It was an early start for Lion Encounter volunteers in Victoria Falls recently, when they set off before breakfast for the journey to Chikamba Primary School. The group stopped off at the Jambezi Centre to eat, before visiting the Village Chief at his home; an interesting experience for the volunteers, who welcomed the opportunity to visit this rural area and experience the local way of life.
The volunteers arrived at the school to the sound of children, teachers, parents and other village members singing welcome songs and dancing. It wasn’t long before they joined in. The children had prepared plays, poems and songs to perform for their guests. Then, after welcome speeches from the teaching staff, donations of stationery, writing books, story books, balls, clothes and shoes were presented to the school. This welcome gift was made possible by generous volunteers who had brought donations out to Zimbabwe with them from home.
Lion Encounter staff were pleased to see that the children are continuing to improve in many areas of their learning with each new visit. The four teachers at the school work tirelessly to help their students, despite the uncomfortable conditions they are teaching in. Opened in January 2013, the school is housed in temporary thatched structures that were built by the local community until sufficient funding can be found to enable to construction of a school building.
The new school term has also got off to a good start at Monde Primary School, with volunteers in attendance to support the children’s learning.
The students in the grade four class had a particularly enjoyable time with volunteer Michaela, who led a lesson about emotions. She taught the children a song to help them understand different emotions by thinking about how a person looks when they are sad, happy, scared, etc. The day continued with lessons in mathematics, English and reading. The children are gradually making improvements in reading, although some still require a lot of extra support. To make sure these students do not fall behind the rest of the class, volunteers will lead extra sessions to help them improve; much to the appreciation of the Head Teacher who said what a big help this would be for the school.
If you would like to volunteer in the community, you can find out more details here.