Category Archives: News

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Namumu School

Category : News

outside Namumu School

On 12th June we visited Namumu School. Children at Namumu School, like most of the rural schools in Siavonga District, receives food from the Zambian Government in the form of maize. The schools pay someone in the local community to boil it and that provides lunch each day. There is a shelter behind the school where children can eat. There is still a high degree of malnutrition and stunted growth in the area.

feeding areamaize

On 12th June we visited Namumu School. This school has now been connected to grid power. The solar equipment was in place but had been sidelined and the cables disconnected. Due to the fact that the cost of electricity is a drain on school resources, we intend to install a grid tie inverter and reinstate the solar set-up to feed into their grid.

 

solar controllersHT Namumu

head teachers room with PCsladies filling in questionnaire

We were pleased to see that the Raspberry Pi was turned on and was being used to access African Story Books and Wikipedia for Schools in particular. They had two PCs from the consignments of donated machines we sent out but were using  a laptop and teachers’ smartphones  to access the learning resources. Pupils occasionally used RACHEL independently. With a router, Namumu School will be able to network the PCs and use them to access RACHEL too.

Staff filled in our questionnaire for the impact assessment we are compiling thanks to a grant from The Waterloo Foundation


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Bbakasa School

Category : News , zambia

Bbakasa is a remote rural school covering a large area stretching down to the Lower Zambezi. As such, it has many challenges. All the equipment was in place and since our last visit the school had received funding to add to the solar array.  Unfortunately it had suffered a lightning strike and the solar controller/inverter had been damaged.  We can not over-emphasise the need for earthing rods and lightning conductors  in the construction of schools where thunderstorms are frequent.

Bbakasa schoolbbakasaBbakasa HTsolar panels

Everything else looked OK and we hope to rectify the problems. The Head Teacher is well organised and his staff were familiar with RACHEL and had used the resources in their planning and teaching. We gave them an updated Raspberry Pi 3 B+ and an additional laptop. We were keen to get feedback on the impact of our project and teachers filled in our questionnaire. This part of our visit is funded by The Waterloo Foundation.

teachers at Bbakasademonstrating laptop


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Munyama School

Category : News , solarpower

Our second visit on 13th June was to Munyama School. We are carrying out an exercise to monitor our impact thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation. This is the Zone school for the area and takes pupils to Grade 9.

Like Manchamvwa Lakeshore it is difficult to access and best reached by boat. A grant from Hub Cymru Africa enabled us to supply solar panels to both schools in Spring 2018.

Munyamasolar setup at Munyama

Everything was tidy and in good condition. We were very impressed with the Grade 9 pupils working on laptops donated by us and borrowed from Teachers. They were busy creating charts from spreadsheets and inserting them into presentation software.

IT classIT pupil

munyama schoolportable science lab

Like other schools which teach older pupils, Munyama School has been given a very basic portable “science lab” to use in Grades 8 and 9.

We are pleased to report that since our last visit the school now has two large water storage tanks to store water pumped up from Lake Kariba.

If you would like to help us continue to support Munyama and other schools, please consider donating here

 


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Kabbila School

Category : News , solarpower

Today our monitoring visits took us to Kabbila and Namumu Schools. The Waterloo Foundation are funding this task.

Kabbila

Kabbila is a remote school which has been beautifully decorated by Hafod Primary School in Swansea.

decorated classroom at Kabbila decorated classsroom at kabbila

You can see pylons from the school grounds but no power for them.
panels on roof at kabbilaPylons in background

It was the first school in which we installed solar panels, courtesy of funds from University of Wales Trinity St Davids. They had looked after their equipment despite several changes of Head teacher.

solar set up at Kabbila Schoolsolar controller

There are many challenges for schools such as this but the community rallies around. The Head of the PTA was mending the milling machine while we were there!

milling machinegoats

 

 


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Katalumba and Game School visits

Category : News , solarpower

Today we began our site visits to schools where we previously installed solar panels. This monitoring exercise is thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation.

Katalumba is on a hill overlooking Lake Kariba. The school has many challenges but as well as having large classes of pupils up to Grade 7, tries to cater for 8 children with a range of special needs. In the evening adults from the community come in for literacy lessons. Raspberry Pi with RACHEL can help with resources. We left them an updated version of Pi and a laptop to use to access the resources.

Head teacher KatalumbaLooking at RACHEL resourcesPupils in Katalumbaspecial needs classroom!

Game School also overlooks Lake Kariba. We installed solar panels in both these schools thanks to donation of the panels by Solar Plants in Baglan Bay and funding from Hub Cymru Africa. The panels are still functioning well and they are using the RACHEL resources. We left an updated version of the learning resources and also a laptop. Their classes are very large particularly in Grades 1-4, typically 65-70.

Looking at RACHEL resources via laptopswapping out Pichildren outside school

They have a football pitch and parents are cooperating to make a garden.

football pitchgarden


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Official handover of Malimba School

Category : News , solarpower , zambia

On Friday 7th June we joined trustees of Friends of Monze and their local partners Zambian Women and Girls at the official handover of Malimba School.

Howard went early to check that the solar panels had been mounted on the roof correctly. He was pleased to see that all was well and the batteries were fully charged.

battery gauge shoing 100% chargedpupils at Malimba Schoolladies on catering dutybeer

A group of local ladies produced some amazing food after many hours toiling over hot fires. We had goat, chicken, beef, rape leaves, nshima and a delicious gravy. There were huge drums of sweet beer but we settled for soft drinks!

We looked at the new borehole provided by Friends of Monze and then enjoyed entertainment including singing and dancing.

entertainment


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Final Day of Training in Monze

Category : News , zambia

On our final day of training at Monze Resource Centre, attendees were able to download useful resources for their schools and spend more time familiarising themselves with Kolibri and RACHEL learning platforms.

Monze Resource Centrelearning at Monze Resource Centre

Some looked at the range of stories available in the local language Chitonga.

screen with book in Chitongalearning together

Each day 25 teachers from 21 different schools came to the Centre for training. They have agreed to meet there once a month to share problems and ideas regarding IT.

At the end of the day we visited Lushomu school. Friends of Monze have recently added a new block to the school. We were pleased to see good use being made of the Raspberry Pi they received last year and we swapped it out for the latest version of Pi and RACHEL.

new school block at Lushomo schoolchildren of Lushomo entertaining usWendy with teachers


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LibreOffice Training at Monze Resource Centre

Category : News , zambia

Today’s training session was based on LibreOffice which is on the laptops we supply to our schools. Training was well attended again and those who did not have LibreOffice already were able to download and use it.

office trainingoffice training

We had a short break for soft drinks, biscuits, bananas and a stroll in the sunshine.

sunshine breakoutside resourcecentre


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Health Help Zambia

Category : News , zambia

While in Monze, we are staying at Health Help Zambia. Their parent organisation Health Help International is based in Newport, South Wales.

HHI aims to help individuals and whole communities; to lift them out of abject poverty when even trying to get the most basic food on the table can be a struggle. Disease and disability are very common in Zambia and HHI takes every opportunity to help improve health and wellbeing of people in need.

Help also includes offering forms of skills training to enable individuals to improve their prospects for the future. Many individual disabled people from near and far find their way to the centre in Monze seeking direct help with acquiring mobility aids, clothing, food or funding to support training or schooling.

lorry of equipment all set for MalimbaCarole Nzila

Last night we went to visit Carole Nzila who is the Administration manager.

We showed Carole the Raspberry Pi server delivering RACHEL learning resources. There is a small library at the Health Help offices and we thought that the Pi  resources would supplement the books they have at present.


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Technical Computer Training at Monze Resource Centre

Category : News , zambia

There was a very good turnout for our first day of teacher training in Monze District. Most had brought their laptops with them but we had plenty to lend to those who had not.

After general introductions, Howard gave an overview of the courses this week.

Today’s course was intended for teachers with good knowledge of IT so it aimed at explaining how to handle things when there were slight issues.

Technical Training at Monze Resource CentreTechnical Training at Monze Resource Centre

I interviewed the deputy Resource Centre administrator about how they had used the Raspberry Pi server we left last year. It was very pleasing to discover that teachers and students from 13 schools in Monze Central Zone and 9 in Tagore Zone regularly used the centre for research. When they did, they accessed RACHEL learning resources via laptops and smart phones.