Christmas Picnic at Maunga Primary School
January 4 2016

Even though families in rural areas of Zambia, which are mostly Christian, do celebrate Christmas, they usually don’t have the resources to have special Christmas meals or presents.  Nevertheless, they enjoy church services and being with their families and friends.  For the Kids Club team in Livingstone, Christmas is an opportunity to spoil the children a bit by providing them with games and activities in support of the Basic Life Skills Course as usual, but also to give food and donations sponsored by volunteers.

The week before Christmas, our team visited Maunga Primary School to have a special Christmas Kids Club.  After some time interacting and playing with the volunteers, all the children came inside the classroom to sing Christmas songs and listen to a Christmas story.

The volunteers then showed two different techniques of how to make Christmas cards.  The techniques were simple enough to pick up quickly, but allowed a lot of room for creativity.  Even though the aims of the Basic Life Skills course for once were not the main focus, the children were still encouraged to develop their own ideas, plan their work, and made many different cards. 

After the craft session, most children went outside for a break and some more playing.  However, some chose to help prepare the picnic.  It is a pleasure to see how helpful these youngsters are, especially the older children.  As soon as all the picnic was ready, everyone sat down on blankets and shared the food.  And on top of that, the children of Maunga School did not miss out on Christmas presents either.  Each child received either coloured pencils or a notebook to use in school. 

About Kids Club

Kids Club is our opportunity to implement our Basic Life Skills Course.  The aim of the course is to assist children and adolescents to gain essential skills needed to operate effectively in society in an active and constructive way.  Topics in the course include; self-esteem, coping with stress, effective communication, decision making, problem solving and non-violent conflict resolution.  The course has been developed by David Brackstone of John Taylor High School, UK using a programme in use at that school and adapted for use in our schools in Africa.

About ALERT Education Centres (AEC)

Basic Life Skills courses are one aspect of the work of our ALERT Education Centres.  The AEC operations at Livingstone (Zambia), Victoria Falls and Antelope Park (Zimbabwe) are all aimed at supporting the formal education system by offering extra-curricular activities to enhance student learning, and assisting with access to education for vulnerable students.  Current programs include the provision of classes in conservation education, basic life skills, and English literacy.  In addition, we provide funding to pay the fees of vulnerable students to take part in education from pre-school to university level, and fully funded internship and facilitated research placements for university level students.  Future programmes will incorporate classes in numeracy, health & nutrition, physical education and business studies/entrepreneurship, as well as a variety of vocational training.  The AEC is operated in association with Coventry University (UK), Midlands State University (Zimbabwe) and Copperbelt University (Zambia), and with the assistance of David Brackstone of John Taylor High School (UK).   The first AEC, at Antelope Park, was opened in 2012 by the then Zimbabwe Minister of Education, Mr. David Coltart.

Join us at the AEC

There are a number of ways you can join our AEC projects to assist in the delivery of the AECs various programmes.  Click on the following links for further information:

-          Those with some teaching experience can join our Teaching in Africa internship

-          Researchers interested in assisting us assess AEC programmes can join our Research in the Community Internship

-          If your interest is in teaching about conservation, you can also join the programme as a Conservation Education Intern

-          Even if you have no teaching experience, there is still much you can do to help deliver our various courses as part of our volunteer programmes

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