R.E.L.A.Y. (Rotarians Enhancing Learning of African Youth) Zambia School Project
March 3-12, 2018
The Rotary Club of Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes is excited to be the lead club on this new District International Project - a multi-year R.E.L.A.Y. (Rotarians Enhancing Learning of African Youth) project in a small rural village north of Lusaka, Zambia. This is the seventh R.E.L.A.Y. initiative led by Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes Rotarians Michael and Shelly Duben.
 
The R.E.L.A.Y Team of 18 Rotarians and non-Rotarians, spent 6 days actively assisting with the construction and renovations at the school which involved painting, assembling desks, installing windows and doors, painting soccer posts and planting trees. Team members also spent time with children and teachers in the programming component of the project - doing artwork and crafts and playing games. Check out the slide show. For more photos and videos - click here.
 
 
The Chinsanshi School [Google Earth Coordinates - Latitude: -15.2173, Longitude: 28.1221] only had one classroom. It is part of the Zambia Open Community Schools system. There are about 150 students there currently attending nursery school and grade 1. The community wanted to expand the school to 4 classrooms because there are many other children who cannot attend school because of the lack of classroom space. The school is in an area about 17 kms from the capital city of Lusaka in a fairly rural setting. It has a large catchment area of several villages but very limited classroom capacity. The nearest government school is 6 kms away and that tends to discourage parents from sending their children to school.
 
There were several components to the 1st phase of this project, including:
  • Building a 3 classroom block
  • Purchasing and assembling desks for the new and existing classrooms
  • Purchasing water filters and training local community members how to use and maintain them.
  • Starting a library at the school
  • Providing curriculum books and teaching aids to the school
  • Providing sports equipment to the school
  • Providing backpacks with school supplies and new clothing for all students
  • Facilitating “programming sessions” with the teachers and students at the school
  • Completing a Needs Assessment to determine next steps at the school and in the local community
The Needs Assessment (a new component of The Rotary Foundation), conducted with our Partners in Zambia (including the Rotary Club of Nkwazi and Zambia Open Community Schools organization) included a discussion about the installation of solar submersible pump and poly tank water system, building a flushing toilet block and repair or replacement of the Hammer mill house grinding unit. This mill which is currently broken down is a key source of revenue for the school.
 
Tentative plans will see the next Team head to Zambia in 2020. Watch for the opportunity to sign up!
 
The Rotary Club of Bracebridge-Muskoka Lakes is proud to announce their partner Rotary Clubs so far. These clubs include:
  • The Rotary Club of Nkwasi-Lusaka (in Zambia)
  • The Rotary Club of Barrie-Huronia
  • The Rotary Club of Bracebridge
  • The Rotary Club of Hunstville
  • The Rotary Club of Huntsville-Lake of Bays
  • The Rotary Club of Windsor-St. Clair (District 6400)
For more information - contact Shelly Duben (shelly.duben@tldsb.on.ca) or Michael Duben (dgduben@gmail.com).