AMAZING PEOPLE | AMAZING COUNTRY
Support a Community School in the Heart of Livingstone
With the average Zambian wage being a few dollars a day, most communities find it difficult to feed their families, let alone repair their schools and build further facilities which are necessary for a healthy learning environment for their children. This applies to Linda compound, a poor area on the outskirts of Livingstone. With a high incidence of orphans, many children there are not able to attend school.
This also applies to children in the surrounding area. Many of the children at the school that we support walk in for up to an hour from the adjoining rural and bush areas. They often come from homes that are simple structures that lack either running water or electricity.
Their only prospect of an education is provided by Linda Community School.
As well as working on the classroom construction project, volunteers will also have the opportunity to help out at a nearby Homework Club and with a women’s empowerment craft group if they would like to.
Our projects focus on health and education, and we undertake a broad range of projects, most of which involve providing basic infrastructure as classrooms, toilet blocks, access to clean water and even playgrounds.
You will join like-minded participants to assist these families to improve their surroundings in Zambia. You may wish to split some your time between the build and engaging at the local school. There is always the opportunity to get involved assisting teachers in the classroom and running after-school activities, especially in sport.
The core of each MAD project is the building work that we undertake. This is the most tangible contribution that we make to the host community, and forms a focus for the group.
Your build will be led by local craftsmen who will be happy to teach you all the skills required to make the project possible. As the project progresses you will really be able to see where your fundraising euros and dollars are going. We buy all of our tools and supplies locally so as to support the community’s economy, and often leave the extras behind as a donation for future projects.
You will be staying near to the school where you can also help to teach, tutor, and play sports with the children. This requires a lot of enthusiasm and innovation, and your crew leader will be on hand help out.
The education system in Zambia is resource challenged, often with insufficiently trained teachers, crowded conditions and with children that are generally at a lower standard than that of their age group elsewhere. Also extra-curricular subjects such as arts and crafts are under-resourced and the children really enjoy any input that you can give them.
If you are thinking about doing artistic projects, conservation education, or health awareness then try and bring some materials to use with the children.Sports events are also very popular, especially football, volleyball and netball and you could organise a sports day or tournament and pack some balls, medals etc that you be able to get gifted from your local sports club or shop at home.
The schools we support are under-resourced and they would appreciate any help, especially items that can aid teaching such as pens/ exercise books/ activity books/ arts materials/ teaching aids and sports equipment. Any donations should be used as part of lessons or directed through your leader or teachers to be dispersed on need or merit and not given as a handout.
Tackling side projects such as educational murals or competitions will inspire your community to work with you and achieve their goals that also become yours. You will be able to learn more about the different local Zambian tribes from the Lozi to the Tonga. The local communities speak good English but also appreciate a greeting in their local language: give it a try and enjoy the reaction.
The school we are looking to support is Linda Community School, situated in Linda compound in Livingstone
(the town on the Zambian side of the Victoria Falls).
Linda Community School has 470 children who are selected on the basis of their vulnerability. The majority are orphans or double orphans. All come from a very vulnerable background – if it were not for the school most would not attend school at all. They are children who are not able to attend the ‘free’ government school where uniforms, paper, pen and other supplies must be purchased. The school is entirely dependent on donor support. For example, every child has a uniform but they have all been donated.
The school takes children up to Zambian grade 7, in other words children of primary school age.
The school has been housed in an overcrowded community hall and adjoining rooms that are completely unsuitable to house a school. Several classes (and several hundred children) may occupy the main hall at the same time. The alternatives are small side rooms or classes outside without shelter – except in the rainy season when much of the small school grounds floods.
In the last couple of years this situation has begun to change. A U.K. registered charity, the Zambezi Sunrise Trust, has begun a construction program on a large nearby site and to date has built an ablution block, kitchen, library room, three classrooms and a school office.
This is making a real difference to the quality of the education of the children, one grade at a time.
Several more classrooms are needed to provide a fully functioning school and MAD propose to do their bit in building them!
Over time, if enough classrooms are built the school can be expanded to include higher grades to ensure that the children can continue their education into secondary school (in Zambia only one in four children complete a secondary education. Many of the children at Linda Community School at present are not able to even commence secondary school because of a lack of funding).
We will also spend some funds on sports equipment (but please bring as many items as you can in your baggage, together with any spare children’s reading books). Any additional funds will be allocated to the rest of school’s needs, including classroom improvements.
We will discuss this as a Team at the Project site.
We will also be helping to run a Sports and Play Program for the School and engaging in normal classroom activities when the school is in session – all alongside the building activities. Health and Sport go hand in hand and will be key part to this Project.