Month: October 2010

Focus on Education

One of Malambo Grassroots’ main objectives is to support education in southern Zambia. In early 2010, one of our volunteers went to Zambia to work with schools. Here’s an excerpt from her letter to York House School in Vancouver, BC, who sent donations over with her:

“I have visited several schools in rural Monze and they all are doing the best they can to educate their students with very limited resources.  The Malambu School on the Moorings farm is one of the smallest schools I have been to.  There are 250 students.  They have no electricity and no running water (none of the schools here do).  To get water, they must walk back into the village about 1 km to the well. There they pump water and then carry it back on their heads in buckets. 

“Below is a picture of one of the classrooms.  It is in need of repair and they do not have enough desks.  Learnserve, an American organization, is donating 16 desks as well as money to rebuid this classroom and one other.


“There are no supplies in the school other than their curriculum books, most of which are donated by the two women I am staying with.  The government doesn’t have enough money to support the schools here.

“There are three teachers at the school plus the headmaster Mr. Mweetwa.

“On Thursday Jocelyn and I taught an art class to the Grade 6 and 7 classes.  After we explained what we were going to do (drawing animals first in crayon and then painting over the drawings), we handed out white paper for everyone to draw on. Many of the children just stared at the paper for a very long time and did not draw.  We were told that none of the students had ever held a crayon or painted before.

“Once they got going, they were very focused and excited and they loved the bright colours that came from the paint. 

“We later found out that there were two small boxes of crayons at the school, but they are considered so precious that the boxes had never been opened.

“Here the students are using the paint and paintbrushes that your class donated.

“I gave the school your cards today and the children stood up and read many of them out loud.  They enjoyed receiving them and they will be hung up in the school.  They spent a long time looking at the photos, the artwork, and your words.  They haven’t had an opportunity to see many of the things that you see everyday such as the ocean, beavers, mountains, snow, and snowboards.”


How it all began…


Omega Nyanga in a dress she made herself.


In 1992, Omega Nyanga offered to sew something beautiful for Marylee, if Marylee could only find some thread and fabric. That year, Zambia suffered a severe drought and all the workers on Moorings Farm had been laid off. There was no crop, and simply no work to do.

Omega had been training as a seamstress in northern Zambia when her family told her to return to Moorings to care for her ailing mother. But she knew she could still create, if only she had the materials, and that maybe she could make some money using her skills.

The Malambo Women’s Group grew out of Omega’s fledgling idea and Marylee’s own experience of teaching an earlier generation to embroider in the 1950s and 1960s. Neither of them could have guessed how many people would benefit from Omega’s simple suggestion, nor how successful the resulting group would be.

The Malambo Women’s Group was just the beginning of our work in Zambia. We hope to keep expanding into communities throughout southern Zambia.

Marylee is on her way to Zambia!

Marylee Banyard of Malambo Grassroots has probably already landed in Zambia for another six months with the Malambo women and our other projects. And what a trip it was!

* a 10 hour drive from Nelson, BC to Vancouver,BC

* a 10 hour flight from Vancouver to Heathrow airport in London

* a 6 hour layover in Heathrow

* a 10 hour flight from Heathrow to Lusaka, Zambia

She left Vancouver at 8pm on Saturday and arrives at 6:30 am on Sunday to be picked up by Sipriano, a driver from Moorings Farm.

In Lusaka, she will spend the day shopping and running errands before her 3-hour drive down to the Moorings Farm.

When she left Vancouver, it was 10 degrees celsius. When she arrives in Lusaka, it will e 36 degrees celsius.

 Did we mention that Marylee is 75, and Malambo Grassroots is her “retirement” project?

Have a safe trip, Marylee / Mum / Granny —-

Marylee Banyard walks with children from Malambo village.

Scrabble Tournament Fundraiser


Join us for the Scrabble © Tournament Fund Raiser!

Sunday, November 14, 2-5pm

West Vancouver United Church

2062 Esquimalt, West Vancouver, BC

Come and play Scrabble © to raise money for three schools in Monze, Southern Zambia, Africa. The money raised will be used to buy desks and school supplies, the building of additional classrooms, water and electricity, transportation to and from school, and for adult basic education or skills training for men and women in the community.

All proceeds will to to Malambo Grassroots. Tax receipts for donations of $20.00 or more will be issued by Rose Charities Canada.

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