Due to the success of the Eco-Club at Twabuka Primary and its impact on the school and community, 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 10 teachers. The teachers involved in running these clubs took part in the annual teacher training hosted by CITW at Toka Leya in July 2014, where volunteer teachers from the El Hefni Foundation, USA, ran a three day workshop on experiential teaching methods. The El Hefni team guides workshop participants through the process of creating dynamic Eco-Club lesson plans that are driven by physical activities, investigations and learning games. The response and enthusiasm from the teachers who attended the workshop has been overwhelming and we look forward to El Hefni’s return for further training later this in 2015.
“This is going to go a long way in aiding my experience in teaching, making work easier and worth it.” ~ Teacher Twabuka Primary School
"The teachers welcomed us into their school communities with kindness and generosity. Together we enjoyed days filled with interactive learning, stimulating conversation, and wonderful collegiality." ~ Ann Johnson, US Science Teacher
The Eco-Clubs meet weekly during the school term to learn, share ideas, discuss, make friends and have fun with lessons and activities that are focused on environmental science, life skills and team building. As with the Zimbabwe Programme, the three year curriculum is closely aligned to the Zambian Government curriculum and is 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 will be added to the Eco-Club Programme as we go forward in 2015. These two schools are in the Kafue area and have been affiliated with CITW in previous years, participating in our traditional children’s camps.
Eco-Club Projects to-date have included:
- The celebration of Arbor Day where each Eco-Club member was responsible for planting and nurturing their own indigenous tree in the school grounds. As water is scarce in these areas, the children bring a 2-litre coke bottle of water to school each day to feed their trees.
- Students hold Cleanup Days every two months, where they pick up litter, recycle and tidy their school grounds
- Vegetable gardens and vermiculture beds have been established at Twabuka Primary School as part of the Agriculture programme and to generate funds which assist with minor repairs and maintenance at the school.
- Tippy Taps: implementation of these unique and environmentally-friendly hand wash stations near the toilets and kitchens has been a huge success at the schools.
The CITW Eco-Club Programme also includes Children’s Camps which are held annually and are an extension of the Eco-Club programme which is designed to incorporate and consolidate the Eco-Club curriculum. Selected Wilderness Safari Camps close to paying guests for a short period during the wet-season so that we can host groups of disadvantaged and deserving students on an intensive 3 night/4 day camp. The programme is aimed 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 has a well-structured programme and with the help of Wilderness Safaris guides as mentors, is designed to increase self-esteem, teach new skills and impart knowledge. To date CITW Zambia has hosted 326 children in camps.
School and Community Projects
Deworming Programme at Twabuka Primary School: The Deworming programme is aimed at promoting good health in both children and teachers at Twabuka so as to ensure that they receive maximum nutritional benefit from the food they eat. If left untreated, intestinal worms are the cause of numerous serious illnesses, anaemia being the most prevalent, and the children are at high risk due to low hygiene levels in the rural areas. In February 2015 a total number of 145 children were dewormed by a Registered Nurse from the Simonga Health Post; during the administration process the nurse also discovered that most children have not had the BCG vaccination so 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 Headmaster.
Provision of transport to school teachers at Twabuka Primary School: Twabuka Primary School is approximately 30 kilometres from Livingstone town and about 8 kilometres of the Livingstone- Shesheke road is impassable during the wet season. The School has 175 students enrolled for 2015 and of the 8 teachers employed, only 4 are accommodated on the school property. The remaining staff are required to commute to and from the school each day and unfortunately the Government allowance for transport is insufficient for local transport costs. This resulted in absenteeism by the teachers who could only afford to travel to the school. Teachers and students were demoralised and demotivated so, thanks to support from 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 was completed with thanks to donor funding in December 2013. Thanks to the additional accommodation provided, the School has been able to appoint another teacher thus bringing the teacher:child ratio down to a more manageable number. Further funds are available to build another staff house and this project will be undertaken in 2015.
With thanks to donor funding, Sinde Village and Twabuka School, situated near Toka Leya Camp were provided with a solar water pump and two water tanks each, as well as a solar-powered electric fence around the school vegetable garden to keep elephants out; a playground for the village pre-school and we have completed accommodation for two teachers at the school.
Laptops for students at Twabuka Community School: In partnership with Candyce H. Stapen, a travel writer, we facilitated her donation of eleven laptops to 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.
CITW has recently introduced the Scholarship Programme to Zambia where the aim is to provide primary and secondary schooling to children from the communities and schools we work with whose parents are unable to afford school fees. These children, particularly the girls, end up working in the fields and marrying at a young age if they don’t have the opportunity to continue with their secondary schooling. CITW administer the programme – buy the uniforms, follow up with the children and pay the fees. By paying the school 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. At present we have 10 students on the programme, nine at Primary School and one at Secondary
“How smart these children look in their new uniforms bought from the money you have donated towards the scholarship students. We are so thankful to you all for wonderful work you doing in Sinde village and Twabuka community School.”- Head, Twabuka Primary School