Children in the Wilderness (CITW) Zambezi is fortunate to have an ongoing relationship with The Bourke Family Foundation. The foundation provides solar lights which are distributed to students and teachers to help them study or mark in the evenings. We focus on distributing lights to Grade 6 students who will be able to make use of them in Grade 7 when they have national examinations to write. With an estimated lifespan of five years, the students will also be able to keep the lights through high school to help them complete homework and study in the evenings.
The Bourke Family Foundation also recently donated five solar lighting kits which have been installed on library roofs in schools that we partner with. The kits come with everything that is needed for the installation process from start to finish and include bulbs for eight lights – enough to provide much light within a library.
The Bourke Family recently visited Zimbabwe and went to Jabulani Primary School, located 20 kilometres outside Victoria Falls. After meeting with the founder of the school, they were welcomed by traditional song and dance from Grade 7 students before going on a tour of the school. Following this, ECD students did a small ‘gymnastics’ performance to music, much to the delight of the guests. Form 4 students then performed the National Anthem and received solar lights which the Bourke family was able to be a part of. After the distribution, the students received an explanation of how to use the lights for the best efficiency, such as removing the panel to charge lights so that the body doesn’t fade, but also for security so that the unit can be kept inside while the panel charges.
As the solar lighting kit had recently been installed on the library roof, the Bourke family was able to switch on the lights for the first time – something very special and hugely exciting. All the teachers were present and there was much jubilation when the lights came on.
One aspect that really stood out for the family was the partnerships between various international organisations that have brought the school to where it is now. For example, the library building was funded by Hunter Valley School in Australia, books were donated by Books for Africa via Zambezi Schoolbook Project, shelving was donated from the Beit Trust, and of course lighting by The Bourke Family Foundation. It shows how much can be possible through creating partnerships and working together.
Thank you to The Bourke Family Foundation for their continuous support and the generous donations of solar lights to the students and solar lighting kits to the schools. These will have a marked and lasting impact for thousands of students, teachers, and community members.