Children
 Zambia
Project #7320

Support Orphaned Children in Monze, Zambia

by HANDS AROUND THE WORLD
Vetted
Happy children at School
Happy children at School

A child who had lost both parents was found by a young man, whilst visiting his parents at a fishing village a long way from town. The boy caught fish in order to survive, because he had no one to look after him. Fortunately the young man brought him to PIZZ School asking if they would allow him to enrol. He is joining many other children with their own stories at the school, where now at last there will be people keeping an eye on him, and he will get a meal each day.

I am just coming to the end of a two month visit here in Zambia. I have been so impressed by the way every child is given individual attention at the school and any issues are followed up with the guardians. This care is rewarded with good attendance at school and excellent academic results.

Some who haven't necessarily been very successful academically are now employed as builders, shop assistants and one is even now a vicar.

Thank you for your continued support, you can be assured that there are many children benefiting from your donations. You couldn't use your money in a better way!

 

An empty Bowl
An empty Bowl
PIZZ Teaching Staff
PIZZ Teaching Staff
Mrs Sianga leads celebrations at School
Mrs Sianga leads celebrations at School
Henry Tembo
Henry Tembo

The students from PIZZ School are not forgotten when they leave after Grade 9. In Zambia the children have a further 3 years of study before they finish their secondary education and we are keen to ensure that the students achieve their full potential.

PIZZ School provides the support and encouragement needed for the children to have confidence to move into local secondary schools if they pass their grade 9 examinations.

This year a total of 74 children took the examinations and a remarkable 53 children passed. With the examination pass rate in many Zambian schools at less than 10%, this was a wonderful result and a testament to the dedication and hard work put in by Mrs S and her staff.

We would like all these children to complete their education. It costs about £300 per year per child to pay secondary school fees, so the success of PIZZ school also presents a challenge! So far most of the successful children have been enrolled in secondary schools, including Janes who was featured at the end of last year. She obtained excellent results and has been accepted at one of the top Monze secondary schools.

Mrs. S keeps in touch with her former students and where possible I meet them when I visit Zambia. I will be returning in May and staying for about two months.

Henry T, one of these students, is now a young man. He studies at Manungu Secondary School on the south side of the town. He enjoys biology and chemistry and plays football for local team The Young Arrows. He told me last year that he would like to become a journalist. I am hoping that he will write a brief article about himself which we could use in a future report.

Please continue to help us to provide the education for Janes, Henry and all of the other children for whom we are making a huge difference.

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
 

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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

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