Maanumbwami Community School

The education system in Zambia is quite poor and many children are still not attending school. Most often this is due to the families being unable to afford school fees and uniform costs. LiPAF has sponsored over 30 children thanks to donations from our Canadian friends.

Unloading the truck

Kids Unloading the truck

There are also two types of schools. In town, the basic schools and high schools receive government funding and although it is inadequate the facilities are better and these schools are able to provide more teachers. In rural areas, many people have established their own ‘community schools’ to repond to the needs of children living outside the city. They receive little government funding and are often dependent upon some outside sponsor.

Maanumbwami School Classrooms

Maanumbwami School Classrooms

This past week, I visited Maanumbwami Community School located in Lebuyu on the outskirts of Livingstone. In conjunction with a local social club called ‘The Round Table’, we donated several boxes of clothing and some school supplies. The members of The Round Table also purchased some blackboards and supplies and we made it a joint effort to help the school and its children.

Greeting us with songs

Greeting us with songs

The older children sang a welcome song and several other gospel songs as we gathered to distribute the clothes and supplies. These clothes are the last of the donations we shipped to Zambia in January.

Clothing sorted by size

Clothing sorted by size

Pastor Smoke Chewe, started the school a few years ago to respond to the needs of the children who were unable to attend regular school due to school fees and uniform costs. He started with six children and it has now grown to over 300. Many of the children are orphans.Children lining up

It is a great joy to assist these children yet the number needing help throughout Zambia is overwhelming. We realize this is such a small ‘drop in the bucket’ but tell ourselves that every little bit helps.

Recently, our cousin Nicole and her class at Blantyre Public School in Toronto, did some fundraising and donated $450.00 to LiPAF. After seeing Maanumbwami, we wrote to tell Nicole that we’d like to use the money to help the children at this school. I will be meeting with Pastor Smoke Chewe on Tuesday to decide how the money can best be utilized. We also have some shoes to take to the school and would like to become more involved in helping them to construct proper classrooms.

Maanumbwami School

The school also has a small outdoor kitchen where three volunteers cook up a big pot of porridge so the children get something to eat each day. Porridge for the kids

We have many challenges in Livingstone as we try to make our theatre project a success. Tourism is way down and it is a constant struggle to find enough hours in the day to complete all our marketing and other work involved. At the Capitol Theatre, we have reduced our shows to Fridays only and still our audiences are small. Fortunately, the numbers attending Dancing Around Zambia at the Zambezi Sun Resort are much better and are keeping us afloat. We have a great cast but as anyone knows who has employees there is a great responsibility in working hard to keep them employed. Despite the difficulties we are optimistic that next year will be better when more people start to travel and Livingstone gets more visitors as a result of the World Cup of Football being staged in South Africa.

Pastor Smoke Chewe with his mother who helps out at the school

Pastor Smoke Chewe with his mother who helps out at the school

After we distributed the clothing the children all ran back to the cement block building,  which also serves as a classroom, in order to try on their new outfits. If you look closely, you can see an orange t-shirt with a butterfly embroidered on it. This is one of many t-shirts donated by our friend Melody in Hawkestone who designed this image.

Children trying on their new clothes

Children trying on their new clothes

In other news, we are looking forward to returning to Canada at the end of November for a short holiday. Now that we have set the dates, we are busy planning our vacation so we can see as many people as possible. Friends are planning a welcome home party for us in Hawkestone, my brother Dennis is flying to Ontario to see us, and Sean and Makiko and Julian will be home from Japan. We will be flying to Saskatchewan to see Marilyn’s family and, of course, spending some quality time with Ryan and Sally.

Today, I am taking two girls from the compound to the swimming pool at a small lodge called Zig Zag. Lynn, the owner, has generously offered to let me teach them to swim. Yesterday, I went looking for swim suits and there were none to be found in Livingstone. People don’t swim here because they will get eaten by a crocodile. At a discount charity store called The Dapp, a yound staff member named Chipo helped me search through huge piles of clothing and we found four suitable swim suits.

1 comment to Maanumbwami Community School

  • Wayne Crossley

    I am hoping that Nicole will read this column

    Also will look forward to seeing  you in November


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