A Little Love Goes A Long Way
“Win the heart of a little child and you can mould the character of a woman whose influence will extend and be still ennobling the world when we have long been forgotten” – Mother Gonzaga Barry IBVM
Australian Loreto Sister Elizabeth Donnan ibvm has been working in the remote and impoverished region of Lukulu in Zambia for the past 14 years. This part of the country is so difficult to access that it has very few government schools, let alone trained teachers, so the rural communities are left to fend for themselves as best they can. Sr Elizabeth helps local village communities improve their educational capacity by upgrading of facilities and providing desks and equipment.
It is incredible that something as simple as a desk is a reason for children to want to go to school.
The overall success of the Community School Project depends heavily on teachers having the basic resources in order to teach. MWIA funding has greatly assisted the project, not only by providing desks, but also stationery, sports equipment and text books for teachers, along with formal training for voluntary school teachers.
An update by Sr Elizabeth Donnan ibvm:
Libingi Community school
Libingi Community school received sixteen desks which have been distributed between three classrooms. The head teacher said the students had been sitting on the floor but now feel that going to school has something different to offer in the form of these desks – Not like home where they also sit on the floor.
Likona Community School
Likona Community School received eleven desks in the most recent desk project. The reaction of the students and the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) was one of delight. We arrived unannounced at the school and members of the PTA came from the surrounding villages to express their appreciation. The classrooms in this school are a joy to behold with ‘talking walls’ as they call the hand drawn posters on flip chart sheets provided by Loreto. Different patterns of reed weaving, also the work of the children, hang from the rafters. One teacher is trained and the other is undertaking a diploma in teaching by distance learning, but neither is employed by the government as yet.
Chimbanda Community School
Chimbanda Community School received fifteen desks for a new but incomplete permanent-structure classroom. Loreto insisted that the classroom should have a door, and a lockable one at that. The students are thrilled as they no longer have to carry stools. They have real desks on which they can write in relative comfort. The staff are pleased as they now have three functional classrooms for their eight classes of 250 children.
MWIA’s provision of educational support for Community Schools in the Lukulu and Mitete Districts works towards the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 4: to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all.