I am a teacher running a small school on the edge of Lusaka. Most of my pupils can't afford to go to a government school. At some point in the last few months we have jumped to 151 children between baby class and Grade 5.
Love and hugs are free at school, so is ringworm, repeatedly!!!
Thursday, 14 January 2016
A New Year
Grade 3, December 2015
In Zambia a
new school year start in January. At the end of last year we said goodbye to
our Grade 3 class and wished them all the best in their new schools. This week
we have opened for the children to begin their next year in school. This is
always done with a little bit of uncertainty – Which children will come back?
How many new children will there be?
is no different.
Patricia, Anna, Juliet, Diana, Zamiwe
We have a new
teacher joining the Staff at Taonga School this term and although she has a lot
to learn and adapt to has made a good start.
So far the
children have been in school for 3 days and I have enrolled over 30 new
children and taken applications for a further 30+.Registrations usually continue for a few
weeks at the beginning of term but I already have full classes.
issue facing us this year is that due to various economic issues the number of
children claiming the parents don’t have money is increasing. I know it’s a very real problem
for the families here as the exchange rates are working against them and the
price of everything is increasing. I do find it slightly frustrating however that many of the parents can find money to go to the bar.
At home the
boys have had a good Christmas. I was in the UK for two weeks which was nice seeing lots of family and friends but not having to do too much travelling around. I arrived back to find a new boy. Don explained in his newsletter last week “Our latest case is
desperate – a 14 year old boy called Masauso. Born HIV+, he had
meningitis as a child which left him mute, though he can hear and see and
responds to kindness. He is almost unbelievably malnourished, and arrived
wearing a plastic carrier bag as a nappy. We were called as an emergency
but told he was fine except he could not talk. However he really needs 24
hour care and we are simply not able to do this. In the meantime the
other boys have rallied round and been fantastic with him, caring, bathing
feeding and changing him, but we have had to call some larger charities to come
and assess him to see if we can make a plan for his future care.”
a lovely nature and is very affectionate. He has now been moved to a hospice.
It is not the best setting for him but at the moment seems like the only place
as they can provide the nursing care he needs. We are still looking at places
in special needs facilities for him, but so far have drawn a few blanks.
All of the other boys went back to school this week. We have also sent 3 of my previous students with them. Joas, Christina and Hope were in grade 3 at Taonga School last year. They started on Monday and so far are loving their big adventure!
At the beginning of this week we said goodbye to Memory. She has got a scholarship to study at African Leadership University in Mauritius!! We are all very proud of her but the house seems far too quiet!
for support and prayers throughout a difficult 2015. It is easy to focus on the
disappointments and difficulties through the year but we have also had some
great achievements. To finish the year I was told that Joseph, who was one of
my first Taonga pupils to go elsewhere, got well above the national average in his end of primary exams. This is a great achievement!