Sep 01,2017

Chitukuko Community School

Chitukuko is a rural community located about 20KM west of Lusaka.  It was established in 2015 when 500 families were forced to re-locate by the new owners of the farmland they were squatting on for many years. Chilanga council allocated the families small plots in a barren area known as Malcolm. Establishing a new community is a tough challenge, but Build It is playing a key role in this process.

 

What we did with your support:

The construction of a new community school

In 2016 we built a three classroom block that opened in 2017. It has a strong room and an office. The strong room allows children to take their exams at the school, rather than having to walk miles, as they did previously. We also built a teacher’s house and latrine block, improving sanitation and planted a school garden that is supplying fruit to the school. We have installed a well providing clean water and solar power which gives light in the classrooms.

When we began the project in 2016 there were 275 pupils at the school, this has now increased to 483 pupils after just two years! We estimate that the school will directly benefit at least 1,600 children over the next 28 years and indirectly improve a further 8,000 lives. This is a huge step forwards.

The Ministry of Education sent Chitukuko three trained teachers meaning the children now receive a better standard of education. Chitukoko’s new school is the focal point around which this ‘new’ community can grow and develop.

The new classrooms mean the community now has a place to hold meetings, church services and social clubs, as well as the occasional wedding.

 

20 local unemployed people were trained:

15 men and 10 women were recruited from Chitukuko community and taught basic construction skills through our Training into Work Programme. They learned on site while constructing the new buildings  and 20 successfully passed the Bricklaying Level III trades test – a nationally recognised certificate.

Interview with a trainee:

In June we interviewed one of the trainees, Mabele Musolpelo (pictured below, bottom right) from the Chitukuko project:

‘at first, people said, “this is a job for men, you won’t be able to manage”’. Mabele ignored their remarks and focused on what she viewed as most important: the opportunity to make life better for her and her seven children.

When the opportunity to train as a bricklayer landed on her doorstep, Mabele grabbed it with both hands.

Mabele returns to Chitukuko whenever she can to continue building her family’s new four-bedroom house. “Life is much better now,” she asserts. “I have many more work opportunities, my children are able to go to secondary school and we’re comfortable,”

 

Looking Ahead:

Build It continues to support Chitukuko community. We are training the new Parent Community Support Committee (which is similar to a PTA) and lobbying the Ministry of Education to provide more teachers.

In addition, we are supplying much needed books, desks, sports equipment and solar lights.

We are also in discussion with the PCSC over more building works in 2019. The priority is teacher’s houses and more latrines but in time the school will need more classrooms!