Aptivate helps to build a school in rural Zambia!

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Students at Chisokone Primary School in Zambia, their classroom is still unfinished with no windows, doors, floor or plastered walls10 years after running IT workshops in an entrepreneurial program in Samfya District, we’re now working with one of the graduates to raise the roof in their school.

Between 2008 and 2011, Aptivate, an ethical IT coop for international development was involved in a multi-year entrepreneurship training program run by CAMFED with young women in rural Zambia. We delivered a series of sessions on IT skills and worked with a group of trainers who had recently graduated from the program. It was a real privilege to be involved in an "on the ground" project, working directly with people and sharing our knowledge with trainers there. Everyone was excited about the power of technology to transform their lives and their communities, and so were we.

Recently, one of the trainers we worked with, Penelope Machipi, got in touch. While we were working with Penelope, we vividly remember her using the new internet connection to find colleges in the local area with relevant courses.She trained as a teacher, working in a school with a head who was also involved in the training program. The school has managed to raise funds and voluntary effort from the local community to start building a new classroom. The economy of the local area is heavily dependent on fishing in the large nearby lakes and when the building work was part way through, the local government declared a fishing ban due to declining fish stocks, which meant the building project hast stalled through lack of money. Penelope wondered if there was anything we could do to help?

We approached ARM's CSR department and they kindly agreed to fund our suggested project to complete the classroom building work. Much excitement ensued! We’ve been communicating with Penelope and her school team about the project over the last few weeks.

In the world of International Development, it's thought that “development” is a process and a relationship over time with growth and learnings on both sides, rather than a “quick fix” intervention. Some of the most satisfying projects we work on are where we have a relationship with a person or a project for several years. It’s really great to be able to support Penelope and her school, years after we first worked together, and having supported her in a small way in her teaching career.

Also a first for us, is that we are channeling funding to useful projects, rather than being hired to supply the IT part of someone else’s project.

The classroom is now in use but there is no proper floor, windows, doors or any plaster on the walls. Learning will be very difficult come the rainy season which starts in November.

If you would like to help finish the school, the please donate to https://mydonate.bt.com/donation/v4/chooseAmount.html?charity=53788

Further details and images are on our website. http://www.aptivate.org/en/blog/2019/05/22/were-helping-to-build-a-school-in-rural-zambia/


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Ian Hallworth
+44 1273 32 78 73

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