Recently the Estelle Trust visited us to see how we were using their donation towards the new library at Mfuwe Day Secondary School. We took this opportunity to take them to see a tiny school not far from the airport.
Mnkhanya Community School has being doing a great deal with very little. For some time five teachers have been teaching 400 pupils split into 7 grades in just 2 run down classrooms with very few desks.
Our visitors were so taken with the needs of children and the efforts that the community has made towards their little school that they offered to help. We are delighted to say that the Estelle Trust has agreed to fund a new classroom block which will contain 3 new classrooms as well storerooms and teachers' offices.
This will enable the teachers to keep the classes down to manageable sizes and to teach in a secure, weather-proof and practical environment.
On behalf of the schools, Chief Mnkhanya and his community and especially the pupils we would like to thank the Estelle Trust for helping us make their dream come true.
With funding provided by the Bush Camp Company we are currently managaing the build of 2 new dormitories at Mfuwe Day School. The old dormitory is rather delapidated and uses a building borrowed from the nearby basic school. It is also very overcrowded. The bunk beds are jammed in next to each other and have 2 boys sleeping on every single mattress.
Thanks to the Bush Camp Company we are able to build the school 2 new buildings will each be able to house 42 boys.
The buildings are progressing well, despite the heavy rains causing the delivery trucks to sink axle deep in mud. The first building is now at the top of window level, whilst the other building now has it's foundations and floor slab complete. We hope to complete voth of these buildings by the end of Term 1.
With a grant from The Elephant Charge, an annual off-road motor sport challenge, Project Luangwa took 24 local teenagers to stay at Kafunta River Lodge on the banks of the Luangwa river for a 4 day/3 night safari. We wanted to encourage the kids to gain a better understanding of conservation of their environment and wildlife, understand how a visitor sees the environment and experience exactly what a tourist experiences. We hoped that they would consider a career in tourism or conservation too but above all we wanted them to have fun.
You can read about their experiences and see all of the photos here.
Easyfundraising.org provides a FREE fundraising service where you can raise funds for Project Luangwa when you shop online.
Choose from over 2000 of the UK's best-known retailers including many popular names such as Amazon, M&S, Argos, John Lewis and HMV, and when you shop using the links on our site up to 15% from every purchase you make is donated to the cause you choose to nominate.
It doesn't cost a penny extra to shop and raise funds for our cause using their site, and as many retailers now give extra discounts when you buy online, you can even save money!
Just click here to see further details and register as a user.
In last months newsletter we asked you to help buy a little boy a wheelchair. Five year old John was born with legs that end above knee level and just one hand. Although he can crawl around with remarkable speed he could not go far and was unable to attend pre-school. His horizons were limited to just around his house in a tiny village in Mfuwe.
As the newsletter hit inboxes across the world we set up a page for John on the Just Giving website to enable donations to be made easily. Within a short time we had exceeded our target and had actually raised enough for two wheelchairs. Thank you so much each and every one of you who donated towards this cause. However the story did not end there.
We received an email from John Oberg who is the MD of Sandvik Mining and Construction Zambia Limited in Zambia. John and his wife work closely with http://www.wheelchairsforkids.org/, an Australian organisation that makes and distributes wheelchairs for children in the poorer countries of the World. John kindly offered us just what we needed – a child’s wheelchair especially made for rough conditions free of charge. Of course we accepted and just a short time later John had his first trip out in his chair. Thank you John.
Last week he attended Chiyembekezo Pre-school for the first time and not surprisingly was a little overawed by nearly ninety kids singing and chanting. He soon settled in and is now pushed to school each morning by his big sister. Take a look at how he got on during his first few outings. We've taken so many photos that we had to give him his own page on the website.
This does leave us with the matter of the unused donations. As John is just one of many disabled children in the Mfuwe area and we will set up a specific fund to help these other kids too.
Project Luangwa, with funds raised through the Safari Lodges, is building 6 new classrooms. However with only a few desks belonging to the Secondary school the pupils will be forced to sit on the floor in their new classrooms. Even now three kids will often have to squash in a desk meant for two . . . and these are students taking the most important exams of their lives.
With the planned completion of the new classroom blocks for the end of July our thoughts have turned to providing new desks. And we haven't just got our 6 new classrooms to think about - there's the new community built block of 3 classrooms too.
A conservative estimate of 30 double desks per class means that we need a total of 270 desks. It costs just $65 to buy one double desk. Can you help?
You can buy a whole desk or just make a small donation - it all helps.
If you wish to make a donation then please visit our website at www.projectluangwa.org/donate to see the different ways that you can donate.
If you are a UK resident you can chose to donate either £1, £5 or £10 via text message from your phone. To donate is simple just text the words DESK21 £1 or DESK21 £5 or DESK21 £10 to 70070
As we are concerned about deforestation in this beautiful wildlife area we are not going to use traditional hardwood to make the desks but employ a local business to make them from steel and aluminium.
UK residents are now able to make donations from their mobile phones. Thanks to Vodaphone and JustGiving.com making a text donation is very simple
Just text GIFT21 £1 to 70070 to donate £1 to Project Luangwa. If you are feeling more generous you text GIFT21 £10 to 70070.
You can donate by text regardless of your service provider. We will receive 100% of the text donation.
If making a donation by text is not for you then have a look at all of the other ways that you can donate on our donations page.
Building work is progressing well at Mfuwe Day School. The site is cleared and the foundations are now being dug for both new classroom blocks. A large team of workers is also on site to mould the bricks that we are going to be using. Traditionally these buildings are constructed using locally made brick that requires the bricks to be burnt. This uses a great deal of hard wood and has in the past caused significant deforestation.
At Project Luangwa we have taken the step of using concrete blocks that are made on site using Zambian cement. This is a more environmentally sustainable practice.
This building project has helped to provide a significant employment opportunity for local skilled and unskilled workers. We are on schedule for a grand opening at the beginning of Term 3. We will keep you informed of how we progress. Click here to read more about the work we are doing at Mfuwe Day School..