A less frenetic programme today. Stephen had to go into town and transfer money (aghhhhhhh!!!) to Lusaka University to ensure that his youngest daughter, Natasha, gets room on campus when she starts her law course in September. Happily he didn’t need a minder to go with him (just a Lusaka requirement?) but with 2 banks involved to visit, and only one teller open in each, nothing happened quickly. T.I.A.
Once back home we all set off for Chambawa Primary School, at the western end of the area we visit. It’s about K 25 from here and took us over an hour to get there – and that WASN’T because of traffic! One word: roads. 9 of our orphans go to the school, either in a morning or afternoon session, with many of the children attending walking many kilometers to get there. There are 354 children at the school and it has 2 trained teachers and 2 untrained teachers. Mrs Daka, the Deputy Head, definitely deserves a medal. The last time her school was visited by the Education Department was in 2013 and she has received no funds for books, pencils etc for 6 months. Parents pay compulsory school fees either in money or in kind: wall paint and pigs being examples!! She is due a hardship allowance for living and teaching in such a remote area but has had to repeatedly apply for it and to date it has not been paid. She obviously loves the children, which keeps her there. How she remains even remotely cheerful is astounding.
On to see Mr Kunga again. Mrs Kunga is another untrained teacher but despite that all the children who’ve been to the Mercer’s Nursery School in the village, are almost a year ahead of their peers when they go off to ‘proper’ school. She has had help from another untrained teacher but, of course, literate people are at a premium (especially having to combine that with growing and harvesting crops) so she finds herself alone right now trying to teach 75 children. “Challenges”. We are such a tiny charity and just can’t afford to pay teacher’s salaries so the question of how to help weighs heavy at the end of this day.