Education is the only universally successful means of escaping poverty permanently, and for generations. Most Zambians are keenly aware of this.
When I first went to Zambia, I was approached by people asking for books, as most of the schools and most of the country had no books. I stood in a school of more than 400 pupils that had only one book; an Oxford pocket English dictionary. As a result, I started bringing books out to Zambia in suitcases and donating them to local schools. In 2014, Catherine Daka of Graceland School told me that if I could only do one thing for Zambia, to help solve all its problems, it would be to bring literacy to Zambia. That insight inspired our work in education, which is now at the core of what we do. We started just bringing out books, but now we do a lot more.
Our main activities in education are;
- We deliver forty-foot shipping containers with school books and children’s books to Zambia.
- We share those books out among many schools around Ndola, and throughout Zambia.
- We conduct teacher-training seminars every summer, particularly for training in literacy and how to teach reading and writing, led by Irish volunteers who travel to Zambia for that purpose.
- We provide training in computer skills, also led every year by Irish volunteers who travel out to Zambia.
- We have established free public libraries in two shipping containers, being one in Chipulukusu and one in George.
- We have established several computer labs, where instruction in the use of computers is available free of charge.
- We are in the process of constructing a purpose built public library.
- We partner with select schools to better equip them to deliver the best education they can to their pupils.
Click below, for further details of our libraries and school partnerships.
Our first library did not have a physical space, in that we distributed approximately 24 tons of books among many schools in the area around Ndola, to constitute one large shared library which we call the Sr Grace Library. After that, we provided doors and windows in two of our 40-foot shipping containers and set them up as public libraries, accessible to all free of charge. Those libraries have thrived and to support their development we have now employed four librarians. Our big project at the moment is that we are planning to construct a purpose-built 140 seat public library in Chipulukusu. Read more about these libraries in the links below.
We have worked with, and continue to partnership with, the following schools in promoting literacy in Zambia.