The CITW Zambezi team spent the week in Livingstone, Zambia, last week, delivering Books for Africa reading and textbooks to schools in the region. This is the first time that Zambia has had a Books for Africa donation. This is hugely exciting and we are honoured to have been able to deliver over 400 boxes to 22 schools around the Livingstone area.
Four Ministry of Education workers kindly dedicated their time to helping us with the distribution, including sorting, loading, and offloading boxes. The Ministry also provided a truck for the four days which was a huge help as we were able to load boxes for several schools at a time. The District Education Board Secretary and his assistant met with us each morning to discuss logistics for the day and ensure that we were able to reach the schools on our list.
On arrival at each school, we were met and warmly greeted by the school head. After explaining who the books have come from and the types of resources that they were receiving, student volunteers helped with the offloading to a secure room until the books are unpacked and displayed in the library or classrooms. At some schools, teachers were so enthusiastic that they began unpacking boxes and stacking shelves immediately – a heart-warming sight!
Many schools in Zambia lack educational resources, restricting the opportunity for students to be exposed to reading. Thus, Books for Africa distributions open up valuable opportunities for students to extend their learning. Over the past three years, we have received Books for Africa donations in Zimbabwe through the Zambezi Schoolbook Project, totalling around 100 000 books. As we have seen in Zimbabwe over this period, the provision of literary resources has a positive impact on student literacy levels and grades. Exposure to reading material is one of the greatest gifts that children can be given for their education, and we are so grateful that so many schools and students will benefit from this.
We would like to say a big thank you to Books for Africa for this very generous donation. These resources are hugely valuable and will make a significant difference for thousands of students for many years to come. The recipients at each school were so grateful, as these resources will fill a gap in the provision of resources from the government, providing students with valuable educational resources to complement and augment their learning.