After the positive impact on both the school and community that the establishment of the Eco-Club at Twabuka Primary School has had, another four schools in the Livingstone area have approached CITW asking to join our Eco-Club Programme. The clubs are now run at Twabuka, Simonga, Lupani, Holy Cross and Nalituwe Primary Schools and include 165 members and 15 teachers.
The Eco-Clubs meet once a week during the school term to interact with fellow class mates, exchange ideas, and to have fun with lessons and activities that are focused on environmental science, life skills and team building. The three-year curriculum is closely aligned to the Zambian Government curriculum and is also aimed at Grade 5, 6, and 7 students who are genuinely interested in nature, wildlife and the environment. Two further schools – Mapoko and Kabulwebulwe Primary have now also been added to the Eco-Club Programme. These two schools are in the Kafue area and have been affiliated with CITW in previous years, participating in our traditional children’s camps so we are extremely happy to bring them back into the programme. Although logistics for a number of months of the year are difficult, plans have been made to ensure these two schools do not miss out and are included in all the projects.
Successful Eco Club projects to date include:
The celebration of Arbor Day. Each Eco-Club member was responsible for planting and nurturing their own indigenous tree in the school grounds, which was no mean feat as water in these areas is scarce resulting in the children bringing a 2-litre coke bottle filled with water to school each day to feed their trees.
The students also hold clean-up days every two months, where they pick up litter, recycle and tidy their school grounds.
The establishment of student vegetable gardens and vermiculture beds at Twabuka Primary School as part of the Agriculture programme has successfully generated funds which assist with minor repairs and maintenance at the school.
The implementation of unique and environmentally friendly Tippy Taps hand wash stations near the toilets and kitchens has been a huge success at the schools.
School Repairs – Eco-Club students have an ongoing project of repairing desks and chairs as and when required.
CITW Zambia hosted an annual teachers training programme which was attended by all the teachers who are involved in running the Eco-Clubs and this year as a further initiative to reach as many teachers as possible we invited the Heads of the respective schools. The training of the 16 teachers took place in Livingstone in June 2015 where volunteer teachers from the El Hefni Foundation, USA, ran a three day workshop on experiential teaching methods. The El Hefni team guided workshop participants through the process of creating dynamic Eco-Club lesson plans that are driven by physical activities, investigations and educational games. A highlight was the experiment with different forms of electricity, Conservation and Transformation of Energy, the response and enthusiasm from the teachers who attended the workshop has been overwhelming.
Teacher – James: “well done on a very good workshop, I have learned and learned but it went too quickly. We as teachers are hungry for this type of training, please we want more and more.”
The annual CITW Eco-Club Programme also includes Children’s Camps held at selected Wilderness Safari Camps which are closed to paying guests for a short period during the wet-season. We are able to host groups of disadvantaged and deserving students on an intensive 3-night/4-day camp as an extension of the Eco-Club programme. This is designed to incorporate and consolidate the Eco-Club curriculum and is aimed simultaneously at increasing the children’s understanding and appreciation of the diversity of natural environments, whilst demonstrating the opportunities that exist for them.
In December 2014 CITW hosted 30 Grade 6 children (6 from each school) and 5 teachers from all five schools participating in the Eco-Club Programme. The camp’s well-structured programme along with the mentoring of experienced Wilderness Safaris guides ensured that the experience helped to increase self-esteem, taught new skills and imparted knowledge to all the participants. To date CITW Zambia has hosted 326 children in camps. This year we have two camps planned, one in the Kafue in November at Lafupa for 28 children from Mapoko and Kabulwebulwe Primary and the annual Toka Leya camp for 30 children from the five Livingstone schools.
School and Community Projects
Deworming Programme at Twabuka Primary School: If left untreated, intestinal worms are the cause of numerous serious illnesses, anaemia being the most prevalent. This is a common affliction in Africa. Through the deworming programme CITW aims to promote good health in both children and teachers at Twabuka so as to ensure that they receive maximum nutritional benefit from the food they eat. In February 2015 a total of 145 children were dewormed by a Registered Nurse from the Simonga Health Post. While administering the deworming medication the nurse also discovered that most children have not had the BCG vaccination. To this end CITW hope to assist with a follow-up programme in conjunction with Simonga Health Post during the course of the year.
“We are very excited to see the nurse who came to conduct a deworming exercise at our school. We are very happy with the pace programs are being implemented. We also received 780 bolts for assembling our new desks also for repairing the damaged ones. Thanks and very warm regards to you all” ~ Emmanuel Moonga, Twabuka Primary School Deputy Headmaster.
Twabuka Basic School furniture repaired
CITW bought bolts, nuts and washers to repair the Twabuka Basic School furniture. The furniture was deteriorating due to lack of funds to purchase the bolts required for repairs. A total of 600 desks have been fixed and the teachers and children are very happy to have a safe and stable place to sit and learn.
CITW has also procured office furniture for school teachers and all four teacher offices are now fully furnished. Twabuka Basic School has also received office and classroom stationery to last the year.
Children’s play park maintained and fenced
CITW has refurbished the broken play equipment at Twabuka Pre-school and has fenced the playground. This will help in managing the use of the facility and ensuring it is used by the children it is intended for.
Provision of transport for school teachers at Twabuka Primary School: The remote location of Twabuka Primary School, approximately 30 kilometres from Livingstone town on a road that becomes impassable in the wet season, has proved to be an impediment for the 8 teachers in their daily commute to and from the school. As the Government allowance for transport is insufficient for local transport costs many of the teachers were regularly absent as they could not afford to get to school. Teachers and students became demoralised and unmotivated. However, with the support of CITW, a local transport operator has been contracted to ferry teachers to and from the School at a reduced daily rate.
Staff housing at Mapoko School: Donor funding in 2013 allowed the completion of additional staff accommodation. The school was able to appoint another teacher and thus decrease the teacher:child ratio to a more manageable number. Further funds are available to build another staff house and this project is underway at present
Situated near to Wilderness Safaris’ Toka Leya Camp, Sinde Village and Twabuka School gained a solar water pump, two water tanks each and a solar-powered electric fence around the vegetable garden to keep the elephants out. A playground for the village pre-school was repaired and accommodation for two teachers at the school has been completed. This was all achieved through donor funding.
Laptops for students at Twabuka Community School: One Laptop per Child (OLPC) is a non-profit organisation founded in 2005 with the goal of transforming education by providing every child with access to a connected XO laptop computer. These laptops provide a cost-effective way to create learning environments that facilitate the greatest possible development of all children. OLPC is driven by a firm belief that laptops have a unique ability to leverage children’s innate curiosity and desire to learn, to develop critical thinking skills, and to foster a lifelong love of learning. In partnership with Candyce H. Stapen, a travel writer, we facilitated her donation of eleven laptops to Twabuka Community School.
Waste toy Workshop
CITW Zambia hosted a waste toy workshop facilitated by Singakwenza (http://www.singakwenza.org/) a non-profit organisation in South Africa. The workshop took place in April 2015 at Toka Leya Camp and was attended by 20 teachers of grades 1 and 2, and Eco-Club leaders from 6 local schools; Twabuka Basic School, Twabuka Pre- School, Simoonga Basic School, Lupani Primary School, Holly Cross Basic School, and Nalituwe Secondary School. The workshop was aimed to equip teachers to use solid waste to produce toys that can be used for playing, teaching, and learning. Three schools; Simoonga Basic School, Lupani Primary School and Twabuka Basic School have already started reusing their waste to make learning materials and resources. The workshop was hugely successful and has encouraged teachers to help keep the school surroundings and teachers’ houses clean from solid waste through creating learning resources and toys.
The introduction of the Scholarship Programme to Zambia by CITW aims at providing primary and secondary schooling to children from the communities and schools we work with whose parents are unable to afford school fees. Often these under-privileged children, who don’t have the opportunity to continue with their secondary schooling, particularly girls, end up working in the fields and marrying at a young age. CITW administer the programme, buys the uniforms, follows up with the children and pays the fees. CITW assists the school in being able to manage their day-to-day running expenses as the majority of schools seldom collect more than a third of the fees due. Through this programme the school is guaranteed to collect the fees of the children on the scholarship programme. At present we have fifteen children at Primary and five at Secondary and one, Mainza at University studying medicine. Scholarships are a major focus of CITW and we hope to increase the number of students to 50 by the end of the year.
Scholarship Student – Mainza: ”I have been given a gift that no one can take away. I will work hard and make my sponsor proud and I will work back in my community when I am finished my training.”