A promise kept
Retired teachers fundraise to build two classrooms in Zambia
Retired teachers fundraise to build two classrooms in Zambia.
Peter and Corina Bolo head to Ethiopia early next month for their fourth international Habitat for Humanity build in six years.
Before the Northport residents get there, they will stop in Zambia to make good on a promise they made while on their second Habitat for Humanity build.
While the Bolos were in Kamanga, Zambia in February 2013, the retired teachers visited a school in the CBTO (Community Based Tuberculosis/HIV Organization) compound.
There were just two classrooms and the most basic of re- sources.
“One classroom had all these plastic lawn chairs stacked to the side. That’s all they had, and the other classroom had the oldfashioned one-room schoolroom type desk with two to three kids to a desk and nowhere to put books, but there were no books to put away, anyway,” Peter recalls.
Except for a small blackboard in each room, there was nothing on the walls. Much of the learning was done by Rote, memorization and repetition.
“There were 200 kids in this school. What they did, was, the kindergartens and Grade 3s went to school from 7 to 10 every day, and the Grades 1 and 2 went from 10 until 1.”
The up to four years of schooling was all many of the children will get.
Corina said they had observed the start of two more classrooms, but the work had been at a standstill for two years, with little hope of the project moving forward.
“I remember turning to the director of CBTO,” Peter said, “and saying, ‘We are going to go home and try to raise the money for the school,’ and then we took two steps and turned around and said, ‘No, we are going to go home and raise the money,’ so that 200 more kids could have at least a Kindergarten to Grade 3 education.”
The Bolos, and three Habitat for Humanity volunteers from Ottawa, teamed up to raise the $33,000 needed to complete the two classrooms.
Mission accomplished. They’ve sent $35,000. Many school and church groups contributed.
The money was channeled through the Stephen Lewis Foundation of Canada.
The Bolos, who are looking forward to seeing the two new classrooms and new washroom facilities when they arrive in Kamanga on Jan. 26, have given at least 70 presentations on what they witnessed in Kamanga.
They have also kept the fundraising going and will be able to take the CBTO teachers shopping in the capitol of Lusaka for approximately $2,500 worth of school supplies. They are also packing maps and other teaching charts to post on the bare walls.
While the Bolos will do anything CBTO asks of them during their four days in Zambia, Corina confesses taking the teachers shopping is their dream job.
“The best thing about that is they will be able to buy what they know they need.”
Corina and Peter Bolo show a sampling of the school supplies they are packing for visit later this month to a school in Kamanga, Zambia.