Mfuwe Secondary School
Page Update: 18 Nov 2019
We first visited Mfuwe Secondary School in July 2011. It’s the only secondary school in the area and had really suffered from lack of support and increased pupil numbers. This was very evident when we looked around and we were shocked by how desperate it was for help. Since then thanks to many different donors, of which Sausage Tree is one, it is now a totally different school.
Since 2011 we have visited the school twice. On each visit we were shown around by the head teacher Mrs Chabala and the transformations have been huge. There are currently 1058 students and over 15 classrooms. However in 2006 there were only 2 classrooms and the school borrowed classes from the neighbouring primary school. The building of these new classrooms has been funded by local charities and safari lodges, however, one of the triple classroom blocks was donated by parents thanks to the heads enthusiasm. This is key – a community that tried to help itself and not just wait for help from others. Incredibly the government have provided 28 specialist teachers, however there are only 4 teachers’ houses.
Our support at Mfuwe started in 2011 when we built a boys dormitory block. In 2011 there were approximately 150 pupils boarding at Mfuwe Secondary. There was only one boys dormitory block situated a long way from the bore hole and in a desperate state. Approximately 90 boys were sleeping in a building that housed 48 and they were sleeping 4 to a bunk! They stored their luggage, books and clothes on the rafters and tried to keep it clean and tidy by having a cleaning rota. The situation has changed considerably since then.
During our visit in September 2013 we were able to see the new boys dormitories and ablution block – equipped with flushing loos, the first in the area! One of these blocks was built thanks to 6 wonderful people who climbed Kilimanjaro for Sausage Tree. The funds they raised managed to built the structure and thanks to Twyford Pre Prep and a couple of generous donors funds were raised to provide beds, mattresses, lockers and curtains. Each block sleeps 48 boys, they still sadly have to use the old dormitory too as the numbers of pupils and boarders is constantly increasing.
The number of girls boarding has also increased and their accommodation has also been hugely improved by other generous donors. In secondary education the number of girls drops off hugely as many have to stay and work at home, there are also high teenage pregnancy rates and many get married at a very young age. There is a huge push to try and empower girls to go to secondary school in the area at the moment which is wonderful to see.
In 2015 Sausage Tree completed building a sanitation unit for the girls. The number of girls completing secondary school is far less than the number of boys. Many drop out because of funding, marriage, pregnancy or to work at home. Sausage Tree and other teams out in Zambia are really behind a real drive to increase the number of girls in secondary education. At Mfuwe the girls now have a proper ablution block, the sanitation unit is key because without it the plumbing at Mfuwe would not cope. Sometimes these small issues can have a big impact. This is why Sausage Tree funded the project.
Our most recent project at Mfuwe Secondary has been the provision of desks and benches for the new school hall built in 2018. This had been on the schools “wishlist” for many years and will be transformational. It can be used as another classroom, for examinations, for sports and as a dinning hall in the rains. It can also be hired out and thus generate an added income for the school.