It was a special occasion for Lion Encounter Zimbabwe’s Community Project Manager Audrey Nyanhete recently, when she was invited to be guest of honour at Chikamba Primary School’s speech and prize giving day. Joined by pupils, teachers, guests and volunteers, Audrey listened to speeches, poems and drama performances, all delivered perfectly and with confidence by the children. Local groups from the community also displayed their own talents with songs, dance, drama and music. The volunteers enjoyed singing, dancing and celebrating with the community too. Then came Audrey’s big moment; presenting the day’s main speech to the assembled audience, before handing out prizes to the children.
The pupils at Chikamba Primary are making good progress, while learning under very difficult conditions. Currently there are four members of staff holding classes in temporary thatched structures that were built by the community. The School recently began a project to mould its own bricks to be used to build a small toilet block. Now, thanks to a local company called Mvuramanzi, the work has been completed representing a huge improvement in conditions for the children.
The new Chikamba toilet block taking shape
Community volunteers also visit Monde Primary school, around 20 kilometres from Victoria Falls Township. Most of the 311 children enrolled at the school are orphaned. Unable to afford to pay school fees, they rely on sponsors to help fund their education.
Dora Szabados, a recent volunteer, found working with the children an enjoyable experience:
‘We went to Monde Primary School, where we got introduced to the seven different grades they teach there. I choose grade five, and did mathematics with the children. There are around 35 of them and the most difficult for them is division, so we tried to practice as much with them as possible. They are so polite and kind. They sit organized during class and enjoy their breaks to the fullest. In every break they sweep the classrooms, keeping it clean during the whole day. They have lunch after the morning classes and have different activities in the afternoon, such as sports or art. They always want to take pictures and make funny faces. They are lovely, energetic and fun. They look out for the smaller kids and take care of them if the bigger ones are a little rough at playing with them. A truly fantastic experience to see them read, do maths and try and speak in English.’
While Dora was helping out in her class, it was story time for the grade zero children as volunteer Mikayla Candido read them her favourite story; appropriately enough, ‘The Lion King’.
Rural schools in Africa are usually understaffed with few teaching resources. By agreeing to sponsor a school, you would be assisting in improving education provision and giving children the chance of a brighter future. Your donation may be used to pay school fees for pupils unable to afford them, to ensure that buildings are a safe, nurturing environment in which to learn, or to provide resources such as text books and computers. You can find out more about sponsoring a school here.