Children
 Zambia
Project #7320

Support Orphaned Children in Monze, Zambia

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
Emelda
Emelda

One of the great things about sponsoring children is hearing all about them, and realising what a huge difference you have made in their lives. I thought you would like to hear about one of those in Zambia lucky enough to be sponsored currently:

I met Emelda again when I went out last year. She is studying at Manungu Secondary School near Monze. Emelda's favourite subjects are English and Biology – she would like to become a doctor.

Emelda likes music. She doesn't play an instrument but enjoys listening – she thinks that if she tried she would be able to learn. She sings in a school choir.

Emelda started at PIZZ School in grade 1 and continued through to complete grade 9 in 2014, before going on to Secondary..

She said that if it wasn't for PIZZ School she would probably have become a 'street kid' and her life would have been miserable. She is very grateful for the opportunity provided by the school.

If you too would like to sponsor a child, please get in touch!

At PIZZ Primary school the cost is £10 per month or £120 per year (for 5 years) and at Secondary school it is £100 per term or £300 per year (for 3 years)

Janes - still smiling!
Janes - still smiling!

PIZZ School aims to reduce the number of orphaned and vulnerable children on the streets, to provide them with an education, but more than that, to show that they are valued and give the children hope for a better future. Children are all treated as individals and are not abandoned when they leave the school. Where possible, children are supported through secondary school and beyond.

Children who started in the early days of PIZZ School are now completing their education or are already working in the neighbourhood. More are about to move from PIZZ School – hoping to go to local secondary schools, or into further education or training. The staff at the school maintain the link and monitor progress.

One of the children who will leave this year is Janes (pronounced 'Janice'). Many will know her face from some of our literature and publicity material. She is the girl with the frizzy hair and lovely smile. This photo was taken some years back. Janes still has a wonderful smile, but has grown into a confident mature young lady. She says that PIZZ School has improved her ambitions in life. On my last visit, Janes acted as spokesperson for the students at the school and she made a short video for the Hands Around the World birthday celebrations - greeting those attending on behalf of the school. Janes hopes to move to a local secondary school and eventally become a doctor or nurse. Her results are very good and no doubt, with adequate funding, she will achieve her ambitions.

Unfortunately the number of orphaned and otherwise disadvantaged children in the area has not decreased and the demand for places at PIZZ School has increased during this year. In response the school has increased the number of children enrolled at the school from 215 to 370. There are now two streams of grade 8 and grade 9 students to cope with children who lost funding after grade 7. The number of teachers has also has had to be increased to a total of 16.

Despite the challenge of the extra numbers, all the children are still being fed making a difference to their performance as well as their health.

An additional classroom block is now well under construction, though there are challenges to find funding for toilets and water supply.

The local managers and staff continue to do a remarkable job despite big challenges. The school receives no government funding and is totally reliant on donations. Thank you for you support, please continue helping this project and give children like Janes hope for the future.

Group of PIZZ children
Group of PIZZ children
Boys playing at Mrs. Sianga
Boys playing at Mrs. Sianga's house

I have just returned from a few weeks in Monze, where I had the opportunity to spend some time with Mrs. Sianga, her the staff and the children from PIZZ School. I spoke to most of the children who have sponsors in the UK and it is a delight to see how they have developed since my last visit. Very often I notice that the student has a new confidence and a spark which wasn't around previously.

It is clear that the school provides a lot more than just an academic education. The children at the school would be unlikely to attend any other school. Although education at primary level is free, the children are expected to buy uniforms, have shoes, buy notebooks etc.. Many families cannot even provide these basic items. Most of the children have lost one or both parents and the health of a parent or guardian is often poor. We get some idea of the poverty when we realise that a school meal or free uniform is a great attraction to the children. Some of the children even save some of their meal to take home to feed hungry brothers and sisters.

Hands around the World is trying to help the children reach their full potential and so continues to fund some children through secondary school and even university. We would like to do more. It is clear that the school is making a huge difference to the children despite limited funding. The teachers are dedicated and are achieving examination results which far exceed those attained in government schools – despite receiving wages that are a fraction of those their government counterparts receive.

In Zambia the opportunities for young people are limited and without an education the prospects are very poor. I asked two of the older children what they would be doing if they weren't at PIZZ School and both said that they would be “on the streets”. The boy added that he might be in prison like some of his friends and the girl said she might be dead - “because it's dangerous on the streets”.

PIZZ School is providing hope for these children. They can look at some of the former students and see that they too could have a good future. I met Boniface this year. Boniface is a very confident and interesting young man who was a former PIZZ School student. He is now a singer and is popular as a performer at local events. He was happy to write a song for PIZZ School. It stresses the importance of an education – particularly for a girl. He says that (in Zambia) a girl without an education is likely to have problems, she might not be respected by her husband and can be chased from the home. If she is educated she can help support the family better and have a better life. It is clear that Boniface is a talented singer and can put together a professional video. He says that without PIZZ School he would never have been able to develop his talent.

His video is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4imMH7UYqaw&feature=youtu.be

The new classroom block is being built – when I left the concrete slab was about to be laid. Jane, one of our volunteers has just spent three weeks with the children providing extra holiday activities and providing some tuition in computing. She also raised money so that about 100 children could visit Victoria Falls and other places of interest in Livingstone. For about £10 each the children had an experience that they will never forget. So many people in Zambia can never find the resources to see this “Natural Wonder of the World” though it is so close. The headmaster believes that taking students who are about to sit exams often gives them an added incentive to work hard. Their horizons are suddenly expanded and they realise that maybe there are opportunities that they hadn't previously imagined. These trips are not possible within the ordinary school budget.

I left Monze in awe of the wonderful work done by the dedicated staff and wishing that I could do more. We currently provide £20,000 - £30,000 p.a. to pay for regular costs – including teachers salaries and some school fees for secondary and university students. Every penny is well spent but I am aware that it isn't enough. Buildings and equipment are necessary but without well motivated teachers we can achieve nothing, a lot has been achieved over the past 10 years but a lot more is needed to ensure the children are supported all the way.

Your support can make a huge difference, please continue to back the efforts of Mrs. Sianga and her staff.

Thank You


Chris Barrell

Boniface
Boniface
PIZZ Teachers
PIZZ Teachers
Mawini, now a medical student in Lusaka
Mawini, now a medical student in Lusaka

It is now 21 years since Lynda and I set up HANDS AROUND THE WORLD (HATW) on our return from a wonderful and challenging year spent in Zambia. In August we will be holding a party in Monmouth to celebrate with some of our 500+ past volunteers and supporters. Especially we will be celebrating that HATW is happily now able to help more than 2500 children and young people every day.

Many of the poorest children who survive in Africa are orphans. And there are 25 million orphaned children in Africa today; many live without adults in child-headed households, and are hungry every day. More than a million (10% of the population) in Zambia alone! Will they survive? What sort of adults will they become? Of course we need to help more!

About 15 years ago I was privileged to meet Mrs. Veronica Sianga, one of this world’s extra special people. She made a huge impression on me. A lovely ‘mamma’, whilst employed as community outreach worker at Monze Mission Hospital (acting as a combination of hospice nurse, social worker and district nurse) she rapidly found herself coping with hundreds of children being bereaved by HIV/AIDS. She set up PIZZ, a wonderful project, caring for them as individuals and meeting their numerous needs – love, food, clothing, housing, schooling and more. Now retired from the hospital, she continues to make an enormous difference. The project is doing well, and we have been very impressed by the enthusiasm and motivation of the local team; but as the needs are great and our aim is to achieve a lasting positive change in the lives of these children, we at HATW are naturally very keen to do more. Would you kindly help?

Currently we provide school meals to children there (at a cost of just over £1 per child per month), and each month send £1725 for carers’ and teachers’ wages and other running costs. We urgently need to raise about £20,000 to cover the next year.

Lunches at PIZZ are simple, consisting principally of fortified maize meal or rice, but the benefits in terms of health, alertness, school attendance and performance since we started the feeding programme in 2013 have been dramatic! More than 20 children did exceptionally well in Grade 7 and Grade 9 exams, and one former student Mawini M (pictured here) has just started studying medicine at Lusaka University with our help!

Mawini

HATW has several partner projects in Africa and India, where we strive hard to develop centres of excellence, helping them towards self-sustainability through growing food and various income-generating projects, including seeking local support.

Thank you for reading my personal appeal. There are also opportunities to visit PIZZ if you wish – just let me know! HATW Annual Report / Accounts can be viewed on the Charity Commission website, or I will happily send you a copy.

With very best wishes,

David Steiner

Mawini M - now a medical student
Mawini M - now a medical student

 

I have just received a report from Mrs. Sianga who initiated the project and manages the school on a day to day basis. I will therefore let her tell you about the project in her own words.

Pizz School had the vision of reducing the number of street kids, even if the school had a lot of challenges the idea was to save the children, since its inception the school has made an impact to a number of children in Monze and the impact of the project is now seen. It is just like a light placed on the top of the mountain and the number of children is increasing day in and day out. Currently the total number of children from Grade 1 up to Grade 9 is 380 at Pizz school. 11 pupils are in grade 11 under this project then 5 are in grade 10 (these children are being supported at local secondary schools). We are proud to say the school project aim has started bearing fruits - one of our pupils by the name of Mawini is now at university of Zambia under school of natural science.

ACHIEVEMENTS 

  • The project is feeding the 380 children and as a result children's performance has increased.

  • The project is paying a number of teachers in order for them to manage teaching the children,

  • The project managed to maintain the school,

  • The project managed to increase the number of desks,

  • The project managed to build a strong room so that the children can write their exams at the same school.

  • The project managed to procure the science kit which is important for the children,

  • The project managed to procure a photo coping machine which is vital in any school.

  • The project managed to support the pupils with school uniforms.

  • The project managed to support a number of children with different types of clothes.

  • The project managed to pay for pupils in secondary schools.

CHALLENGES

  • The number of the children has increased and the challenge is food, because at the time when we were budgeting the number was not like this. Most of the schools in Monze are not offering the services which are offered here, hence the increase of the number. Everyday people are coming to ask for places for the children, but it is only that we don’t have enough classrooms of which we have limited the number of pupils.

  • There is a need to increase the number of teachers because they have introduced new subjects in Zambia. These are business studies - under this is: book keeping, accounts (office practice) computer lessons, agric and home economics. There is a need of buying new books for these lessons and we also need computers for the children because those who are in grade 9 this year have to write these subjects in the final exam.

  • Most of the children are coming from homes where the is no electricity and studying is a problem. We are requesting you to help us with solar lights. If we can have a number of them I think it can help and increase the number of children passing .

  • As the number of children has increased, there is a need to increase the number of desks.

  • Some children who passed this year have had no one to help them so far (to enable them to go to secondary school). It is a challenge because some can go back onto the streets.

In July we hope to send a team of volunteers to help with the building of a new classroom block – for which we have obtained separate funding. Please help us to continue to support this wonderful project and enable Mrs.Sianga and her team to bring an ever brighter light to the people of Monze.

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Organization Information

HANDS AROUND THE WORLD

Location: MONMOUTH, MONMOUTHSHIRE - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​www.hatw.org.uk
Project Leader:
David Steiner
Executive Officer
Monmouth, Monmouthshire United Kingdom