked most was the response, when I sent books, they were received. And when I came the next time, they were being used. So I was more excited about the feedback from all the teachers and the learners.
SMB: On this trip, what works have you been involved in with Cornerstone?
CS: This is the longest I have been with Cornerstone, I was in their Summer Camp program, I was helping out with the Art class and on Thursday I was in the Mathematics class.
SMB: Any words for the Cornerstone team?
CS: I encourage the staff and kids at Cornerstone to keep up the good work and keep learning. Cornerstone is a great and fantastic program.
SMB: As a partner to Cornerstone, what message do you have for other people or organizations interested in partnering or donating to the ministry?
CS: One of the things I can really say is that whatever you give to Cornerstone, they utilize. They have utilized money, books or whatever I have donated personally. Follow up with it and see the difference it has made both among the staff and the kids. I have been to the Cornerstone Christian High school construction site is going up, it’s incredible even by US standards. Last September when I came there was just a land, not even the title was secured. But to see, here we are, July and there is a whole school block. And they are starting the school in September. So that’s in less than a year, that’s so incredible.
SMB: Finally, you have travelled to Malawi several times, what concluding words would you leave to the people?
CS: What I would like to leave is that, Malawians should think like Malawians should think like Malawians. I don’t want them to think like Americans, Britons, South Africans, no! They should think as Malawians. They should read Malawian literature and appreciate the rich heritage that Malawi has.
SMB: Thanks Carol
CS: Hahaha, thanks.
If you would like to donate your gift towards construction of the Cornerstone Christian High School follow the link below and designate your gift to Cornerstone Ministries Malawi