April 01, 2020
Although Exminster is over 7000 miles away from Nayamba, both communities are currently experiencing the bizarre experience of ‘lockdown’ due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nayamba School has been forced to close so that social distancing can be facilitated, and acres of land surrounding the Nayamba community have been fenced off so that no one from outlying communities can enter. The Nagwaza farm shop, which lies within the Nayamba community, is working hard to continue selling locally-grown food at cost but unfortunately the daily food programme (which serves a hot meal to the Nayamba school children) has had to be put on hold.
Fortunately, Zambian children have four-week break at Easter, so lockdown measures haven’t impacted their education greatly yet. While the children are currently unable to attend Nayamba school, the fantastic teachers are working hard on curriculum planning, assessment and the creation of educational resources. They are also undertaking professional development with Abigail White, a former deputy head teacher from Devon, who has extensive experience of working in international schools and schools in developing areas.
As we have mentioned previously, Abigail is working at Nayamba school for a year to deliver training and to oversee the development of the curriculum for the new trade school (which will provide post-14 education for Nayamba students who are not able to take the higher-level academic route). The opening of the trade school has now had to be delayed due to lockdown so we have adapted our plans: rather than have a phased start for the first intake of students, we will launch all stages of the centre at once. The delayed opening will give us more time to make sure all the necessary curriculum policies and procedures are in place for this larger scale opening.
We are extremely lucky to have been able to employ a highly-qualified new teacher at Nayamba, who will be teaching English, Social Studies and Religious Studies to the higher-grade students. Tembozi Malambo (25-years-old) has a degree in English and geography and she is keen to help students develop into proactive, independent learners. “My first goal is to develop the mindset of learners. I would love to help them approach life with a different attitude – from one of dependency to understanding the importance of hard work and personal growth. They need to understand that they have to work for things that they want – both for themselves and for a better community.” She has settled very well into Nayamba school and has found headteacher, Sera, both supportive and encouraging.
Unfortunately, our long-awaited auction of amazing, imaginative and truly special prizes has had to be postponed due to the current extraordinary circumstances we are currently experiencing. The good news is that the auction will now take place in Autumn, so we will have even longer to save our pennies to bid on prizes! Remember, every penny raised goes straight to funding Nayamba school (including all educational equipment, a daily hot meal for the children, teachers’ salaries and the trade school). There are over 40 fantastic prizes to bid on including: luxury holidays, spa days, The Bear Trail (Devon’s muddiest family assault course!), a brewery tour (and sampling session!), Woodland’s days out, restaurant meals and even a tour of the Royal Opera House (including a back stage pass!). We are really grateful for all the prize donations, especially as donors have been so gracious about extending the prizes until the auction can be rescheduled.