Chikumbuso’s sponsored 5th graders had a great year thanks to the donations we received and the books and school supplies we were able to purchase. Teacher Andrew’s class of 2010 has a remarkable number of young boys and girls eager to move on to the 6th grade and this year, we plan to make it possible for every one of them by opening our own 6th grade classroom.
Providing an education for children in Ng’ombe compound has been a passion. Education means that these children will have exponential opportunities to get out of poverty and into jobs. Our students command of English is very good. Not just because we have excellent English teachers, but also because of the many English speaking volunteers and visitors. Zambia has many languages, but English is the official one used by government and business. Our students can be proud that they stand competitively with their peers in government schools.
I sat down with one of our continuing students, Christine Tembo, to find out just how Chikumbuso’s Community School has prepared her to further her education. Christine came to meet me dressed in her school uniform, smiling a big smile. We sat on the couch and she told me that she has been at Chikumbuso since it began five years ago.
“Wow, so what grade did you start in, Christine?” I ask.
“Oh, I started in grade 1,” she responds.
“So, you’ll be going into our new 6th grade then? That’s wonderful,” I say.
“No, no, I’m going into high school in January. I’m writing my exams next week and I am sure I will do well,” Christine confides.
You see, Christine was older than most 1st graders that we would encounter in the States. Children in the compound that can’t afford to go to school, don’t. Period. That is unless they are fortunate enough to come to somewhere like Chikumbuso.
The wonderful and extraordinary thing about Christine is that in five years she has managed to put eight years of schooling under her belt. And, as she said, “I am sure I’ll do well on my exams.”
Her favorite subjects are civics and science and she wants to be a nurse.
I’m very excited about Christine and what she will become. I also tremble a bit when I go through the compound and realize how different her life could have been. One without a hope for the future.
Thank you, dear sponsors, for making Christine’s hope one that is not futile!