Schools are about to break up for the holidays, although the exam classes will work on. In terms of academic achievement, although this year has been settled, we are now seeing the results of the COVID interruptions of 2020 and 2021.
Kirsty Lickfold, our volunteer from Rotorua, has done a great job with sports and PE. One of our teachers told me she didn’t enjoy PE when she herself was at school, but is enjoying participating in Kirsty’s lessons. Kirsty is planning a week’s holiday programme at Kafakumba. This will be very welcome, as the children in our local community have little to do when they are not at school.
We were very pleased with Constance Kabemba, one of our Onesimus students, who is in her first year of Pharmacy studies at Lusaka Apex Medical University in Lusaka. Constance has gained a A or an A+ in five of her eight courses so far this year. One of the objectives of the Onesimus Programme is to assist achieving and motivated students from poor backgrounds with their educational costs at secondary school, college or university.
When President Hichilema’s new government came into power last year, they promised the deployment of thousands of teachers into the government sector. This is very welcome news if it strengthens and improves government education in Zambia. Those being deployed are young people who have completed their training and often wait years for a posting. However, our schools employ many of these, so we have been waiting with baited breath to find out who we will lose. Unfortunately for us we are about to lose one third of the teachers in both schools. Although our conditions are better than government with smaller class sizes and, in many cases, better equipment, we cannot match the government salaries. So after several years of very settled staff, we now face considerable changes as we employ new teachers.
During the school holidays Matthew and I are planning a week away, visiting old friends at Sachibondu and Nyangombe in the remote North-Western Province. It will be a welcome break.
Once again, our grateful thanks to you all for your interest, support and prayers.
— Alison and Matthew Raymond
I have been working at Limapela Cedric’s school as an administrator since 2018. I remember bumping into Mr Raymond one afternoon at our local mall and Mr Raymond telling me Limapela was looking for someone to come and help them run the school. At that moment I just knew that this was my calling from God. Not long after that we got into discussions about the job and I was so excited to be part of the amazing work Mr and Mrs Raymond were doing for our community.
I was born on a farm two kilometres from the school, where I still live with my husband and three kids. My family was one of the first commercial farming families to settle in this area. This is why I feel so attached to this community, and I was excited to be given an opportunity to give back to the community where I had grown up and to make a contribution to the future of my people.
Each morning I come to school, I look forward to seeing all the little preschool faces. They love to see me and give me high fives as I do my rounds, checking on the garden and on the ongoing projects.
My job includes ensuring the smooth running of the school, regular meetings with the senior staff to identify areas of improvement, managing non-teaching employees, creating budgets and project management. My biggest challenge has been to get the school garden to a point where it is making a profit.
I get great satisfaction in seeing the school grow, seeing how the pupils and teachers take such pride in the school, and seeing how they take responsibility to maintain the grounds and property.