The last school I visited during my trip was Mfuwe Secondary School. I had never been before but the team out in Zambia – Haggai, Andy and Lisa are really keen to help it and it really does need a lot of help!
I couldn’t believe how little there was; there are currently 603 pupils and only 2 classrooms. Incredibly the government has provided 22 specialist secondary teachers, but they have nowhere to teach! Most of the teaching is done in the primary school next door and in what is meant to be the dining room; it is on a rotational basis with teachers planning and marking work under trees! However there is hope – the new head teacher, Mrs Beatrice Chabala, is doing wonders.
She has rallied the parents to donate funds to build a triple classroom block. This has already begun and Mfuwe Lodge (the team I work with) and one other safari company have matched this and in total 3 triple classroom blocks are currently being built. This is fantastic news and will really help the school establish itself.
They also showed me the boys boarding facilities; these are in a horrific state. The building is almost falling down and 4 boys/young men share one bunk bed! There are no storage facilities so they store their belongings on the rafters. The team out in Zambia are eager to change this; 2 new blocks need to be built as numbers are increasing and sharing beds is far from ideal.
There is however a long way to go, the classrooms are being built but now funding needs to be found for desks. It costs £39 for one double desk/bench; this has to be made from metal as wood comes at a cost to the landscape. The need for firewood is huge but it is not a never ending supply and villagers are having to walk further and further to find it. The school’s library is in a box on top of a cupboard; there is no science lab so the children are failing their science exam; there are very few books and resources and no sports facilities. Hopefully Sausage Tree and other donors will find the funds and help make this school a success story.