To create a safe education environment, it is necessary to construct a proper school building, furnished in the right manner and equipped with all appropriate educational materials. The Liberi School was built in 2018 in a region where a school was badly necessary. Children could not be educated as the only other available schools were too overcrowded. As the children from the area had never attended school, we started educating the youngest of them first. There are five different groups at the Liberi School: baby class, middle class, reception, grade 1 and grade 2. Currently there are 188 pupils; additional pupils join every year until the school is fully attended. The school is equipped with two offices, a teachers’ room, good sanitary provisions, a canteen with kitchen, a library with computers, a vegetable garden and a fun recreation area with soccer field. There are currently sixteen paid employees.
Effective schooling is impossible without children being healthy and properly nourished: without this, they have low energy levels and fall asleep during classes. Therefore pupils are daily provided with breakfast and lunch at the Liberi School. These meals are prepared by Liberi’s own two cooks. The vegetables are from the school’s own garden. Once a week the lunch includes fish, provided by Yalelo, a local company that produces Tilapia. Meat is purchased from local farmers.
Help with education and school equipment!
To learn how to read and write, calculate and acquire basic skills and knowledge is impossible without the right educational materials. By allowing children to attend school they gain better chances for successful future lives. Education provides a firm basis in life. Good educational books and teaching materials are essential for effective education. The Liberi School is provided with educational books and materials for sports and leisure.
Partly thanks to a generous donation from Enza Seeds in Enkhuizen, the Liberi School is equipped with a beautiful vegetable garden. Some fruit trees have also been planted. The children are given vegetables and fruits from the school’s very own garden. It is wonderful to observe how this is not only a successful source of food, but also an educational experience for the children and even adults.
Liberi school for adults!
The region is still rife with illiteracy and low levels of education. Parents do however realise that education is important for children. Even when uneducated themselves, they do wish their children to attend schools so that they are provided with a better head start in life and suffer less from poverty. At the start of the Liberi School project, meetings were organised for local parents but it was soon realised the many adults were not able to read the information leaflets that were provided. Research was carried out and found that the majority of these parents did wish to improve their own levels of education. Being able to read, write, calculate and acquire other basic skills should be part of everybody’s life. More than sixty adult men and women are currently being educated for two half days each week by Liberi’s teachers.
Liberi school as a small-scale professional educational institute!
A professional educational institute provides effective and good courses that match the local job market. Unfortunately we are not quite there yet, but it is certainly a dream for the future to offer this opportunity to the area. We are however developing plans for women who wish to pursue professional careers, such as seamstress. Several sewing machines have been purchased and every day several women are being taught by professional teachers. Training is aimed at schooling these women to be able to find a job or start their own businesses. The skills are also beneficial to the school itself, as uniforms can be made here and old clothes can be mended.
Workshops and schooling for teachers!
The educational skills of our teachers are brushed up through various workshops. Teachers from other schools can join these workshops without charge. The workshops are popular among teachers as they are being taught skills that can actually be used in daily teaching life. And it works! Enthusiasm for the educational material and a fun approach with the pupils. Collaboration with colleagues and active handling of the educational material. Not just the idea, but especially the result. In addition the teachers are being offered the chance to pursue further training in education.
Building schools and renovating schools!
Pupils cannot be taught properly if they do not have a decent school building. For many children, school is much more than just a place where they learn. It is a place where they feel at home. Where they are given warm meals, feel safe and comfortable. This is especially the case for children who are raised in poverty. The classroom is also their home, their safe haven. In most other schools in the wider area the buildings are however overcrowded and badly maintained, and therefore unsafe environments for children. In most poor countries the financial means are lacking to carry our repairs and build new schools, especially in rural areas. In 2020 Liberi has started, helped by the Wilde Ganzen Foundation, to renovate the Siamatika School and add space to it. The Siamatika primary school is located West of Siavonga in a rural area named Chibombo. The school is one of the oldest and largest of Siavonga, teaching more than 600 children, divided in three shifts. The school is in very bad condition. In total there are four classrooms, measuring around 8 by 7 metres. They are dark rooms with broken windows and neglected paintwork. The meeting room / canteen has been turned into an extra classroom. The room is open on two sides, and is little used during the rainy season. There are two offices: one for the head master and one for the deputy. One of the offices is also used as meeting room for teachers. The new additional rooms are built by Epicrete, the local construction company, headed by Rainer Ihmann and Gordon Macdonald. They have also supplied the construction drawings, as they also did for the Liberi School, which we have been building the last years. As far as is possible, local builders and craftsmen are used in the construction process. The local population also helps wherever possible. We aim to complete the first part of the project in 2020, including:
- Building two extra classrooms.
- Renovating existing open-sided canteen to proper classroom.
- Renovating existing buildings.
- Introducing appropriate sanitary conditions.
- Introducing supply of running water.
We are proud to work with the Wilde Ganzen Foundation. Together with the approbation by the CBF this collaboration is an honour for Liberi.
The Siamatika health post is very important to the Kamimbi district. Doctor Moses is in charge of the daily running of the small clinic, aided by two staff members. Nearly 6000 people are dependent on the clinic. The pupils of the Liberi School are given essential vaccines and medicines. We support the health clinic especially by donating medicines, materials to support pregnant women, cleaning equipment, and small materials like thermometers. The building is in very bad condition. In the future we aim to renovate this building entirely.