Chiwawatala School

Kids at Chiwawatala
In 2003 Chiwawatala School only had 4 teachers teaching 600 pupils in 7 grades. Classes had to be held on a rotational basis. In 2006, with Sausage Tree’s help the ratio was reduced to 1 teacher per 38 pupils. However over the last few years the school has grown significantly and is now teaching pupils in grades 8 and 9. There are currently 817 pupils being taught in 10 classrooms by 18 teachers (2 of whose salaries are paid by Sausage Tree), a ratio of 45 pupils to 1 teacher.

We visited the school in September 2013 and met with the new head teacher Mrs Misozi Phiri. It was their first day of term and it was fantastic to see a well resourced school running efficiently. We even saw the books and resources that we provide them with each term stacked up in the library ready to be given out. Due to such high pupil numbers they still need to teach on a rotational basis. One session starts at 7am with children finishing at midday. The second session starts at 1pm and finishes at 5pm.

Renovated classroom block in 2015

Renovated classroom block in 2015

 

Conservation Science Africa (CSA) still farm 2 vegetable plots at the school and continue to educate the community in sustainable vegetable growing. A percentage of the profit made from selling the vegetables to local safari lodges is given to the school. There is also a yearly tree planting competition as firewood is becoming a huge problem. Many people are now having to travel great distances to get it as there is none left close to the villages, this can be a very dangerous job as the areas they tend to go to support a large elephant population.

For the few years the World Food Organisation (WFO) provided a meal a day to all the children at Chiwawatala. During our visit in September 2013 we were informed that funding for this project stopped but thankfully the Luangwa Conservation and Community Fund (LCCF), of which our team on the ground are members of, now provide each child with a meal of Sampo each day. This is basically refined maize meal with oil, sugar and salt added to it. Without this some of the pupils would not be guaranteed a regular meal each day which is crucial but not always possible at home.

Work that we have helped fund includes:

  • Building a grain store so that the children can now be given meals provided by the World Food Organisation.
  • One double classroom re-roofed, made secure for the rains. New beams, struts and iron sheeting replaced.
  • New pit latrines built.
  • Classrooms whitewashed (needs to be done regularly).
  • New doors put on all classrooms to make them secure.
  • The building and stocking of a fish pond.
  • In September 2006 the government decided that it would send four teachers to the school. However, with no accommodation the teachers would ask to be relocated. Sausage Tree built one house which was then handed over to the government to house one of its teachers.
  • Funding the school’s vegetable garden and tree plantation.
  • Tree planting scheme.
  • Providing stationary, educational resources and books.
  • In 2008 Sausage Tree supplied £3,200 worth of new test books.
  • During 2014 we funded the refurbishment of a teacher’s house.
  • In 2015 we paid for the renovation of a classroom block that was damaged in heavy rain and wind.

Future Projects

  • Continue to pay 2 teachers salaries and resource the school on a termly basis with books, writing equipment etc.
  • More reading and writing resources.
  • Providing sports equipment.