Build It will work alongside members of the Katole Community to train 20 new builders and construct a new 2 classroom block, teacher’s house and latrine block, safe water and solar lighting.
Katole is a poor, isolated rural community, 38km from Lusaka. It is made up of 800 households who struggle to make a living from subsistence farming. Almost half of Katole’s population is under the age of 15, and a high percentage of these children are HIV and Aids orphans.
Despite the government efforts to achieve ‘basic education for all’ they are unable to meet the needs of isolated communities, like Katole. The nearest school to Katole is 6 km walk away. Although the older children are able to make the long journey on foot, the distance is too far for the younger pupils to walk each day.
So in 1993 the community set up a pre-school. A well-wisher agreed to fund the building of a classroom, but when the promised funds were not available the work stopped. Today, two volunteer teachers do their best to teach 103 children, in what remains of the part built classroom. The structure doesn’t have a roof and when the rainy season gets underway lessons have to be cancelled. There is no clean water supply nearby or proper sanitation, making the children vulnerable to sickness and disease.
The community are committed to providing support in kind through the collection of sand and stone, site clearance and labour to manufacture the soil blocks used in the construction process.
Both the local Ministry of Education office and ChildFund (an international NGO working to protect vulnerable children by building cross community partnerships) are fully supportive of the project and are keen to see the school develop further.
The Ministry of Education has promised to allocate a trained teacher once housing is available. It will also allocate desks, chairs and school books. ChildFund have undertaken to provide additional in-service training and support to the teachers.