Our group, The Supporters of Jack and Jill School, Choma, Zambia helps children whose lives have been devastated by HIV/Aids. In Zambia 14% of the population suffer from HIV/Aids and in Choma 15%.
Many parents die leaving their children to be looked after by grandparents, family members or carers. The orphans are often helpless and stigmatised. There is no state funded education for schools and education is not compulsory. Schools charge fees, so children from this background cannot attend and thus have no chance of a basic education. Children are growing up illiterate and innumerate, which leaves them vulnerable to exploitation, unemployment and poor opportunities for their future.
We work with an official registered welfare organisation, Luyando Home Based Care, who have 5,000 orphans and half orphans on their register. We provide funding, materials, visiting teachers and sponsorship for the private charitable Jack and Jill School.
Jack and Jill School has existed for a number of years and identified the problems faced by children having no access to education. They started trying to help these children, funding the school by rearing chickens and growing and selling vegetables. When our volunteers visited they found that the school was struggling and on the verge of closure through lack of funds. Following this visit we formulated the Jack and Jill School Fund Group in the UK to raise funds in support. So far we have sponsored 15 children in the school and have provided school resources. The total number of primary and junior children currently is 96 and it is already very cramped and overcrowded with inadequate resources and facilities are very poor. Our main purpose, along with Jack and Jill School, is to bring the most destitute children of Choma into education, with the emphasis on HIV/Aids victims and disabled children.
Our aim is to:
Buy the house and land that is being is currently being used as the Jack and Jill School.
Renovate and extend the existing building to create 5 classrooms. The classrooms will be designed to hold 30 children each, making a total pupil count of 150 each year.
Furnish the classrooms and provide learning materials.
Make safe play areas outdoors.
Provide office equipment and a kitchen.
Staff the school with qualified teachers for a minimum of 5 years.
Incorporate teacher training.
Educate the children to a high standard
Scale of the project is:
5 classrooms x 30 children = 150 children. 1 office, 1 kitchen, 2 toilets with washing facilities, an outdoor play area, fresh water facilities and electricity.
Initially a five year plan and beyond, providing one head teacher, five teachers, two assistants, one caretaker, school equipment and office equipment.
The beneficiaries will be children from the surrounding area who would not otherwise have any chance of attending school. The children’s extended family will also benefit from the school contact.