SERVE and INTO fund classroom desks for Primary School in Zambia

Earlier this year, SERVE helped a local primary school in the town of Mazabuka, Zambia to purchase a new set of school desks to alleviate some of the stress put on students by poor equipment. Read the story below! 

Luyobolola Primary School has approximately 900 students, but it does not receive much government funding, relying instead on contributions from parents to meet running costs. Many parents who struggle to make ends meet. This means that many of its facilities and much of its equipment is outdated. SERVE previously helped the school to build three new classrooms and a toilet/sanitation block, making a huge improvement to student life. SERVE was delighted to help the school again with this new project.  

Despite the fact that education is mandatory in Zambia, the reality is that many poor children drop out along the way. The latest available statistics show that the primary school enrolment rate is 86% and the primary completion rate is 79%. Meanwhile, the transition rate to secondary school is approximately 70%. All of these rates are lowest amongst young girls. 

UNICEF states that, “For children in the early years, the coverage of care, learning and education services remains persistently low. Overall, girls continue to be at a disadvantage with a large number of them dropping out in the upper primary and secondary grads, and poorer levels of transition to junior secondary and senior secondary levels.” 

The head-mistress of Luyobolola Primary School, Mrs. Cecilia Mutare said, “I express thanks to SERVE and all involved for this gift. I am very thankful. Without these desks I don’t know how well my children would have been. Enrolments to the school keep increasing everyday and all the help is welcome.”

Previously, the students depended on desks without chairs, meaning that they had to kneel at their desks, which did not aid their learning. Some desks had become badly warped over time and were not fit for purpose.

With our help, Luyobolola Primary School was able to purchase a set of new desks, which were locally made, and have improved the learning environment for the local children.  

An Update: The 50 desks were made by three youths, employed by a local company, Shamtech Engineering. This was a conscious effort made by SERVE to not only improve the working conditions for school children, but to also support local enterprise and provide young craftspeople with experience and business opportunities.

This enabled SERVE to achieve two commitments in their Strategic Plan – ‘Improved standard of primary education for vulnerable children’ by ‘supporting the development of primary school infrastructure.’ While also working towards their broader development goal that ‘people in vulnerable communities are better able to reach their potential and contribute to society.’  

This project was possible with financial support of INTO. The funds raised not only paid for the desks for Luyobolola Primary school, but for the creation of a safe and welcoming learning environment- a major contribution to the future of the children involved.

Who is INTO?

INTO is Irish National Teachers’ Orgnaisation which was founded in 1868. Read more here.

How did SERVE receive this financial support?

This project was made possible by the remarkable efforts of Annette McGroary who is a SERVE alumnus. Annette is a teacher based in Donegal. Anette has volunteered with SERVE numerous times over the years and was also the 1st long term SERVE volunteer in Beira, Mozambique.

Anette says, “I am fortunate to have witnessed first-hand how SERVE tackles poverty through solidarity, service and partnership with oppressed communities.”

Learn more about Annette here.

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