Chiawa Basic School Project

Chiawa Basic is the largest primary school in the area, catering for over 600 students, as is the norm at most rural schools, understaffing and underfunding are a constant challenge. Due to the large distances that the children travel many drop out before completion. A number of factors contribute to this, namely, human wildlife conflict, human human conflict and cultural issues. We set about changing this norm by upgrading where we could and creating an environment where the kids felt safe and were motivated to complete their studies.

DIA refurbished the girl’s dorm and supplied them with new beds and new mattresses, the boys dorm was also refurbished and supplied with beds and mattresses as well. Ablution blocks for both the girls and boys dorms have been built. A water tower was erected and connects the water to the ablution blocks. DIA fenced a small garden, which will be irrigated via drip so as to enable the school boarders to grow food for themselves.It has been agreed by the school that the excess food will be sold so as to enable the school to pay for its power bills. However due to the new laws governing primary schools in Zambia whereby the grade structure was changed we were suddenly faced with virtually empty dorms as these kids were now part of the High School. This forced us to rethink our plans and now we hare in the process of making a smaller dorm for the female boarders and utilizing the remainder thereof as a pre-primary class. Furthermore the boys dorm is now being used as a recreational facility used by both girls and boys alike for the various recreational pursuits on offer, such as Ping Pong which was introduced to the school by a young boy named Gabriel Kergorarly, who not only sponsored the tables but came with his mother Elisabeth and spent 3 days teaching the kids to play. We are pleased to announce that it actually is on the school curriculum and loved by all. We have started two clubs, one for boys and one for girls aimed at teaching the pupils community ethics, conservation values, hygiene, and the importance of academic achievement. DIA supplied the school with a TV and DVD player for the kids and erected a large playground… the first in Chiawa which according to the headmaster is one of the main reasons for no school dropout as the kids want to be at school now. Never underestimate the value of play.