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.”