Dr. Michael Chipps, president, John Blaylock, executive vice president, and Lyle Kathol, vice president of educational services, have joined Josh Moenning, mayor of Norfolk (NE), and representatives of Christ Lutheran and First Presbyterian churches, as part of a visit centered around Norfolk Schools in Malawi. The school was founded in the city of Blantyre by Joe Mtika, of Norfolk (NE).
The Northeast representatives have met with a number of officials including the country’s minister of education, science and technology; the minister of agriculture, irrigation and water development; the minister of health; the vice chancellor of agriculture and natural resources at Lilongwe University; the vice chancellor of Malawi University of Science and Technology; and Andrew Herrup, chargé d’affairés at the U.S. Embassy in Lilongwe.
The trip is the result of Northeast’s work with local organizers of the Norfolk Schools in Malawi. While on a visit to Washington D.C. in 2017, Chipps extended an invitation to His Excellency Edward Yakobe Sawerengera, ambassador to the United States from Malawi, to visit Nebraska. The ambassador spent a day on the Northeast campus in Norfolk last spring. At the conclusion of his visit, Sawerengera invited Chipps and Moenning to his country.
This week, the Nebraska delegation also participated in a sister city signing ceremony between Norfolk and Blantyre. Blantyre City Mayor Wild Ndipo said the memorandum of understanding will promote the sharing of knowledge and skills in Blantyre City in particular, and Malawi in general.
“Norfolk may be a small city, but it is advanced when it comes to the use of agricultural technologies. So, Malawi will benefit from it.”
In addition, Chipps, Blaylock and Kathol played in instrumental role in a graduation ceremony at Norfolk Schools in Malawi.
Chipps addressed the graduates during the event.
“Being dedicated to the lifelong pursuit of being an educated global citizen is an excellent investment not only in yourself, but in the country of Malawi, as well,” Chipps said. “Now you have a decision to make about your future. I encourage each one of you to set higher goals by attending a college in order to develop a set of skills based on your career interests.
Chipps said Northeast Community College welcomes the opportunity to become the students’ college.
“At Northeast, our Center for Global Engagement is focused on serving international students as they transition from home to being a student at Northeast. You could join four other students from Norfolk Schools in Malawi that started with Northeast in the fall of 2017. These students have adapted well to the rigor of college studies and life away from home.”
Chipps said while Northeast continues to determine its role in its partnership with Norfolk Schools in Malawi, they have come to better understand Sawerengera’s message last year that “The people of Malawi have a dream, but they don’t know how to realize that dream.”
Chipps told the graduates that they are starting to realize their dreams by graduating from high school today.
“I encourage you to continue seeking your dream of a college education. Northeast Community College stands ready and pleased to serve you.”
Chipps, Blaylock and Kathol will return to the United States on Sunday, June 3.
Dr. Michael Chipps, president of Northeast Community College, congratulates one of the graduates of Norfolk Schools in Malawi during a ceremony at the school in Blantyre, Malawi on Thursday. Lyle Kathol, vice president of educational services, and John Blaylock, executive vice president, are on the right.