Zambia has 1.2 million orphaned and vulnerable children. They face widespread poverty, often walk long distances to school and may have to work. HIV/AIDS has taken a heavy toll with many children heading households. Learning at Taonga Market was created to reach children in the communities where they live. However, rural areas are not electrified and the high cost of batteries makes listening to the programme unaffordable.
Even in deep rural areas, our radios enable students from Grades 1-7 to reliably access Taonga Market lessons on community radios station. The radio programme reaches the poorest and most disadvantaged children - 35% of children enrolled are orphaned. One Prime radio supports several classrooms, benefit 100s of children, making any donation highly cost effective. Since the programme was launched in 2001, more than 800,000 Zambian children have been educated from the programme.
A 2008 survey by Zambia's Ministry of Education showed that children who took part in the Taonga Market radio school programme performed better than conventional schools in reading, numeracy and life skills. Their overall performance was also considerably better. The Ministry certifies the programme and when completed at Grade 7, students receive a certificate enabling them to enter higher-level grades in government-run schools. Since 2001, more than 800,000 Zambian children have been educated.