Kamawindow, which means a 'small window' is a community school in Choma District of Zambia that enrolls 215 pupils in a dilapidated and unsafe one classroom block. Established as a community school in 2012 in Mandona village, pupils at Kamawindow still learn in a makeshift building made from mud and poles while sitting on wooden poles as there are no desks. The thatched structure with visible cracks (Kamawindow) is a glaring danger to both the pupils and teachers.
The school is not conducive for learning. It is dilapidated and lacks teaching materials and textbooks. Pupils sit on wooden poles and have to write from their laps because they do not have desks and chairs. Up to 10 pupils are forced to sit on one pole. Pupils rely on one textbook which the teacher also uses to conduct lessons. During winter, pupils make a fire inside the class to keep warm. This is a health hazard to the pupils as they inhale the smoke and places them at risk of fire.
The solution to helping the community of Mandona is more than building a school as the school will need materials, staff and even lighting solutions to be fully functional. Chikanta Community Schools Development Project-CCSDP is a local non-profit that plans to build a one by two (1x2) classroom block fitted with desks, tables, chairs and blackboards to cater for the 215 pupils. Supported by the Zambian Governance Foundation (ZGF), CCSDP will lobby that to ensure state support for the school.
The long-term impact of upgrading Kamawindow community school is more than simply providing a new classroom to Mandona village but has a wider impact to Southern Province and Zambia as a whole. The 215 pupils of Kamawindow will have a modern, safe structure in which to have their lessons, which is well staffed and equipped and through CCSDP and ZGF's policy engagement efforts the National Operational Guidelines for Community Schools will be upheld by government.