Update from Shelly Duben, Co-Chair, to Project Team
March 24, 2020
Although we will not travel to Zambia this summer, we will still move forward with some of the major components of the project. We plan to complete the construction of the toilet block with showers, as we have already installed the solar powered submersible pump. We also want to construct the teachers’ residence so that Zambia Open Community Schools can find and hire qualified teachers for the school. These two projects will cost about $65000 so we still have some fundraising to do! We wired $24000 a couple of weeks ago which will be used for the toilet facility and to start the residence. We have $10000 coming from the District very soon and another $10000 in early July. We will send out something to other Rotary Clubs in the next while asking for support. Hopefully we can raise $20000+ through donations by clubs and individuals. 
In discussion with a couple of you already, we have been asked if we will postpone the trip to Zambia until next July. The answer is “maybe”. There are many factors that will need to be considered. 
Thank you for you interest in being part of this project. If you would still like to be involved in the fundraising for the toilets and teacher residence, please let us know and we will provide you with some fundraising material that may be helpful. 
Read the "Spotlight on Service" article for the latest news about the project and plans to head back in July 2020.
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.
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).