Katole is a poor, isolated rural community, 38km from Lusaka. It is made up of 800 households who often struggle to make ends meet from subsistence farming.
The nearest school to Katole was a 6km walk away. Although, the older children were able to make the long journey on foot, the distance was too far for little ones to walk.
Before Build It started construction, two volunteer teachers taught 103 children, in a part-built classroom. The structure didn’t have a roof and when the rainy season began lessons had to be cancelled. There was no clean water supply nearby, or proper sanitation, making the children vulnerable to sickness and disease.
What we did with your support:
We built a classroom block, an office and a strong room at Katole. The strong room was constructed to keep exam papers secure, allowing the school to become a registered exam centre.
As a direct result of providing accommodation for teachers, Zambian Ministry for Education allocated a head teacher Mr Mwape to move and teach at Katole. There are also two community teachers. This is the first time the school has had qualified teachers which has proved to vastly improve the standard of education.
The new latrine block has separate cubicles for boys and girls, which encourages girls to stay in education for longer. Indeed, as of November 2018 there are an equal number of girls and boys at the school! Further, provision of access to clean water for drinking and handwashing has helped to improve pupil health and well-being.
14 men and 6 women were recruited from the local community, all of whom completed the training. They learnt new skills and gained practical work experience to help move them into employment and the chance of a brighter future.
We caught up with Karen, who was one of the trainees at Katole. Karen left school at grade 11 in 2016 due to financial challenges. Now that she is able to earn an income, her plan is to complete school in the next two years.
Initially, Karen was discouraged by her friends from the community who told her that the training was for men. Because of her determination, she managed to overcome the challenge and joined the programme. Karen now says she is happy to be part of the community project that will bring development help so many children in her community.
Since we left…
Katole are waiting to hear back from the Ministry of Education for approval for the headmaster’s wife to begin teaching at the school.
The school has recorded an increase of 130 pupils already since the start of 2018. The overall total at now at 278 and growing!
We continue to be in touch with Katole school and look forward to hearing of even more progress.