Zambia Service Trip- The Jewel School
We’ll be helping build a school! Here is a little bit about The Jewel School, and their needs.
The Jewel School is a community school located approximately 5 miles south of central Lusaka. The school was started by the inspirational Miriam Banda, an ex-teacher, who came to the area after being widowed and found there was nowhere for her children to be educated.
Miriam founded Jewel in 2009, and set up the school in an old church building, which she currently rents from the local church. Despite a complete lack of resources, the school has flourished and is currently hosting 155 children from the ages of 2 to 14. Parents are requested to pay a very small fee (which is custom for schools in Zambia), but most of them cannot afford the fee. To help pay the rent Miriam makes rugs and cakes to sell after school. The teachers are all unpaid volunteers.
The school has been receiving support on a small scale over the last few months, providing basic provisions such as desks, chairs, blackboards, books etc. These are all items that they did not have access to prior. They continue to be in desperate need of a new location. The current rent they pay is too high and the facilities are very poor and basic.
With a new building, set on its own land, student numbers and parent contributions will increase, and there will be an opportunity for further income-generation which in turn will boost the school funds further and enable the school to become self-sufficient. There is a precedent within Zambia for the provision of new community school buildings to persuade the government to provide qualified teachers, which would be a great long-term achievement.
We are looking forward to being a part of a project that helps furthers education and helps children improve their future. As part of it, we’ll be clearing land, helping dig the foundation building walls and assisting anywhere else we can be of service.
We will then be going on a 4 day canoe safari down the Zambezi River. We are all looking forward to camping on the banks of the Zambezi river and to see all the wildlife and sights. We will spend our final day in Livingstone to see Victoria falls.
We are all VERY excited for this trip. We will be posting pictures and will stay in contact as much as we can throughout the trip – so check back soon!