Further to the November report where we updated you with proposed changes at Pizz school, we have decided we would like to pause any further funding for this project until we have more clarity on progress being made.
Two members of the HATW staff team will be visiting Zambia in early February to learn more about the changes happening within the education sector and to understand the challenges faced by those at Pizz and the difficulties presented with the desired change in status to a community school.
We would like to thank you for the support that you have given this project to date and for the positive difference you have made to so many children’s lives. We are pleased to share that the exam results for the end of the academic year in 2022 for Grade 7 and Grade 9 were very good. We are grateful for the dedication and hard work of all the teachers who have supported them.
We look forward to being able to update you again in March.
Things are changing at Pizz school in Monze… HATW has always funded Pizz as a private school as there was not an alternative. Schooling in Monze was not free and fees were prohibitive to many vulnerable children going to school. Once fees were paid then a uniform was required, as well as school shoes and schoolbooks. All of this was simply out of the question for many of the children.
Following a visit in May, we learned that things are changing in Zambia with a new President bringing in education reforms, aiming to make education accessible to all. Progress can be seen already but of course, there is a long way to go.
We are currently working with the local department for education to enable the school to change status from private to hopefully becoming a community school. This will secure government support for paying for teachers and the costs of running the school. The project will benefit from improved sustainability due to government funding as well as increased participation from parents. We are excited about the potential for much greater community involvement and the benefits this will bring.
We will be visiting again early next year to see how things are going and to determine how we can best support the children and the school to develop and thrive. I look forward to sharing more news then.
Thank you for your support.
I visited Monze at the end of May and early June this year along with one of our Trustees – Maggie Hickland, her first trip to visit the school. It was the first trip out to any of the HATW projects since lockdown in March 2020. It felt like there was a great deal to see and do. It was a delight to see the children once again and to see how much they have all grown and changed in the past two years. We met with staff at the project and the management team to talk through issues and meet children who are sponsored. We also visited several local schools and spent time understanding challenges and benefits to how they are supported.
One of the main changes that had taken place in August 2021, was a new President was elected in Zambia - Hakainde Hichilema. He is from the Southern Province, where the Pizz school is situated and was very much elected by the people for positive change in Zambia. One of his big pledges is to reform education for all children and to ensure that barriers such as school fees are no longer stopping children from getting an education. He has announced free education for all. As with all change, this takes time and so there is a big recruitment drive in Zambia to recruit a further 30,000 new teachers. Over 100,000 teachers have applied for these roles.
With all these changes, we had meetings with the Ministry of Education and wanted to understand what this would mean for Pizz school. The Ministry of Education were incredibly positive about the changes and what help, and support would be available going forward from the Government for schools such as Pizz. We discussed this with the local team, parents, and members of the community to understand their thoughts. HATW is currently looking into all these options with the local team in Zambia. At present, all costs such as salaries, running costs, books, uniforms for sponsored children etc are paid for by HATW as the Pizz school is listed as a private school. We are keen to secure local support and ensure the sustainability of the school going forward for the children and local community.
Lots to investigate for the future to ensure that the school will continue to benefit the 600+ children who are currently there as well as all the pupils who will join the school in the years to come.
Thank you for your support.
It has been a busy time at Pizz School in Zambia. Exams were taken in December for children in Grade 7 and Grade 9. There was a good pass rate for children and we were pleased with the results.
Longer school holidays of 4 weeks follow for the children, more like UK summer holidays. The opening was delayed as there were some reported cases of Covid locally and the Government advised schools to stay closed for another 3 weeks. Fortunately, this did not affect any of the pupils or teachers at Pizz school. All staff and pupils continue with regular hand washing to help keep them safe.
It was back to school and the start of term at the end of January, as this is when the new academic year starts in Zambia. This is busy time as there is a great deal of change for children moving grades within Pizz school, but also those going on to other local schools. Killian (local project manager) has been busily registering and paying school fees for Grade 9 students (Pizz school runs up to Grade 9) who have passed and who then move on to Grade 10. They complete Grade 10, 11 & 12 in local secondary schools. HATW is delighted to be able to support 30 students to complete these grades at secondary school. Sadly there are still barriers to this being open to all students, as they are required to pay fees to attend these schools.
With the change in President and promises of free primary and secondary education for all Zambians, HATW continues to explore all possibilities for the children at Pizz to be able to access these opportunities. As with any change, this takes time and we continue to monitor this with our partners at Pizz. For the time being, school fees are still a requirement to go on to secondary school for these children.
We are hopeful that this change will be something that we can report on in the future.
Thank you as always for your support.
It’s exam time at Pizz School in Monze and all the children are studying hard (we hope)! But it isn’t always easy to study when you have other household chores to do when you get home from school. Then when things go quiet and you have time to get your books out, it’s already too dark to read or write…
The light fades early evening every day in Zambia and it gets very dark. With no streetlamps and many homes without electricity, the children at Pizz school in Monze, struggle to study in the evenings. We’ve heard stories from children who have had near misses with candles, like falling asleep with the candle still burning. Solar lamps provide a safer alternative.
Last year we raised funds to purchase over 100 solar lamps for children in Zambia. Due to school closures and lockdowns, it took some time for our partners at Pizz School to purchase and distribute these. But thanks to your support, children like Matthew (pictured above) will be able to study in the evenings now. The reach of this support extends much further than one child though - many children study together and other family members in the household also benefit from the lamps.
Making it possible to study at home is another way that we can support children to reach their full potential.
If you would like to find out more about this initiative and how you can help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you as always for your interest and support.
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