Project Zambia update
Our colleagues are now back from Zambia, and all the donations and challenging work have paid off. The most important thing being the good mood at the school. They have mentioned to us how much they have enjoyed the trip with visits to incredible waterfalls and enjoying time with the locals! We have enjoyed hearing their story, and now we would like to share it with you.
"After some problems with the power of a few switches and some creative routeing of network connection, we managed to set up the internet connection. The network was to be tested in the evening when we were to have ‘tablet night’ with students from the school. Here, students can usually use laptops and tablets to watch videos on the local server colleagues that our Danish colleagues set up last year, and other offline activities.
After a brief introduction to the Internet, there were wild cheers and applause's after a Google search for "Zambia" appeared on the projector (see these amazing scenes on our Facebook page). We allowed the students to browse the Internet themselves, searching for everything from "Agriculture" to "Zambia's best rapper."
Is there enough power?
One of the biggest challenges at the school our colleagues were helping with is electricity, as the only source of power is provided by the solar panels on site. If there happens to be a cloudy day, then there will be a limit to how much energy is collected. When the sun goes down at 18:00, power is generated by charged batteries.
They knew that this would be a challenge, so they had to ensure that all routers and beamers were turned off when not in use especially as there were several evenings where power was already used up.
The team enjoyed a hike to Eventure waterfall, which is located 7-8 km from the school, in the mountains of Hiket. It featured beautiful nature that went from village Mbete with lots of kids and through their maize fields containing the primary ingredient for most their food.
A little further in and it becomes very forestry and jungle like with vines, rivers. They had to use machetes to cut their way through. They eventually reached the waterfall which is apparently huge, and the sight of it was impressive with 75-meter-high falls in the late rainy season! It also meant that they couldn’t visit it up close to be safe. On the other hand, they could swim nearby which they enjoyed after walking for a long time.
The kindergarten experience
Our colleagues say that the kindergarten experience was the experience of a lifetime as the young people had the opportunity to watch cartoons for the first time. The joy was unexplainable, and the kids laughed and had fun while they ate food.
There was also a Living Library for school volunteers and students that our colleagues got involved with. The Living Library tour starts with a 30 minute trip to a nearby village. On the trip, the students were providing the entertainment by singing songs, and you could see that it made them happy.
On arrival at the village, they were received by a great bunch of happy, jubilant children, students and volunteers and everyone went out to the city's sports field where a large crowd gathered that continued to grow.
The whole idea of the Living Library is that the students take the lead and become role models for the rest of the kids. It consists of a play and a range of games.
Our colleagues tell us that it was simply amazing to see how happy all the village children were, how the students grow with the job, control all the games with pleasure - and the village children seeing them as role models.
The rest of their trip was spent on adjusting the setup and documentation, finding the power sources that use too much electricity and a final dip into the fantastic water at the school. All our colleagues have said that they went home feeling as though they have made a difference in the lives of the young Zambians, and gained insight into how much can be done in Zambia and other countries in need with small amounts of money.