Last June Project Luangwa had its fifth birthday – yes, that’s right Dave and I have been living and working here in Mfuwe for over five years. At the time we were a bit too busy to celebrate or even look back at all that has happened . . . but I think that now it’s time we did.
|Since building our first 1×3 classroom block at . . .
. . . Mfuwe Day Secondary School in 2011 we have completed two more – that’s a total of 9 new classrooms. We’ve also built 4 dormitories; two for boys and two for girls and refurbished another. Next to the dormitories we have built male & female ablution blocks complete with flushing toilets and showers and also designed and built 4 special toilets with full and private washing facilities for the day girls. At the same school we have built and furnished two study areas; the biggest library in the Eastern Province (complete with around 30,000 books) and built and equipped a science block. We’ve also sunk a bore hole and installed electric pumps to that and an existing borehole so that the school has running water. In partnership with Chipembele & Rotary International we have given Mfuwe Day over $35,000 worth of text books.
We’re currently building an enormous block of 4 classrooms with a central administration block complete with toilets and showers for the teachers. This is a similar size to the 1×4 block we completed at Matula Secondary School in partnership with the local Education Board.
At Kawaza Basic School we have replaced a roof which was blown off in a storm, refurbished a classroom block, electrified the school and supplied many thousands of dollars’ worth of text books and teaching aids, football kit and balls.
At Katapila Community School we have built a 1×3 classroom block and a teacher’s house and at Kapita we are currently building 7 new classrooms in two blocks plus a teacher’s house. At both schools we have installed solar power and iSchool ZeduPads (an E-learning system); supplied uniforms, text books, stationery, sports kit and equipment and pay a total of 10 volunteer teachers.
At Mnkhanya Community School we have built three new classrooms, supplied brightly coloured tables and chairs, text books and started a pre-school full of toys and books. At other schools we’ve started small libraries and replaced roofs blown off in storms, built toilets and supplied text and reading books, stationery and teaching aids.
And over the past 5 years we’ve . . .
. . . helped nearly 300 pupils to attend school through sponsorship and more than 20 tertiary students to study at colleges and universities. We’ve sent many children to hospitals as far away as Lusaka for life-saving and life changing treatment as well as supplied wheelchairs to disabled children enabling them to attend school for the first time.
This year we opened . . .
. . . a Women’s Craft Workshop where we teach sewing and other craft skills to less fortunate local women so that they can independantly support their families. As well as making bags and crafts to sell to visitors to the shop they also make our own design washable, reusable sanitary pads for girls who, without them, would miss 1 week of school out of every four after they reach puberty – added together that’s a year and a half of lessons.
To really get an idea of what this project is all about take a look at this short 2½ minute film on You Tube. ‘Beauty and the Shop’ will tell you more than I can ever say here.
We now provide employment for around 100 builders and general workers, supervisors, volunteer teachers, craftswomen, a librarian and a gender support manager.
We now run 3 girls’ clubs
and have many members spread over a wide age range. The clubs are run by a qualified social worker and councellor with 12 years experience and who is available to help girls at any time.