Category Archives: zambia

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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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Manchamvwa Lakeshore

Category : solarpower , zambia

On 13th June we visited Manchamvwa Lakeshore School using the Office of the President’s boat.The District  Education Board Secretary, the Resource Centre Coordinator and Human Resources Officer joined us. We also invited along Deana and Belinda from Friends of Monze   to help us with our monitoring exercise which is funded by The Waterloo Foundation.

Wendy and DEBSall aboard for lakeshore schools

We provided solar power to the school in Spring 2018 thanks to funding from Hub Cymru Africa and were pleased to find everything in good working order.

solar controllersbatteries

There was an extensive garden on site where they grew water melons. The Head Teacher gave us a water melon  to take for our lunch. He said he had consulted RACHEL learning resource to see how to grow them! We were pleased to discover the different uses that this resource is put to.

gardenWatermelonschildren at manchamvwaschool groundsManchamvwa Lakeshore schoolfishing and cattle farming


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Monitoring our impact

Category : solarpower , zambia

This morning we invited representatives from all the schools where we had installed solar panels to come to Siavonga Resource Centre. We wanted them to help us assess the impact of our project. The Waterloo Foundation has given us a grant to carry out the task of monitoring our impact.

We have installed solar panels in 14 schools in Siavonga District in liaison with the District Education Board Secretary (DEBS). Funding for this work has come from University of Wales Trinity St Davids, S & C Electric Europe, Hub Cymru Africa, The Waterloo Foundation and Welsh Government Wales for Africa Grant Scheme administered by WCVACymru.  SolarPlants in Baglan Bay also donated us solar panels.

We divided into two groups and first addressed the issue of the impacts made by having solar power. The groups presented their findings to all attendees.

solar schoolsteachers at workTeacher from BbakilaDaniel from Dibbwi presenting findings

The most important impact of being given solar power was being able to run laptops with which to address the teaching of ICT. Schools also mentioned increased security because of LED lighting and the use of the school after hours for adult learning or for pupils to do homework.

impact of solar panels

The next question was concerning their use of the RACHEL  learning resources.There were differences between the groups in the modules  they used most. All used the African Story Books as there is a government initiative called Read Aloud encouraging daily reading. One school was interested in the Economics module as it gave information on entrepreneurship and setting up a business. In the communities served by all these schools, there is no formal employment. People farm or garden or run small businesses like shops.

Teacher from munyama

 

 


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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.


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Malimba School, Monze District

Category : News , solarpower , zambia

We’re here in Monze District to deliver some teacher training and to install solar panels at Malimba School. This school has been newly built by Friends of Monze who asked us to install the panels on their behalf.

lorry of equipment all set for Malimbaschool children greeting us

 

We set off early with the solar panels lying on a mattress on the back of a lorry. Our route took us through a large farm. We had to stop and have the tyres sprayed as there is Foot and Mouth around.
We were greeted by excited school children on our arrival.

unloading lorryHoward explaining about solarsetting up panels at Malimbosetting up a battery

The equipment was unloaded and Howard ran through the principles of the installation with a group of teachers and members of the local community. Several of them had installed small panels before so understood the process.

We brought a projector, laptops and RACHEL learning resources on a Raspberry Pi server. Teachers and members of the local community were very interested in the various modules. A mother brought her toddler to hear the African story Books and some of the ladies even read stories to Howard in the local language Chitonga.

Ladies looking at RACHEL using laptopschild looking at storyladies reading in Chitonga

A local smith is making a frame for the panels and this should be all done and up on the roof by the time we return to Malimba on Friday for the official opening.

 


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Off to Zambia soon!

Category : News , sponsors , zambia

We’re extremely busy preparing for our trip to Zambia at the end of the month. This visit will include delivering training and installing solar panels at a school in Monze newly built by Friends of Monze.

Then it’s down to Siavonga to visit the 14 schools where we have previously installed solar panels over the last four years.  These installations have been made possible by grants from University of Wales Trinity St DavidsS & C Electric Europe, Hub Cymru Africa, The Waterloo Foundation and Welsh Government Wales for Africa Grant Scheme administered by WCVA

We were also donated solar panels by Solar Plants, Baglan Bay.

We want to check that all the equipment there is functioning well and being properly maintained.  We have supplied Raspberry Pi computers running RACHEL learning resources and we want to see which modules are most useful. We intend to assess the impact our project has made in the district so far. We are able to undertake this monitoring activity thanks to funding from The Waterloo Foundation.

At the end of the trip, we will spend a few days training teachers in Chilanga District.