"Stories about the different challenges that children around the world face in getting to school always put things smack bang into perspective for me. I mean, elephants blocking the roads and rainy season flooding, these are things we would never even conceive of here in New Zealand. I remember seeing kids paddling their canoes to school when I worked in Bougainville and it made me realise that maybe my 20-minute walk to school as a kid back in Auckland wasn’t so hard after all." ChildFund Programme Officer Matt Fowler.
Imagine being terrified of crossing paths with a wild animal on the way to school? Thanks to the construction of Mandombe Primary School through ChildFund in Luangwa in rural Zambia, this is no longer the case for 213 children.
Previously the students from the villages of Mandombe, Kapyanika and Kamoba villages had to travel up to 16 kilometres to get and from the nearest school. With the risk of running into wild animals, especially elephants along the way.
Also during the rainy season, access to the school for two of the villages was completely blocked by floods and children simply couldn't get to school. Absenteeism was high.
Parents and others in these communities wanted their children to be able to go to school and learn and have access to education safely, so they initiated this project and worked on it with ChildFund's local partner, the Luangwa Child Development Agency (LCDA).
Why education is a priority for ChildFund?
Providing access to education for children is one of ChildFund's five key focus areas. Why? Because all children have the right to a high-quality education, but yet there are millions of girls and boys who don't complete a full course of primary school.
ChildFund's work in Luangwa, Zambia
In Luangwa, ChildFund delivers impact through our local partner LCDA. The rural location in Zambia, near the confluence of the mighty Zambezi and Luangwa rivers means that wild animals roam free in these communities. Animal-human conflict is a regular occurrence resulting in damaged crops and sometimes loss of human life. Water access is limited, the risk of malaria transmission is high and school drop-out rates are also high.
By 2026,our partners and families in Luangwa envisage communities in which children and youth have their basic needs met, and are protected from all forms of harm and abuse. We are working with the community to a plan of strategic goals, which we call a Road Map, to achieve this. Until then, we need your help to implement our life-changing programmes and projects for children in Luangwa, Zambia. Read more about our work in Luangwa, Zambia here.
Thank you so very much to ChildFund supporters and partners that made this school a reality for children in Zambia, giving them better access to a brighter future.