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29/11/2017

The Gift of Education

It has been our passion this year to try to help those less fortunate than ourselves and one of the causes we have been supporting is the Tukongote Community Preschool project in Zambia, Africa.

This project began in 2009 when a local lodge, Waterberry Zambezi, sponsored a preschool teacher to teach those children in the village who were too young to walk 10 km to the then nearest school. Lessons started out in the village church and later moved to a mud and pole structure but thanks to further support from the lodge and the local community, the preschool now has its own purpose built building with bright and cheerful classrooms to accommodate the evergrowing number of pupils.

Through money raised by the company and staff donations, we were able to give books and art materials to this incredible project to encourage the children to learn to read and be creative. The ability to change a person’s life starts with education and teaching children to read and write opens doors that we take for granted.

Haye, Nadine, Nico and Natiska went to visit the village and school project enabling them to personally deliver our donations, which was a very humbling experience. There they met Kelly, an English lady who has been carrying out charity work in Zambia for the last 7 years. She has helped to set up the preschool and is working with the community to build a grade one and two classroom block which will be the start of Tukongote Primary. They then plan to add one grade each year and slowly build up to grade seven.

Rural preschool education is a relatively new concept in Zambia and Tukongote are seeing interest and school attendance steadily grow as villagers realise the importance of this first step on the educational ladder. The school now employs six teachers who focus on play, participation and exploration in learning. On the day of opening of the new building earlier this year, the whole village turned out to sing, dance and have a look and there were huge smiles all round.

We very much admire the work that Kelly has done in Zambia and will continue supporting her in 2018 to help her to fulfil her worthwhile dream of establishing a much-needed primary school in the village.

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