Written by our Livingstone intern Zoe Chambers
Our Community Development Fund is used to complete numerous little projects for the communities surrounding Livingstone. It does anything from building classroom blocks to buying seeds and books. Here’s how our community development fund has impacted one school in Zambia.
The Libuyu Community School sits on the outskirts of Livingstone. With the bustle of town left behind, it sits in a quiet almost deserted plain with the only sound being that of the children’s voices drifting from the school. In 2014, the Happy Africa Foundation helped fund the construction of the building that stands today and only last week, along with the help from our African Impact volunteers and staff, we finished building a reservoir on the grounds.
Before the renovations the school was operating out of a community hall. The room was partitioned using screens to separate classes but they were unstable so along with the distraction of having multiple classes taking place in one room there was also a safety concern. Mr. Malama, the headmaster of the school told us, “If one thing slipped out of place the whole panel would fall onto many children. That is not an environment to learn in. These children are good students but there was so much distraction they found it difficult to concentrate. Something needed to be done.”
In January 2014, 3 classrooms were built on the new site with the children moving to their new classrooms in October. There has already been a visible change in the students’ concentration levels, and Mr. Malama is excited to see that reflected in their exam results after a year in their new classrooms.
As for the reservoir, days would go by where the school and surrounding areas would have no water as the tap would run dry. The reservoir provides the means of collecting the water when it is available to store for those ‘not so rainy days’. In addition to providing the school with a new source of water the reservoir also allows the children to start gardening and growing plants and trees to make the area greener and provide some outside shade. The project has only just completed but Mr. Malama already started planting plants left right and center. “Your help goes a long way. In putting up flowers and trees we can make a nicer environment to work in. We are thankful for that”, Mr. Malama expressed.
Mr. Malama isn’t ready to stop there though. Currently the grade 1’s and 2’s are being taught back at the community hall as with 8 classes to teach out of 3 classrooms it would be a struggle to fit all them in. This has produced a supervision problem as the hall is on a separate site. Mr. Malama is keen to get all his pupils in the same place. His plans for a new classroom space involve building a simple structure using metal poles and iron sheeting which can be developed into a more permanent structure over time. However the funds are not currently available on his side or ours, so all plans will have to go on hold along with the Mr. Malama’s improvements for the school.
With so many ideas for improvements we are excited to see where this vibrant headmaster will take Libuyu School and we will help as much as we can.