First journey to Zambia!
At long last, after almost three years since we got started our projects in Zambia, we were able to go in the country to see what we had been achieved.
Landed in Lusaka after a flight of over 13 hours, the next day we drove the 580 km to Chipata.
Chipata is the capital city of Eastern Province, the poorest of the 10 Zambian provinces, with a population of over 200,000. A rural area made up of several districts, including Chipangali where we are working.
It was a very intense 10 days, with many meetings, visits to villages where we will soon set up other schools, a visit to the village of Kaulembe where we saw the two schools we built in 2020, completed and operational.
The buildings are very well constructed, fully equipped and even used with three shifts per day, given the large number of children, over 400 in the primary and 80 in the ECE. We met the head of the teacher and the teachers, who prepared a welcome party for us with traditional dancing and singing.
Our meetings with the ministerial authorities of the Province and the District were especially warmly and, in addition to the customary thanks, which were very heartfelt and not mere kindness, we were expressly asked to continue pursuing a project in which the government strongly believes.
Our third school is nearing completion and will be finished by the end of the year, before the rainy season starts.
We visited some villages where we are going to set up further kindergartens, meeting the teachers living there. There can be no order of urgency, because everyone is equally in need, the number of children is impressive, as in Kaulembe, the villages are very poor, with mud and thatch huts, sometimes made of bricks with tin roofs, the existing school facilities (if any) dilapidated and totally inadequate.
What can be the priority criterion in choosing the place to build the next kindergarten? Certainly not that of necessity, which everyone has equally, but that of the villagers' participation in the construction of the school, through the production of part of the bricks needed as well as the maintenance of the few assets they have, such as school buildings, latrines, water well.
Particularly important was also the day spent with our three teachers, who informed us about the issues faced in the recently completed training course. The three made up a very close-knit team, and they conveyed to us their passion for the task at hand and their desire to continue with the nine new students. We also discussed and agreed with them how to publish the manual of our training course, which will take place in the coming weeks and will be available to all similar establishments to ours in any place where English is known. We then set the starting date for the second course, which will be the 12.12.2022.
But the most significant day of this trip was the graduation ceremony for our first ECE teachers, which we inform you about in EVENTS