I recently returned from a successful visit to Pizz in February. This was my first trip to the school and it was brilliant to meet the team and the students and to learn more about the project. We spent just over a week at Pizz, which gave me time to see how things work and where help is needed.
I worked closely with Mrs Sianga and Killian during my stay and built a good relationship with them both, which is important for the future of the partnership. During the first few days, I got to look around the school and meet the teachers as well as the management team. This enabled us to identify specific needs, which we have subsequently discussed with the team back in the UK and we hope to support the following initiatives:
- Sending money for exercise books, which will help develop reading skills
- Securing funding for older students to progress towards a career (a couple of students are applying to universities and another is starting a course to become a lorry driver
- Searching for funding for more computers to help teach computer science
- Sourcing a motorcycle to help the local team visit children and families in the community and monitor pupils sponsored at various secondary schools
The rest of my time at Pizz was spent getting to know the children. They put on a welcome show for us with singing, dancing and poetry, which was all really nice to see. I also sat in on a few classes, which was interesting and allowed me to learn more about education in Zambia.
I went with Killian for a day of home visits out in the community to talk to some of the families whose children where at Pizz. This was one of the hardest days for me seeing the level of poverty in Monze. But something positive I took from the day, was that the families were happy that their children were at Pizz and that the project was making a difference to their lives.
For the last few days of my visit, I had time to talk with all the sponsored children in our Hand in Hand child sponsorship programme. It was nice to learn more about the students and I now have plenty to report to our sponsors.
Overall, it was an incredible experience being at Pizz. I could see just how passionate the management team and the teachers are about the work they are doing. They all care so deeply about the children they are helping, and this makes a huge difference to the project. I had such an incredible time and I cannot wait to get back out there!