Community Benefits from Desk-Building Project
In rural areas of Zambia, many school children meet under trees or in dilapidated, overcrowded structures without running water, toilets, or electricity. Over the last several years, ZSF has partnered with communities to build over 14 safe, permanent school buildings. We are now beginning another exciting new partnership to furnish schools with quality desks in a way that benefits entire communities!
Construction on Mulobola Day Secondary School, located in a remote area of Zambia, was recently completed. This school has a capacity to seat over 600 students and will offer both a morning and an afternoon session, opening educational opportunities to over 1,200 students. ZSF partnered with local community members, including at a ZSF-sponsored trade school, to provide desks for the school.
Local community member, Joseph Mubanga, was hired to oversee the Project and expertly handled many challenges to make this project a success. When materials could no longer be delivered from Kasama due to Covid 19, he hired people in remote villages to cut down trees and hand-make lumber. When welders and welding equipment were needed to put the metal parts onto the furniture, he involved the Lukashi Trade School. It was all hands working happily to make furniture!
It is amazing how many lives were impacted by this one big project. Joseph was paid a monthly salary which helped him support his wife and two children. He purchased lumber from approximately 30 village members and hired 13 local tradesmen to make the furniture. With the help of a generous donor, ZSF employee, Tobias Mangani, was able to purchase a delivery truck which can be used for this and future projects. Joseph now has his own woodshop and the Lukashi Trade School owns welding equipment.
In addition to the 1,200 school children that will benefit from new desks, this project provided work and income to over 50 members of the local community! In a country where unemployment can be over 80% and was made worse by the global pandemic, this work was usually the primary source of income for these tradesmen and their families. The capital spent on long-term assets such as the truck and welding equipment will benefit the local economy for years to come.
ZSF looks forward to continuing our partnership with the community in making furniture for our schools for many years to come!