Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Off to the Copperbelt

CCAP Leaders in Kitwe
Copperbelt Province as its name indicates, is where several major copper mines are located.  The Zambians have used copper for centuries in their jewelry but it wasn’t until the 1920s when the British began mining copper using the latest technology at that time that copper was exported on a large scale. The Copperbelt grew quickly in the 1960s as Zambia’s economy was closely tied to copper exports and copper value increased.  Despite the ups and downs of the copper market, the Copperbelt still boasts the country’s second and third largest cities in Zambia – Kitwe and Ndola. 

I have wanted to visit the Copperbelt for some time now knowing CCAP had at least one school there.  My friend Rev. Kondwani pastored a church in Kitwe and I had promised to visit her the next time I returned to Zambia.  Although visiting Kondwani is only possibly through my memories, I could partially honor my promise to her by visiting the CCAP school.  In the interest of time I made a quick trip to Ndola and Kitwe flying up and back in the same day. 
My hosts - Rev Nyirenda, Rev Chunga, and Mr. Ndhlovu
I was greeted warmly at the Ndola airport by these members of the CCAP. (see photo) After breakfast at a local restaurant we started off to Kitwe – about 30 minutes from there.  
The school is part of the CCAP Kwacha church.  
Teachers of Kwacha - Victor is in purple - head teacher seated in front
I was reintroduced to Victor, a teacher who received training back in 2012.  The others had not been trained although the head teacher is a retired government school teacher.  The school serves 184 students in pre-school through grade 7 with four teachers.  The head teacher does not teach classes but he does walk through and inspires the students with songs and chants. The building is a make-shift structure seen in the photo below.
School building
 I was able to spend a bit of time interviewing the pastor and head teacher about the strengths and challenges of the school and community.  66% of the students are girls, a fact that is encouraging since there is an emphasis among the CCAP to support “the girl child.”  The downside is many families in the community send their boys to government schools because they perceive the government school to be better than the community school and a community school  education is "good enough" for girls.  Either way children are getting an education. 
I observe a lesson about the skeleton

Students seem a little more interested in the "visitor" than the lesson

Chiwemwe Church
After leaving Kwacha I visited Chimwemwe church the church of Rev. Chunga and Elder Patrick Ndhlovu.  The pastor and congregation would like to start a school but want a way to fund it first.  They are building a reception hall that can be rented for various events.  
Foundation and beginning of the new reception hall building
The plan is to use money they make from renting the hall as a venue to help pay teacher salaries.  After the reception hall is built they will start building the school. 

I enjoyed the day with my gracious CCAP hosts and told them I would like to return in February for some training with the teachers. 
Students take notes from the board about the branches of government

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