Zambia Open Community Schools gives tribute to the life of Ms. Betty Ward who committed much of her time and passion to raise funds for the Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Zambia.
Vale Mrs. Harriet Sianjibu-Miyato
Sunrise: 21st July, 1951
Sunset: 4th August, 2020
It is with grieving hearts we are sad to inform you of the passing of our
very dear friend Mrs. Harriet Sianjibu-Miyato in Lusaka on Tuesday 4th August.
Harriet has been our inspiration and mentor since we first met in 1992 in Melbourne where she was an AusAid scholarship student at Deakin studying a Masters in Health Education. Harriet has been the reason we have visited Zambia so many times since our first trip to visit with Harriet in 1996, to work and learn from Harriet about the rights of the child to education.
For the love of teaching and serving vulnerable children in the community, Edith Mwauluka has been teaching voluntarily at Libuyungu Community School in Nkeyema District, Western-Province.
Born on 2nd January, 1988, Edith has been teaching as a volunteer teacher at Libuyungu Community School for the past six (06) years.
Ms. Mwauluka started teaching at Libuyungu in 2015 when she realised that she could help vulnerable children in the community by letting her passion lead the way and make a difference especially after noticing children walked long distances to have access to education in that area.
She has been teaching Grades one and four at the school and her efforts of teaching have in most cases been appreciated through gifts in kind- a bucket of maize, chickens and many other farm products that the parents contribute to support her activities at the school.
Two years ago, Mwauluka enrolled for a Primary Teacher diploma program through distance learning at Gideon Roberts, a private University. However, she could not continue with the studies as the little stipends received from parents in Libuyungu could not meet the University needs (fees and study materials).
In a chat with ZOCS during the monitoring visit to the District and School, Mwauluka still shared about her deep desire to get trained from a recognised institution (University or College) saying undergoing training will help her enhance her teaching skills and ensure quality education is delivered to the OVC of Libuyungu. Getting a University qualification will also place her at an advantage for possible recruitment by Government (being put on Government pay roll) while she continues serving at the same school.
Choma Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Organization(CADRO) is a non-profit organization set up on the 13th of December 2018. Our main objective is to offer free help and support services to alcohol and drug addicts, their families and communities.
CADRO’s motto reads “from addiction to production “, a sentiment that strongly reflects its belief that every addicted person has the potential to become productive given the appropriate help.
The most cardinal achievement that the organization has scored in the past two years is the setting up of a support group for recovering alcoholics which meets once every week. The support group uses the Twelve Steps of AA and it’s the first of its kind in this part of the country. A large component of the clients are from poor households who can’t afford private counselling.
CADRO has started a unique project for recovering alcoholics which uses farming waste to make charcoal briquettes. This project has a great deal of importance because of the enormous amount of deforestation that has taken place over the years as our population and need for charcoal increased. This project is meant to empower our support group members with a source of income since unemployment is a huge problem in Zambia especially for those with the stigma of alcoholism.
Kondanani Zambia is excited to share the news that a pre-school is to be built at Kalumbila, in North-West Zambia, 150 kilometres west of Solewezi, managed and supervised by our valued partners, Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS)
The Kalumbila Centre of Excellence is a new site based in North-western Province of Zambia, where ZOCS intends to develop and promote a sustainable, all-inclusive learning environment for Children. This will include the provision of education services from Early Childhood Education (ECE) through Primary and Secondary School to vocational skills training. Kalumbila Centre of Excellence, is earmarked to serve as a Community hub from which various services including health, sport, nutrition and others, will be easy for learners and community members to access. Adults who’ve never had any opportunity for education, will also be able to access education.
Rationale for the Centre of Excellence
ZOCS believes that a holistic approach to raising the most vulnerable child is an answer to the current challenges of productive skills among the youths as well as the high levels of unemployment in the country. Once OVC (and all children and youths) are given an opportunity to not only to acquire knowledge but are also exposed to value based life skills and attain vocational skills, they obtain the power to correct their own behaviour and negotiate through life and to meet lifelong challenges ahead of them.
The centre is just getting started after the Chief His Royal Highness Chief Mumena graciously gave ZOCS a 15 hector piece of land. This idea of the Centre of Excellence in Kalumbila was born from the initial visit to the Chief by the late ED Mrs. Harriet Sianjibu Miyato. A follow up meeting was done that led to the acquisition of the land.
Jenny & John Preston were thrilled to have a ZOOM meeting with Ms Cleopatra Chona-Muma, Executive Director of ZOCS about the development of Kalumbila Centre of Excellence, and immediately conveyed the concept to the family of Richie, who whole-heartedly agreed to the building of a pre-school at Kalumbila; Richie had always hoped to be able to make a difference in Zambia, and prior to his death onn 9th. September, his hope-filled gift came to Kondanani Zambia’s account. Kalumbila is a newly developed mining area, inn north west Zambia, with no educational opportunities for Out of School Children;
In the picture from left: ZOCS Resource & Mobilisation Manager Mr.Pimmy Muzyamba, Education Standards Officer –Open and Distance Learning (ESO-ODL) for Solwezi Mr. Felix Luputa, ZOCS Executive Director Mrs Cleopatra Muma, His Royal Highness Chief Mumena, ZOCS Research & Advocacy Manager Ms. Petronella Sibeene and ZOCS Programmes Manager Ms. Regina Lialabi.
1. Zambia is a country at peace – 41 years of independence without serious conflicts. Seventy-two tribes; seven major tribes; living in harmony; without ethnic clashes. Zambia is the envy of other African states!
2. Zambia is noted for hospitality – people who are friendly and welcoming, people who have received several hundred thousand refugees in recent years. It is the poor hosting the poor.
3. Zambia has rich resources – great assets of minerals, land, water, agriculture, tourist sites, etc. It is true that these have not always been wisely utilised – but they are there for the future.
4. Zambians are known for hard work, for resilience – dedicated to feeding families and building a strong nation. (This is particularly true of women!)
5. Zambians have talent – given a good education, they can match anyone. We know this from the wonderful staff of young Zambians who work with ZOCS and many other NGO’s with whom we have contact.
6. Zambia is committed to democracy – a nation struggling, faltering, but persevering in efforts to build democratic structures and attitudes. Zambia has an anti-corruption fight that has even put the former president on trial for “plunder of the national economy”!
8. Zambian civil society is very strong – coalitions of NGO’s, trade unions, professional associations, church groups, etc., that are articulate and intelligent in shaping development policies.
9. Zambian churches are dynamic and spiritually vital, with plenty of ecumenical cooperation at many levels. This involves service of the needy and a prophetic voice in pursuing social justice.
10. Zambian youth are a powerful force – 45% to 50% of the population often million is below the age of 15! They experience plenty of difficulties but also are committed to work for a better future.
Buying a Chipo for Life gift is simple and easy: this is how it all started…
When Jenny & John Preston first visited the village of Kalalasaka in southern Zambia, the village headmen conferred Tonga names in them: John’s name is Milimo – meaning Worker, and Jenny’s name is Chipo – meaning Gift. Friend Nell who designed the newsletter livery suggested we use the name Chipo to highlight that all the giving opportunities are intended to have ongoing effect on the lives of recipients.
For example the gift of goats is linked to a community management project whereby every 3rd progeny then goes to the next poorest household in a particular village.
Gifts of door or window frames will accelerate the building of a 3x 1 classroom for Kaanga Community School.
Each gift thus adds an extra dimension towards the opportunity for village children to flourish in life skills – including mathematics, reading & writing, history, health – food groups, hivaids, prevention of abuse, and local herbs and fruits.
If you are interested, please download this link and fill it in and send back to Kondanani Zambia.
The order form below can be printed out and sent to the email address shown.
Mark Preston’s description of Kondanani Zambia’s first visit to Kaanga: “My wife Isabel and I had travelled to Gamela and Kalalusaka to monitor improvements at the villages with the ZOCS team and Mayor of Choma and he asked if we would mind diverting on the way back to Choma to visit a small village of Kaanga where he, the Mayor, was very impressed by the effort and enthusiasm of the village, and he hoped ZOCS and Kondanani would consider supporting the school.
We travelled for what seemed like a long distance, but was actually quite short according to my GPS because the roads were so bad and the 4WD’s that we were travelling in had to travel so slowly to traverse the dry route (I can’t imagine what it would be like in the wet season).
What we saw when we arrived I can only describe as impressive: the effort that the village had gone to build schools houses, toilets and to begin to create the bricks required to build more school buildings. I was impressed by the effort that has already been put into the school and think it is a great project to support.’
Isabel alerted us to the fact that Kaanga is always cut off from the rest of the country when the rivers flood. You’ll notice Isabel standing by the piles of bricks ready for the building of a 1 x 3 classroom block.
Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) reports to us that already the community has a full Parent Community School committee in place, which demonstrates their willingness to be active in the school development plan. ZOCS suggests that income generation activities of chicken and goat raising will be of assistance to this community. (as supporters will recall the goat scheme has been of great value in numerous communities.)
Presently at Kaanga there are 96 male students, 128 female students, with two male volunteer teachers. The Parent Community School Committee has 5 female and 5 male members.
Kalasaka dressmaker Professor Mudenden given a 3 year bursary to Masuka High School, southern Zambia, to become a qualified community school teacher for Kalalasaka Community School
Since Professor Mudenden graduated from UCZ CHODORT TRAINING COLLEGE 4 years ago, not only does he have a thriving business at Kalalasaka Village, he has also been teaching young people the rudiments of pattern making and machine sewing, and helping Grade 2 pupils at the Community School. His commitment to fulfilling the trust placed in him in his 1 year training in Choma, has led the Preston family charity – Kondanani Zambia Inc – to find an avenue to give Professor the opportunity to further increase his education.
He has been awarded a 3-year bursary to study to Masuka Secondary College, which is close enough to Kalalasaka village for Professor to attend school, to study, and continue his dressmaking business.
Kondanani Zambia Inc has been committed for 20 years to working alongside ZOCS – Zambia Open Community Schools, Lusaka, Zambia, and its CEO Mrs Harriet Sianjibu Miyato. Mrs Miyato states:” I have monitored his performance since his CHODORT training, his commitment to his work is obvious, and he has been ready to do additional work of teaching Grade 2 learners, an indication that he is really determined to become a teacher, in his village of Kalalasaka.”
Cleopatra Chona-Muna, Research & Advocacy Manager at ZOCS says: “not only will he become a more skilful teacher, but the whole Kalalasaka community and learners will benefit; he is a determined person, and we have no doubt he will excel in his studies”.
Have you ever seen true sustainable social entrepreneurship in action? I mean uncontrolled growth in the most difficult environment with the most minimal resources imaginable?
I have, and I have called it fifty goats.
Why fifty goats?
Eight years ago, I joined a phone call with my parents and the executive director of ZOCs in Zambia and we brainstormed about ways to further affect the rural community schools that Zambia Open Community Schools supports with entrepreneurial concepts that would bring IGAs – income generating activities – to grow self-reliance to support teachers & provide requisites for the community schools to continue to flourish.
The criteria would only require a small amount of seed capital, no organisational structure, no working capital, just the pure entrepreneurial spirit of those who joined the entrepreneurial experiment.
A small spark was the target, no long-winded, difficult to manage project to build, just a spark of an idea and the small amount of seed capital to get it going and perhaps some encouragement along the way.
So we started, 27 goats, 14 female and 13 male. We organised donations from some churches in Australia and away it went.
ZOCS began by simply explaining an idea. Distribute the goats between the most vulnerable families (female-headed households, often the grandmothers) in the most rural village. Each family would get 3 goats: 2 females and one male. As each individual family’s herd grew, they donated the next 2 goats to another vulnerable family and one to the community schools herd.
The thing about goats is, they are tough, they eat anything, they don’t require land rights, they don’t get many diseases and they produce protein-rich milk and meat and the ownership rights of women were covered.
And so it began.
So 7 years later, this spark of an idea, self-sustaining, self-growing at a rate without any external input is one of the most amazing things I have experienced in entrepreneurship: one of the best examples I have ever seen. I use this story in many of my discussions on the subject of innovation and entrepreneurship because when you say those words many people think driverless cars at Google or CERN in Switzerland!
The program has affected over 1,023 families in Zambian communities in the most profound ways. Children that can grow up to be healthy adults, families able to pay for the children’s education which is at the centre of any growth scenario of ANY country on earth.
So why did I call this an entrepreneurial bonfire? Because from the smallest spark of an idea a whole world opened up and grew at a rate that can’t be slowed down: the dream of many a multinational organisation! True innovation at its best operating in the most difficult conditions imaginable to most people.
Join us at Kondanani Zambia and Zambia Open Community Schools as we continue on a journey through innovation and entrepreneurship in Zambia with projects that we hope will grown across Africa and the world.