The Halcrow Foundation is funding the building of new school facilities in Zambia. As well as encouraging children to stay in education for longer, the project will also improve sanitary conditions within the school and community, and give unemployed young people valuable training in construction work.
In Zambia, 30 per cent of children do not complete primary school education, and only 28 per cent go on to secondary education. Overcrowding, lack of teachers and poor sanitation are often contributing factors.
The Halcrow Foundation is funding a project in Chitukuko, a village north of Lusaka, that will enable a community school to meet the educational and sanitation needs of almost 500 pupils. The project is run by Build It International, a UK-based charity that builds schools and clinics in disadvantaged communities in Zambia, while running construction skills training programmes for young, unemployed men and women.
The project provides Chitukuko Community School with separate toilet facilities for girls, which is a proven method for keeping older girls in school. When a girl reaches puberty, access to separate, private facilities is a decisive factor as to whether they remain in education. The project also creates additional hand washing facilities at the school to promote good hygiene practice and reduce the spread of sickness.
Previously the remote location of the school meant it was difficult and expensive for qualified teachers to commute to the area, so Build It International is also building two additional teachers’ houses with private latrines. Providing quality accommodation will bring more qualified teachers to the school, helping to significantly improve the standard of education.
A group of local young men and women will also be trained in additional construction skills so they can build the new school structures, gaining skills and qualifications for future employment. Ultimately, the project will indirectly benefit almost 7,000 local and family members.
Christine Cartland, Senior Grants Fundraiser at Built It International says:
“The generous support from the Halcrow Foundation is making a real difference to the community at Chitukuko. It means we can make long-term changes by developing community infrastructure and develop livelihoods. It means local children and young people will have access to education and training, and the chance of a brighter future.”
Chitukuko Community School was established in 2016, following the forced relocation of over 500 families when the land they previously occupied was sold to a mining company. Since the relocation, the community has struggled to rebuild their lives on a remote and barren strip of land.
In 2016, Build It International helped the community establish Chitukuko’s first three-room school building. Since then, pupil numbers have doubled from 275 to 488 and this significant expansion meant further building work was required to cope with the children’s education needs. The original latrine block was also insufficient for the growing number of pupils using it, causing the sanitation situation to rapidly deteriorate.
Thanks to Halcrow Foundation funds, Build It International has improved the infrastructure, sanitation and educational standards for Chitukuko School, so children are more likely to stay in school longer. With higher levels of education, their future employment prospects improve, and this in turn benefits their families and communities.
Build It International provides entry-level construction skills training to young people. The project at Chitukuko provides the opportunity to support five Build It trainees with further training. By working on the construction of the school building project, these young men and women will benefit from additional Build It International training workshops. These include Health and Safety, Material Management, Labour Management and Interpretation of Drawings, and will enable them to gain extra skills to deliver the project and for future employment.
Mike Tembo trained with Build It International in 2017, and has has since become a successful builder who employs other young, disadvantaged people. Read more about how Mike is leading his team on the construction of the new latrines at Chitukuko. And watch the impact Build It International training has had on his and his family’s lives.
About Build It International
Build It International works in Zambia and believes everyone has a right to education and training, to enable a sustainable future. It has completed nearly 50 community construction projects including schools, clinics and sanitation facilities, and has trained more than 1,000 young men and women in construction skills. The charity uses sustainable local materials and construction techniques wherever possible.