At Mukamusaba Conservation Club in Livingstone, it has been time for students to revise what they have learned over the previous few weeks. Recently covered topics were Africa’s habitats and countries, so it was time to refresh the children’s memories and to test their listening skills.
Working in four groups, the students chose a different habitat: desert, grassland, mountain, or rainforest, and discussed the animals, climate, individual features, and the different problems facing that habitat. To increase the children’s confidence in public speaking, each group then presented their findings to the rest of the class. As teaching others is known to enhance your own understanding of a topic, this method is used regularly within these sessions. Lion Encounter community volunteers who attended the lesson were impressed by how well the students were able to remember and explain the topics they had studied. Next, it was quiz time. Each group was asked questions about habitats, with the chance to earn points and win small prizes, such as pencils and sharpeners.
In the following session, revision continued with work on deforestation and desertification, pollution, and climate change. Each child was asked to choose a topic to teach to two other members of their group. The students particularly enjoyed the idea of being the ‘teacher’ and all rose to the challenge. Using volunteers to observe, this activity enabled assessment of each student’s understanding of the topic. The lesson ended with another quiz and the chance for the children to show off their knowledge and vie to be on the winning team.
At Maunga Kids Club, community volunteers have used a session on the human body and health to promote a ‘Clean, Healthy and Strong’ message in the school. On discovering that the bucket usually used for hand washing had been put to another use, they set up a new washing station with soap and water and demonstrated how to wash hands properly to prevent the spread of germs. As the children usually eat with their hands, rather than using cutlery, understanding the need for good hygiene is an important lesson. Each child then lined up to wash their hands before lunchtime, with the support of volunteers and older children helping their siblings.
The latest session of the Maunga Kids Club was not only enjoyable for the children who took part, but also for their parents who received clothing donated by Lion Encounter Volunteers. Each adult was invited to choose from a selection of tops, jumpers, trousers, shorts and skirts and went home pleased with their new outfit. Two elderly members of Maunga village were also given clothing, soap, and a mosquito net. At 76 years old - and still an active member of the community - the elderly lady is the oldest Maunga resident and was delighted to meet her visitors and accept their generous donation.
Children from Grades 5 and 6, and from Maunga Pre-school didn’t miss out either, as they had been given new shoes, shirts and trousers by community interns the previous week. It was good to see the donations now being put to use, as the children played games outside. Another volunteer had donated footballs, volleyballs, and a volleyball net, which were quickly utilised as soon as lessons were over.
ALERT through our ACT division, with our partner Lion Encounter Zambia, continues to strive to improve the capacity of schools in Livingstone to increase learning opportunities for local children through the provision of both manpower and materials.
If you would like to help support children from the schools around our project sites, you can find out how to sponsor a school here. Or you may wish to join us in Africa as an intern, or as part of our volunteer program.