The community of St. Paul Preschool is characterized by a high percentage of people unemployed or doing informal activities (selling coal, small-scale fishing, farm work), where poverty and illiteracy are widespread, there is an high number of marriages and early pregnancies and a high spread of HIV virus which leaves many children without parents. The St. Paul Mulungushi Pre-school is the only kindergarten in this area of 8 villages, some up to 15 km away from the school. Founded in 2001 by the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate with the aim of helping orphans and vulnerable children through education, the school now has 231 pupils, boys and girls, and offer them free educational support. The teachers are volunteers and Sister Elizabeth, of the Little Servants of Mary Immaculate, is the director of the school. Orphans and vulnerable children are signaled to the school by the communities through the village leaders. Once the children are identified, the Sisters visit the children’s villages and families to check their conditions and ask the family or relatives who are guardians of the orphans to sign a commitment for promoting the children attendance at St. Paul Pre-school. Every day the school has to deal with the few resources available, the lack of desks for everyone and an empty playground.

PURPOSE OF THE PROJECT:

The aim of the project is to improve the educational activities offered by the St. Paul Pre-school through the purchasing  of new desks, blackboards and play equipment. Before the implementation of the project, the school had only 68 desks and chairs for 231 pupils and 163 children attended lessons sitting on the floor.  Children living closest to the school were used to arrive  earlier and sit on the desks, excluding the others. Due to the lack of blackboards, the teachers had to keep the children crowded into the only two equipped classrooms. Children found many problems in learning. Thanks to the purchase of desks and blackboards, St Paul Pre-school pupils can now attend lessons in smaller groups in separated classrooms, also being able to respect the anti-covid distancing, and can play with the new equipment. They are doing a better school experience, which will be useful for their life and to be prepared when they will go to primary school.

THE PROJECT IN BRIEF:

The project supported the purchasing of educational and play equipment for the St. Paul Mulungushi kindergarten, Kabwe area, Zambia.

THE PROJECT IN NUMBERS:

125 chairs, 61 desks, 4 blackboards and new play equipment purchased and installed at St. Paul Mulungushi pre-school,

231 orphaned and vulnerable children have access to improved preschool educational activities and a space to play where they can develop their cognitive and physical skills

4 teachers are facilitated in their work ensuring better teaching

SDG: 4.2

Laudato si’ goals: 2