Cakes and cof­fee make a big Zam­bian dif­fer­ence

Argyllshire Advertiser - - FEATURE -

ZamS­cotEd, the Mid Ar­gyll­based char­ity that sup­ports ed­u­ca­tion in Zam­bia, is close to achiev­ing three of the UN’s sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals in Lusaka, where its sec­ondary school is steadily grow­ing.

Any­one pop­ping in to ZamS­cotEd’s next cof­fee morn­ing in Lochgilp­head Parish Church Hall, will be help­ing to put the ic­ing on the cake of St Columba’s third class­room block – the sci­ence build­ing that will en­able pupils to forge ahead and gain qual­i­fi­ca­tions to work in their coun­try’s in­dus­tries and pro­fes­sions.

ZamS­cotEd founder Mar­ian Pal­lis­ter was back in Zam­bia this sum­mer to check on the progress of the much-needed sec­ondary school, the or­gan­i­sa­tion ini­ti­ated in one of the poor­est com­mu­ni­ties on the fringe of Lusaka.

She said: ‘Progress has been amaz­ing. St Columba’s Com­mu­nity Sec­ondary Day School opened in Jan­uary 2016 with one class­room block match funded by Mis­sio Scot­land.

‘Last year, with the help of the Span­ish or­gan­i­sa­tion Manos Unidas, the sec­ond class­room block opened and there was an amaz­ing 100 per cent pass rate for the im­por­tant Grade 9 exam – roughly equat­ing to our Nat 5. Now, with fund­ing from an­other Span­ish or­gan­i­sa­tion, Africa Directo, the sci­ence block has been built and ZamS­cotEd is com­mit­ted to com­plet­ing the in­te­rior and pro­vid­ing the fur­ni­ture and equip­ment.’

Mar­ian added that Manos Unidas has just agreed to fund the fourth and fi­nal class­room block.

There are now 190 pupils at the school, which is run by ZamS­cotEd’s Zam­bian part­ners, the Tere­sian Sis­ters, and there are 95 boys and 95 girls.

‘Our aims are to meet three of the UN’s sus­tain­able devel­op­ment goals,’ Mar­ian con­tin­ued. ‘Goal num­ber four is qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, and head teacher Sr Veron­ica Ny­oni and her team (paid by the Zam­bian Gov­ern­ment) are achiev­ing that.

‘Goal num­ber five is gen­der equal­ity – and we’re spot on there. These two can lead to Goal num­ber one, which is to elim­i­nate poverty. If these young­sters get a good ed­u­ca­tion that leads to worth­while em­ploy­ment, they will be able to turn around their own com­mu­ni­ties.’

Ev­ery penny from events like ZamS­cotEd’s cof­fee morn­ings goes to en­hance the school and the lives of these Zam­bia chil­dren.

Mar­ian con­cluded: ‘ZamS­cotEd can’t thank our com­mu­nity here enough.’

Pupils hard at work in one of the new class­rooms.

Mar­ian Pal­lis­ter pre­sent­ing a statue of St Columba – a gift from St An­drew’s parish in Rothe­say – to head teacher Sr Veron­ica Ny­oni.

An ex­te­rior shot of the three build­ings to date.

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