Oasis of LifeNets Nursery School
Lilongwe, Malawi

(last updated February 13, 2016)

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In 2006 LifeNets considered a project proposal by a husband-wife team of Howard and Ruth Elia. Both are schoolteachers with a dream to build and operate a nursery school in a busy area of Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi. When this building is fully complete, it will accommodate 100 nursery school children age three to five years old.  The school will be self-sustaining. The school opened on July 7, 2010 as the dream is being fulfilled...


Updated February 2016


Since the opening of the Oasis of LifeNets Primary School in July 2010 we have two more visits since that we'd like to share with you.


The first one was by Denny and Luker as well as Vic and Bev Kubik. Here are photos of our visit



LeeAnn Luker with the children

Denny Luker with the children

Howard and Ruth Elia

With the Lukers



In May 2012 Barry and Sandy Kortius along with Michael and Collette Lockwood visited the Oasis of LifeNets and wrote this report:

Our final stop was the Oasis of LifeNets Nursery School owned and operated by members Howard and Ruth Elia. Ruth greeted us at the school and gave us a tour. The Lockwoods brought gifts of board puzzles and colorful story time books for the school. The kids were very excited. We saw the teacher and assistant teacher in action. The preschool kids were eager to practice their English for us by standing up and telling their name, their ABCs, and the five senses. They sang some songs in English. We recognized the song “If you are happy and you know it, clap your hands [hand clapping]. If you are happy and you know it, say ‘Amen’ [a shout of ‘AMEN’ goes up from the kids].” They also played some games.

The kids were darling, beautifully behaved and responsive to their teachers. It was impressive how they all sat quietly close together on the large mat on the concrete floor. The chalkboard (more like pieces of a broken chalk board) had the date and a few letters on it. The new clock was on the wall. There were also several laminated posters on the walls of numbers and letters. We might want to consider bringing more of those types of posters the next time we come if they can fit rolled up in the luggage.

We heard bits and pieces of how the business aspects of the nursery school are a struggle. Ruth and Howard operate the nursery school in addition to their primary jobs. When they first started the nursery school, it was the only one in the area. On top of many of the parents regularly not paying for their children to attend the school, another nursery school has opened up nearby. They lost some of their students to that competition when they closed their nursery school for two weeks surrounding the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Howard and Ruth have four children. We first met Ruth, their daughter, Precious, and six month-old baby Dalitso (very cute in a sling on mom’s back) fellowshipping after services on Sabbath in Lilongwe.

Progress as of September 6, 2010

We are so excited about the opening of the Oasis of LifeNets Nursery School which happened on July 7, 2010.  Here is the announcement that was sent out by Howard and Ruth Elia:




Progress as of May 18, 2010


Report from Howard Elia:

The last K100 000 has now been put to use We have all the spaces between the roof and the wall (which the builders call  B filling). We bought and installed pipes for electricity, we bought sand for plastering, we bought one door and the door frame, we bought a three glass window we bought a meter cage for the electric meter box.

Glasses we can afford, floor can be done in the future. Other minor things will be done in the future. I think we really need electricity for audio/visual aids for delivering lessons.  We need to do windows for security of our learning materials plus most importantly in Malawi we are in winter and temperatures can drop from the normal 28-30 degrees Celsius to 7 degrees in Lilongwe. If our windows are left undone our little students can be exposed to pneumonia.

This is one area the city officials will be looking for when they come to visit before they give a go ahead to the start of the school.  We are still on track to start in June.

I would like to assure you that the work done there is commendable.  It is a structure that attracts attention and good comments from passers by.  I believe you will be impressed when you see it physically.

With a lot of thanks,


Progress as of May 5, 2010


Progress as of April 15, 2010



Posted April 4, 2010

LifeNets has already invested $8,500 in this project.

The project was begun in May 2007 after the purchase of a plot of land and the start of construction. In October 2008, Victor and Beverly Kubik along with Scott and Collette Lockwood and their daughters Michala and Kirsten visited the school site on October 12, 2008.

Progress towards completion is proceeding and as we include photos below from our 2008 visit plus a visit from LifeNets Malawi board chairman Elifazi Salawila on February 28, 2010.  The roof was added after their visit.

Four teachers will be hired for the school. The Elia's have named the school Oasis of LifeNets.

From the Elia's:  "To invest in education has always been our dream. We can see such a dream turning into reality because of LifeNets who have seen us this far and proved that they wont let us walk alone."


October 12, 2008

February 2010


February 2010

February 2010

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Howard and Ruth Elia

Visit by Kubiks and Lockwoods October 12, 2008

October 12, 2008

Ruth Elia February 2010


February 2010


February 2010