Chiyembekezo is a very special little school because it was set up entirely by local people for orphaned and vulnerable children. The founders (Kelvin, Harold, Rachel from Flatdogs and other local businessmen), were concerned by the number of children found walking the streets, fishing with their fathers and generally not attending school. With their own money they hired a teacher (paying her when they could) and started a school in a small house. From there, the school has grown enormously, and only when it was providing education for 50 children 5 mornings a week did Kelvin, Harold and Rachel come to Flatdogs and ask for advice on how to fundraise for the effort. Flatdogs was very impressed with his commitment and initiative and happily offered to help. Through our combined fundraising efforts, we pay the teacher’s salary, buy uniforms for the children and occasionally provide educational resources. We are very lucky to have the use of St Agnes’ Anglican Church for classes; Flatdogs helped the church to install mains power and re-painted the inside of the building.
One of our guests then assisted with the building of a church hall that the kids now learn and play in. And the school is now looking for its own premises, which our guests and our Directors, are personally contributing towards.
Emma – Chiyembekezo School’s teacher:
Emma is central to the success of this small school. Even when the school fund couldn’t afford to pay her salary, she continued teaching the kids, knowing the school fund would pay her when they could. She already holds a Teaching Qualification from the Technical College in Chipata, but the school fund are planning to offer her more training as a reward for her amazing commitment to the school – during the holidays, she will be enrolled on a computer skills course.
Once a pupil reaches grade 8 and secondary level education schooling is no longer free and this means that, for many children, their education comes to an abrupt halt. The only option for many orphans or kids whose parents are poor is to apply to Project Luangwa for support. Project Luangwa runs a sponsorship scheme matching local children with individual sponsors. These kids are bright and keen to learn but their home situation means that they would not be able to attend school without help. Their progress is monitored closely and they are offered support and guidance when required. Sponsors of children receive letters and are encouraged to write back and forge a link.
Project Luangwa annually arranges support for well over 100 children in the area and giving them a chance at a better future. If you would like to sponsor a child please visit www.projectluangwa.org/sponsorship where you’ll find a handbook explaining the realities of the Zambian education system as well as their sponsorship scheme.