Thursday, August 14, 2008

Melvin's Stay at Northcross Intermediate School

The last day in Christchurch almost ended on a bad note as I missed my flight to Auckland. Nevertheless, I managed to be booked on another flight the same evening. Kathy picked me from the Airport and took me to Chelsea's family who hosted me for one night.
The following morning, I was dropped at Northcross Intermediate School and was welcomed by My Partner Teacher - Lynn who quickly introduced me to all members of staff at the school. She took me on a topur of the school and showed me different classes, library, Gym, performing arts center, sports courts etc. Thereafter, she took me to her class 'year 8'. The students welcomed me using English and Maori Greetings. I then told the students about Zambia and my school-Mukupi Basic School. Students asked alot of questions which I gladly answered.

On the second day, I observed Lynn teach Mathematics and Science and she used several methods such as discovery, enquiry and Group work. I also attended a departmental meeting to which Lynn belongs. The meeting discussed many things which included assignments which were supposed to be given to the year 8. During the evening, Lynn's house was filled with her relatives who came to meet me. We had a lovely dinner.

On day three, I accompanied a class to the Zoo. This trip was part of a Science lesson they had leraned. I saw sea lions, seals, Kiwis, penguins and a lot more.

On day four I observed Lynn teach her class how to use a Calculator. I also went round the class assisiting students who had difficulties. Thereafter, I accompanied Lynn and other teachers to Long Bay College where a lot of performamces were done.

On the Last day I observed some lessons in mathematics and Lynn gave them homework. I assisted some students on how to write the work in their diaries. I also attended the school assembly at which I gave a small speech to the whole school. I told them about Zambia and some of the challenges faced in schools. Lynn's students presented a card and some soccer balls to me. In addition, books and other stationary were presented to me to handover to my school. As I walked out of the Hall, all children were saying 'Goodbye Melvin' it was rather emotional.

On a relaxing side, Lynn took me to see the beach. I also went to watch a movie and also wnt onto a race car and I drove one for about 20 minutes. I also visited a Snow Planet which has man-made snow. I enjoyed eating Mcdonalds food too. Lastly, I accompanied Lynn to a group known as Toast Master- the groups tries to encourage public speaking. Generally, it's been a good experince for me as a teacher and especially as School Manger. I've learnt a lot and will take this knowledge back to my colleagues at Mukupi School.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

William Day 3 Reporoa College

We drove off from Kate's house safely and reached school in good time. We had a staff meeting for 20 minutes followed by normal teaching.
I taught Mathematics to Year 7 students and Social Studies to Year 8 students. In both classes pupils participated fully and actively. Pupils discussed freely in groups and reported their findings.
I attended a drama lesson where I learnt a number of different types of games. I also talked to Year 12 students about Zambia and they asked me a lot of questions.
At 3 oclock we visited Harry Kalizinje from Zambia who is now working in New Zealand. He invited me through Sally after learning that I was at Reporoa College from Zambia. We had a nice time with his family and had a dinner together.
Finally we drove back to Kate's house safely.

William Day 2 at Reporoa College

I woke at 4:30am as usual to prepare for school. At 6:40 we drove off to school and reached it in good time.
Christabel and Sally visited the school and we had a brief talk about how I have been spending my time in NZ, particularly at school. Thereafter, Kate introduced Christabel and Sally to the principal and they had a short discussion about ChildFund Global Schools Programme.
I observed a social studies lesson to Year 7 students about Olympics. During the lesson students in pairs were identifying the different types of sports by looking at the pictures.
I was requested by Year 8 and 9 students to go to their classes and talk about Zambia. Two people from newspaper interviewed Kate and I about ChildFund Programme.
After lessons at 3 oclock we drove back to Tihoi Venture School where Kate lives. At 7pm I attended a drama performed by Tihoi students where I was asked to say something about Zambia. They gave me a gift of a card and a t-shirt. The day ended well.

William Day 1 at Reporoa College

I woke up at 4:30am and took a shower in readiness for the day. After breakfast at 6am we drove off to Reporoa College from Kate's house.
We reached the college in one hour, had a staff meeting where Kate introduced me to all members of staff and briefly talked about ChildFund Global Schools Programme. Then all teachers went for assembly in the hall to meet the students. There was a powhiri and kapahaka and then the principal introduced me to all the students. Then it was my chance to say something about myself.
After assembly, I observed a mathematics lesson and social studies. In the afternoon I was taken to Reporoa Primary School to say something about Zambia. It was a good day!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

William Friday Day 5

This morning i packed my bags to get ready to go to Reperoa. First up this morning the staff had a meeting and then we went to another primary school called lynmore Primary. (helens daughter attends this school). We talked to year 5 students about Zambai and they were very intelligent and asked excellent questions. I danced for them also and they loved it. Helen, Vanessa and I went to a bakery for morning tea and had a donut filled with cream. I saw the police chasing a car. (NO GUNS THOUGH).

We returned to Rotorua Intermediate and I was touring the Tech Arts area looking at the specialist subjects which we call Home economics. I then returned and Helen and Vanessa had a shared lunch prepared with all the students. They all got up and spoke and wished me well. I am going to miss this school.

All afternoon we played games and sang. All the students gave me a hug and said good bye. They are very upset I am going. Now I am waiting for Kate to pick me up.

William Thursday Day 4

Thursday was a busy day for me as pupils in all classes wanted to interview me about Zambia. They wanted to know more about Zambia. As for this reason I went from one class to another untill lunchtime.

Thirty minutes before lunch I was interviewed by the rotorua review another newspaper about Zambia and the Child fund programme.

In the afternoon we had a school assembly to recieve the Mayor of Rotorua. I was also asked to talk about myself and Zambia and this went until the end of the day.

I went to Whakarewarewa thermal village and saw native maori culture and mud pools with another teacher.

I had KFC for dinner. I attended the school disco organised by Helen and Vanessa. This was for raising funds for Nangoma basic school. The disco finished at 9.00 and by this time I was very tired as I am still adjusting to New Zealand time.

Tomorrow is my last day at rotorua Intermediate.

William Wedneday Day 3

I taught a Mathematics lesson about angles in a Zambian way to vanessa's class. Pupils enjoyed the lesson as every one participate actively. I liked the way pupils performed in groups. In every group pupils were very free to discuss and find answers to the given questions. Group representatives reported their findings with less dificulties. All the three groups into which pupils were divided did extremely well. An individual exercise was given to the students. Out of 32 pupils who were present at the time of my lesson only 1 student got 0 out of 4 all the rest got 100%.

I also taught a Mathematics lesson to Helens class in a similar way. Pupils participated fully through ouyt the lesson. Group work was adequatly done as pupils discussed freely and also reported their findings.

Individual lesons were also given out and only 1 child got 1/2 the rest got all the questions correct.

This evening I drove a 4wd drive truck around a farm. This was great. I rode a horse this was amazing and I loved it. I went surfing on a car bonnet over 15 acres. I fed pigs, horses and went flying on the back of a trailor full of sileage.

I am looking forward to tomorrow.

Frida's Stay at Massey

My Week at Massey High School

My Partner teacher is Laura Swan who teaches English and Dance. During the week, I home-stayed with Mr and Mrs Kirsten Shaw. They have 3 children 2 boys and a girl. One of the highlights of my first day was being introduced at a staff briefing and school assembly. Thereafter, I observed some English lessons. My main observation was that teachers at Massey are facilitators and all lessons are child centered.
The main highlight of the second day was the visit by the Minister of Education, Childfund Staff and press person fronm NZ Herald- Valmoana. There was a Question and Answer session with the students. On my third day, I taught a Dance Lesson where I taught Zambian dances to Year 9, 10 and 12. On my fourth day, Kirsten took me to visit Massey University. On my last day, I made my farewell remarks, students asked me questions about Zambia, they also brought food for the whole class to share. Ms Swan read out letters from the Zambian Students. Students from Maseey also wrote back. Generally, Teachers and students are very friendly, the learning environment is very good, nice buildings and alot of out door activities. Each Teacher has a lap top- Wow! and before I forget- these people love their culture. Despite the hard work- I've had a lot of fun watching movies and eating sushi.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Melvin Day Three

I woke up this morning at 6.55am in Christchurch, which is in the south island of New Zealand, at my partner teacher, Helen Chileshe's house. I was offered breakfast of coffee and toast. We had breakfast together with Helen's husband, Evans, and her 2 sons Luamba and Temwa. They told me that when I get home after school, I should give them my clothes to wash.

We got into the vehicle to go to school - Christ's College. When we reached the school, I observed an English class with Year 9s with Sharn, in which they were learning about the formation of a story using pictures. There was another teacher in the class named Paul, who was showing the students how to use the computer as their story. I thought the flow of the story in picture form was very nice.

Next, I went to the chapel where boys were singing (this is an all boys school). There were many, many boys in the chapel learning new songs from the chaplain. They used 2 different hymn books.

Then as we went out of the chapel, Dirk took me to his mathematics class to tell the students about Zambia and in particular, Mukupi School and Mumbwa. In this class, he introduced me to his students and asked me to talk to the students. They had many questions, like 'how do we manage to teach a lot of students in only 4 classrooms?', or 'do you have a lot of educational resources at your school?' and many more questions. I felt good talking to these students because it's my first time to stand in front of so many white faces and talk, that they wanted to know about Zambia.

From there I went again the Sharn's class, this time a senior one, and back again to Dirk's class after that.

In my lifetime, I have never seen such a school as Christ's College. It is one of the oldest and most expensive schools in NZ. Buildings are very attractive, the teachers are very responsible for their subject and class areas, and are on time and professional. The relationship between teachers, students and teacher to student is very respectful and they do many activities together, including taking lunch breaks and playing sports.

I would like to take this experience of how the lessons are being conducted and the good staff relationships back to Mukupi and to Mumbwa.

William Day Two

I observed Vanessa's lesson in English. Pupil were asked to write about themselves to Nangoma pupils in Zambia. There it was time for Mathematics. Pupils were divided into three groups, one group was with Vanessa, the other group was with me and the third group was busy with some computer work on Geometry.

I enjoyed teaching a small group. Pupils participate fully, they named, described and drew 2 dimensional (2D) shapes with less difficulties. The group had only 10 pupils.

Two people from the Daily Post News paper came to interview us; Vanessa, Helen and I about ChildFund Global Schools Programme.

In the afternoon I observed another lesson in English about reading. Pupils were asked to answer the question. How do humans generate speed, after reading a passage that was projected on the wall.

We planned the lessons together with Vanessa for the next day. Now I am off to the movies with the principal of Rotorua Intermediate, Garry.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Willam Day One

I was Welcomed by some traditional songs followed by my speech them a speech by one of the rotorua school teachers. I was taken around the school and shown all the buildings and play grounds. I was introduced to the class of hellen & vanessa where pupils asked me alot of questions about zambia.

I was also givin change to ask the pupils questions about new zealand .
In the afternoon one of the pupils taught me some basics of how a computer is operated .

It is hard to believe that their are 25 computers in each class and no blackboards.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Day Seven

The sleep disturbing call to prayer was missed by me this morning. When I pried open my eyes and peered at my watch I noticed it was 5:30am. Five minutes too late foe the mosque. (Yep its Karlene here) The routine is the same for all of of us on day four of teaching. Breakfast together, squeeze into gthe four wheeled drive vehicle for the bump and grind of of the road to Shimbezhi. This morning however, as we unfolded from the car as Sally quietly announced "You're on!" ( a referemce to our waiting, adoring crowds of students) there was a realisation that all was different today. Every event was slowing down, every sight was savoured. THis is the last day.

The first lesson was a quick introduction to Grade 11 Geography as Chilemboy roped me into a lesson spur of the moment like. I learnt some, but I really domt know about the pupils. I dont think my improvised graphic interpretation of the seven factors affecting temperature really cut the mustard! Im sure Chilemboye ensured the lesson wasnt totally ruined by giving the now expected 15 minute energetic lecture punctuated occasionally with the call " Are we Together? Yes!" I escaped as I had a treasure hunt to for the ext lesson to prepare so I was OUT, however it didnt take a rocket scientest to work out that if I went traipsing around the school hiding my answers and clues the little ones would form an instant throng follow and ruin the game, so I enlisted the help of a grade 11 or two. After concern from Edwin and the students, all went well. Slight hiccup from the over-zealous hiding of the clues, but all resolved and yeah - the kids did seem to learn.

My hat goes off to the courage shown by the staff and students alike who are involved in this programme. As we all know it is scary to let go of the old and try the new when it comes to education.

After working with my favourite kids, the grade 2's, in particular my friends Alex, Given and Gift, Frida took us to show us her home, give us bikkies and juice and I finally got my hair braided. No time for my original hairstyle dreams, but I was so grateful in the end and I am really pleased with the result. They wouldn't accept my money so I paid with teddy bears for the children and they were delighted.

After sharing another nutritious meal of 'nshima' with the staff, and delighted over the head teacher's home-made doughnuts, it was the time we all dreaded - farewell time. The children sang and danced and as they sang a farewell for each of us, I felt the tears start pricking my eyes. They harmonised as the lamented 'although we are so far away, we will never forget you'. And Madam 'Karene', Madam 'Katie' and Madam 'Lola' all squeezed the lump in our throats and let the tears run.

I know I will never forget the resonating sound of the singing, the delightful smiles, the harrowing faces of sick, lost looking children, and the warmth with which we have been welcomed by staff and children alike. To bring laughter and games into their lives and be a part of their dusty day has been an amazing experience.

After farewells at Mukupi, my partner teachers overwhelmed me with their generousity. I was laden with gifts; art, baskets, hand-made crafts - it had obviously taken time and effort. To be given a walking stick, I have since been informed by Sally, is a huge honour and I am overwhlemed. To be given a symbol of ongoing support from such an inspirational woman needs no words.
I know I for one have made friends that I will actually make the effort to keep in touch with.

As with every day in Zambia it felt like we were experiencing three days in one. The beauty of the sunset and it's rich warm red colours as it set behind villages and their evening fires on the way home was a highlight. No camera could do it justice.

Then to get back to the hotel, to the sights and sounds of a party was almost too much to take. We were treated to professional dancing and drama from a local group by the Mumbwa Children's Development Agency - our CCF partners in Mumbwa. They also gave us a surprise gift (again overwhelmed) -a gorgeous chitenge and shirt.

I went to sleep listening to the drums of Zambia and the raucous laughter of the New Zealand team. I felt a smile in my heart that spread to my face. You go girls!

Karlene Robottom
Mercury Bay Area School

Day Six

Hi everyone,

Well, morning came too quickly for us! Laura and I groggily got up and rushed to get ready for breakfast on time. We shouldn't have been too concerned because, after all, we are working on Zamtime :) I think the others were starting to feel more comfortable with what to expect for the day. Last night there were some good teaching strategies coming out and I think we all enjoyed reflecting and sharing ideas over a Mosi or two.

Starting another busy day, we crowded ten into our car built for seven and sped at 160km towards Shimbizhi. I was worried that we were going to be late, but once again, Zamtime was in our favour!

As we drove into school, crowds of children waved and some ran along behind the truck. I think they're getting used to us. Laura immediately began to look for the girl with her face and then it was time for class.

I was teaching the grade eleven's adjectives and had brought along a selection of
objects to appeal to their senses. Laura, Rita, Michelle and a few others came to observe. I only realised how much this adult presence overwhelmed the students when the adults left halfway through the lesson. Suddenly, the students opened up and even began to joke around with one another!

Georgina, the principal of the school, was observing some lessons today. I know I'm not alone in saying I felt really nervous. I also had the priveledge of watching Laura teach a lesson today. She was very energetic and the students enjoyed learning from her.

During what was meant to be a break, I was bombarded with questions about religion, education and marriage from the other teachers. I left the staffroom with my head swimming!

Lunch was another interesting adventure. We had the usual nshima and spinach, but our protein today consisted of deep fried whole fish--we're talking heads, eyes-the works! As we decided how to eat this quickly and without pulling faces, Jones came up to offer us some more. I quickly pawned one off on Laura and told Jones I was full of nshima! Laura glared at me, kind of laughed, called me a jerk and glared some more. As I laughed at my success in avoiding more fish, she threw some of hers onto my plate. Zammit!!

I'm still amazed by the strength and determination that defines this school. In the heat of the day, with flies buzzing, a desperate need for water and limited resources with which to teach, it would be so easy to turn your back on all of it and just stop coming to school. In these exact conditions, I see people who believe in the possibility of better things, and who arrive to school each day in search of the education they deserve.

When I arrive back in NZ I will do my best to tell their stories.

Kate Findley
Reporoa College

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day Five

After an exhausting and overwheliming day yesterday, everyone came to the breakfast table refreshed and buzzing with ideas and plans for today.
The ride to school was different kind of excitement with a little less of the unknown facing us. The students were even more excited to see us coming down the road ths morning; perhaps because now we are recognized as friends and a little less alien. Jumping out of the car, the kids were there to greet us, and friendly waves and smiles met us all the way to the staff room.
Had a bit of a wait before our first class, so took the opportunity to visit and play with some of the students. This is one of the areas I have found very different in Zambia--the lack of interaction outside the classroom. The newest discovery of the day was my camera, which attracted piles (literally, kids piling on top of each other) who wanted to be in a picture, and, more importantly, see the end result on the screen. It is difficult to capture "moments" when students rush to pose at the sight of the camera. Many cartwheels were turned and poses made (groups of students showing up at the classroom door) in hopes I would pull out my camera.
Our first team-taught lesson went well. A bit frustrating from my end as both the students and my partner teacher are discoverying this new way of learning and teaching...but, even one new technique used in today's class is progress!
Break time--Kate and I brought our frisbees and paddle ball for the kids and almost had a riot on our hands. The kids were SO pumped to see these things emerge from our bags; they didn't care if they knew what they were or not! We ended up spending a bit of time throwing the frisbee around, and it was dutifully brought back to the staff room at the end of the day by the designated "frisbee monitor".
Watched Kate's P.E. class build a human pyramid--awesome!
Enjoyed a shared lunch with the entire staff, so yum! One of my students brought fresh bush fruit for us to try--an interesting taste of Zambia.
Observed a senior English class and was very proud, for lack of a better word, to see the respect the students have for themselves. Their refusal to sit on the ground so as not to dirty their uniforms reinforced to me what I have continued to witness since being here. That is, despite the amount that the people here lack (from our perspective), they take pride in the lives they live, the things they do have, and the work that they do. Their humble and modest nature commands respect from others, and their potential for greatness is no less than ours. Maybe even more so.
As we waited for the others to arrive after school, we played a rousing game of Duck, Duck, Goose, followed by a similar Zambian game. I think the kids were surprised to see I could run, and their laughter and excitement was just awesome as they watched their teachers finally participate in these games with them.
After our planning sessions were over and we piled into the car, I received a wave and a face--my face--from one of the students. A student has taken to mimicking my facial expressions, and does it so well it's like looking at myself! This was closely followed by students chasing the car, pointing to me, yelling "you!" and then laughing so hard they had to stop running--this all stemming from the games we were playing earlier.
Back at the hotel, Kate and I went for a walk (actually, Sam drove us) into town. As much as we are still spectacles to this community, I felt myself walking down the main street confidently and with direction as part of the community. Since Sam was with us, we were able to venture down into the "market" area of town, which was just amazing to experience.
I'm sure I have missed some details of the day, but there are just too many to include them all. Tomorrow will definitely bring just as much excitement. I'm loving this trip more everyday!

Laura Swan
Massey High School

Day Four - First day in the Classrooms

Kia Ora Everyone,

After an uneasy sleep of waking every hour in fear of being late on our first day in our schools we were finally woken by the infectious laugh of Lyn echoing through the hallways - we were well awake now (ha ha). It was a very spiritual start to the morning as the sounds of the call to prayer from the mosque bellowed through our hotel and it cast a calm sense of serenity for the day ahead.

During breakfast Lyn shared her blog for the day and many laughs were shared by all. Nervous smiles were on our teams faces as we waited for our drivers to take us to our schools - of course we are running on 'Zam'(bia) time and we were anxious to get started.

Finally team Nangoma (Helen Wilson & I) were on the road travelling at 140km weaving through cows, students, workers and farmers - this was scary yet very entertaining. A local group of young men were running along the roadside singing in beautiful harmony for their morning fitness, Helen and I looked at each other and had feeling of excitement build up and then good old Bob Marley came blasting through the radio - we knew it was going to be a great day.

As we turned towards a dirt road we had an off road experience that we would normally have to pay for in New Zealand. Finally we arrived to our respective school and we were met by the School Manager and Staff and then instructed that we would be introducing ourselves in front of approximately 500-600 students (GULP!!!) Nangoma School welcomed us with 3 harmonious songs which welcomed us, preyed for us and wished us luck in our journey - they stressed the point that our visit is truly a blessing. The choir brought tears to our eyes and it was an emotional, overwhelming powerful start to what we know is going to be a life long relationship.

After meeting our teachers we went straight into observations - one lesson was on a Grade 2 lesson for Social Studies learning about 'Zambia' and the importance of their anthem (very patriotic and humbling). The next lesson was a Science lesson Grade 8 about "How much Oxygen is in the Air" and the only resources used were a plastic container,candle and match.Unbelieveably the student understood the concepts and demonstrated their understanding through oral reports.

The main insight today was that regardless of materials. infrastructure, large class sizes (55-75 students) they perservere to achieve the best they can do. They are doing a great job with what they can and their success rates are very high improving from 9% in 2002 to 67% in 2007. An amazing improvement by any educational facility. This school has excellent quality teachers doing their personal best with 1 text book, chalk, 4 tables and no resources or materials. Well done Nangoma - we really don't realise as teachers how lucky we are!

In discussion with the teachers it was great to share experiences of mutual understandings and even more so when you are sitting in a school house with a teacher who has six orphan children plus four of her own planning lessons, making dinner,feeding her 20 chickens, cleaning 8 cats, hosting a stranger whilst breastfeeding!

Everyone was welcoming and to take us to their humble home was an experience I will never forget. As we headed for Makupi school to plan for the next day my peer teachers William told me that tomorrows lesson will be teaching "equatorial rain forests" and Lillian will be teaching "pro-consular Africanus animals" Okay ...gulp..Okay..panic..Okay..breathe. I had to laugh,we then worked together to create a sure fire lesson that involves a lot of fun, group work, and hands on activities. This is very different from the rote learning styles that are evident at the moment.

Working with two teachers from Nangoma who have enthusiasm, insight and the passion to teach is phenomenal to see despite all the previously stated disadvantages.

Helen and I had the best day ever - Proud to being a kiwi, Proud of being Maori, Proud being a teacher and Proud to be a part of this project of development.
This is a small snap shot of the day and this blog will not cover the things I have seen and been a part of but I encourage all that read this to come and see for yourselves "Beautiful Zambia" and make a difference!

Vanessa Te Huia
Rotorua Intermediate School

Day Three

A great nights sleep, left us feeling refreshed and revigorated. However the power went out two minutes into my morning shower and darkness prevailed, whilst I tried to find my way to the door!
Breakfast is always enjoyable at the Kingfisher Lodge in Lusaka!

The group was in high spirits as we headed into the 'Arcades Markets' down the road. Stall owners displayed some beautiful examples of African artistic talent. So much potential on display. A tribute to the artists. We were spoilt for choice, as we weaved our way between all of the wares, bartering constantly. I purchased three sets of drums and different examples of African musical instruments, and hope that customs in New Zealand will enable me to share them with my class! I'm an eternal optimist! I hope Mukupi staff and students teach me how to play them also!

We drove straight to Mumbwa, a two hour journey. John was our trusted driver, and as we sped along, it was interesting to note the changes in the outside environment, as we moved from urban to rural districts, and the homes changed from brick, to clay, to thatched homes the closer we got to Mumbwa. We were all excited about finally getting to see our respective schools, the staff and students, and working in partnership with the community in the classrooms. We stopped briefly in Mumbwa township and then pulled into the carpark of the 'New La Hacienda Hotel'. What a fabulous venue. We all agreed that it was a lovely choice of accomodation with lovely gardens and rooms and even chalets!

We settled in and attended a meeting out on the lawn in the garden area of the Hotel. In attendance was the Area Manager Himonga Mugubo, and James Mulapande the Planning Officer for the District Education Board (Mumbwa), Kelly Kapanga, the District Resource Co-ordinator, Rita Magwenzi the Education Co-ordinator for the Federation, Christabel Musonda the CCF* Education Specialist Co-ordinator based in Lusaka, Sally Hewlett our ChildFund New Zealand Education Programmes Manager, Michelle Chen, CCF* United States Education Associate and the seven of us from respective schools across New Zealand. We all met together for the first time to discuss the way forward across the three rural schools in the Mumbwa District: Shimbizhi, Nangoma and Mukupi. Our previous meeting with Lillian Kapula, the Zambian Permanent Secretary to the Minister of Education, set a high standard for us to continue forward with. She was definitely a 'woman of substance', and the fact that she made time to see our touring party impressed me greatly.

We discussed sustainable teaching practices and future infrustructure changes and learnt about new acronyms like SPRINT-'School Programme Inservice for the term', HIM-'Head Teacher Inservice Meeting', ZEST-'Zonal Education Support Team' and GRE- Great Meetings at the Resource Centre'.

We were informed about the structure of schooling in Zambia, grades, levels and the ages of students, about grants and scholarships and were free to ask questions. I really appreciated Himonga Mugubos honesty and frankness in discussions. He is very open and diplomatic, but answers all questions fully.

It was a very uplifting meeting, in that we were meeting key people and listen to everyones roles, hopes, dreams and aspirations to give us a clearer picture and vision for where we stood in the overall plan.

Later our group headed out for a walk to town and stopped to watch a local soccer game, that impressed us with the levels of fitness, skills and agility that were evident. Our eclectic group walking through town, caused some interesting stares and possibly comments, but on the whole the locals were very friendly.

Dinner and then off to bed, as we had a huge day ahead of us and we were all excited, perhaps a little tentative about the upcoming day ahead of us.
So far Zambia has impressed me as a country of people with potential, who are fiercely proud of their languages, culture and heritage, despite much harshness and adversity for many.

*CCF is part of the ChildFund global family.

Lynne Hoare
Teacher at Northcross Intermediate School

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day Two

Yay for a good night's sleep! We woke up having slept really well...or at least most of us did.

We took the opportunity this morning to go for a bit of a wander through the neighbourhood. Kate has been unwell for a few days, so while she went off to a local clinic we escaped the compound!! This was our first opportunity really to meet the local Zambians not involved with Childfund - and it really brought home some of the realities of life in Zambia.
The most obvious feature was the division of wealth in the country, and I think Lusaka is a prime example of this. The distinction between those that have and those that have nothing is huge. We passed small roadside stalls selling tiny packets of sugar, mealie-meal, kapenta, peanuts and sweets. This seems to be the livelihood for many. Handing over K100 or K200 for a bag of peanuts and knowing how worthless that money is, yet seeing it so gratefully received by the stallholders was heart wrenching. (The exchange rate at the moment is 3,500 kwacha for US$1) A bag of peanuts is less than 10c!!
For all of us, I'm sure, the most heartbreaking aspect was the number of small children "manning" the stalls and depending on them for their existence.
The highlight of our meander through the streets was Helen playing the Zambian version of draughts with the man on the corner, and Karlene getting her first taste of sugar cane.

The welcome news that all was well with Kate meant that we could head off to the local curios market. The cry of "Please Madam, buy from me, let me show you what I have...I want to eat lunch today" sucked us all in from the start, and we bought a wide range of gifts and mementoes. The Women's Collective was particularly impressive, and their stalls of chitenge and jewellery were ransacked by us all!
Ness bought the children in the vicinity an icecream-the number swelled to 25 in the matter of one minute, with children scaling walls and coming from all corners of the market at the first sniff of icecream!

We arrived at Mundawanga (meaning "my garden") in time for the feeding of the animals. In the heat of the day we wandered through the park seeig the mongoose, bushpigs, lions and cheetahs being fed. My personal highlight was seeing the African Wild Dogs up close and personal. Even better though, was taking refuge in the cool and peace of the Botanical Gardens; lots of water and huge shady trees was a welcome relief frmo the heat.

The overwhelming feature for me today was the memories that came back from my previous time in Zambia. The dichotomy of rich and poor here is really obvious even to the casual observer. And of course I can't sign off without reiterating the friendliness and welcoming nature of the local Zambians, despite the hardships they face.

Helen Chileshe
Christ's College

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day One

As a team we went to the CCF* (ChildFund) office in Lusaka and meet with CCF . We also met the National director of CCF in Zambia Victor Koyi. What an amazing man. Incredibly passionate about CCF and what they are doing to help children and people here in Zambia. He gave a brief insite into the education system in Zambia and what CCF's role is in helping to promote quality education. He stressed the importance of improving teacher resources, improving the infrastructure and ensuring that the teachers are delivery a quality education. He metioned that attendance had improved in schools from 65% to 90%, however there are needs to improve the infrastructure to cope with the influx. The Zambian government is recruiting 10,000 teachers a year this is partly because of the need for teachers with role increases and the aids pandemic which has had a hugh impact on teachers.

Interesting facts:
  • Govt only spends 15% of budget on education needs to increase to 20% to make a difference.
  • Teacher salary $250 US a month.
The team met Lillian Kapula the Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Education in Zambia. This woman made a real impact on me personally. She has amazing passion and she understands the needs for education reform. She also understands the need for a NOW approach. She is an action woman, and she took time from her incredibly busy schedule to see us. However she was so appreciative that we had come all the way from NZ to make a difference to a child in Zambia. Especially the Mumbwa district where the need is great. She stressed to us " Embrace the challenge and show your colleagues some comfort". She knows that we can't change things immediately but we can make a difference in the children's and teacher's lives. Through her leadership and reform she plans to scale the heights of education during this difficult time and she is proud to do it. Lillian stressed to us that her action plan included the need to increase the contact time between students and teachers through reducing class sizes. She is a woman of substance.

*CCF Zambia is part of the ChildFund global family

Helen Wilson
Rotorua Intermediate School

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Zambia Bound!

As our group of teachers here madly rush around to get their last pieces packed, we take a look at some of the amazing items they are trying to squeeze in to their bags.

Karlene from Whitianga has netball uniforms and soccer balls donated by the community, Helen from Christchurch has a bunch of resources donated from her middle school, lots of kids toys and reading material from the Rotorua ladies (Helen and Vanessa), just to name a few. Not a lot of room for clothes...

The response from the communities have been fantastic already, and a huge thanks to the schools, friends and families for their support so far.

There is a lot of excitement (perhaps a bit of nervousness too!!) from our group, and we can't wait to tell you all about Mumbwa and the schools and new friends we are going to know so well in just under two weeks time.

Watch this space and wish us luck!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Pre Zambia with ChildFund-Lynne Hoare Tuesday 22nd April 2008

Kia ora everyone

Zambia in 2 sleeps! It seems surreal. I have a lot to organise before I go. We travel as a group from Thursday 24th April to Saturday May 3rd 2008. This will be my first trip to Africa. Its exciting. I have packed my bags, but I had better make sure I am travelling reasonably 'light'. Personally I have lost almost 16 kgs in weight with 'Sureslim' in New Zealand, so that might help! I must remember to take my malaria tablets today! Also, remember to leave information etc and a check list of things to do for my daughters Jade and Jasmine! Tell my neighbours too!

My class, Rm 38 from Northcross Intermediate in Browns Bay, have given me some excellent bits and pieces to take to Zambia. Because it is landlocked in Southern Africa we have laminated lots of pictures of water and the sea in New Zealand to share with the students, teachers and schools. Plus I have a large stuffed bright orange, blackand white 'Nemo'(fish)....toy, not real, and a Winnie the Pooh and miniature pairs of jandals, knuckle bones, packs of cards and frisbees etc!

I need to get my profile organised also, so I can email information out to friends, family etc.

Cheers everyone.Cant wait to go!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Two weeks to go!

In two weeks today, our group of 8 will be making there way to the airport, to depart on the inaugural Global Schools Programme to Zambia. What thoughts do the group have at this stage - excitement? Nervousness? Both?
Watch this spot for the daily blog from the teachers as we discover the realities of life in Mumbwa, Zambia and what it is like to be a teacher in Mukupi, Shimbizhi or Nangoma schools।