Since 2009 Waterberry Zambezi Lodge’s Tukongote Community Projects have improved the educational opportunities in nearby villages. What initially started as a single pre-school has now evolved into a growing educational hub for both children and adults.
The new Preschool building has been joined by the first two classrooms of the Primary School, which will expand up to Grade 7. For secondary schooling, 29 children have been sponsored by generous guests of Waterberry who promise to pay for 5 years of education at partner school Kazungula this year.
Waterberry’s nearby villages are full of people who want to learn - from basic reading, writing and mathematics, to skills that will help them earn a job. The demand is high, so they have recently created a new study centre and library.
The main aims are to support higher primary school and secondary school students with extra tuition; to offer a community library with a wide range of books; to offer basic skills training such as sewing and gardening (with future plans to extend to areas such as carpentry and computer skills), and to introduce an Adult Learning Facility offering adult literacy classes.
Since opening in February, the interest from all groups has been extremely positive with one of the most successful groups being the adults. It is apparent that many of the mothers of children attending the preschool wanted to learn to read especially in order to help their own children. One mother stated, “I want to be able to help my child at school, so for that I need to go back to school too”.
The new community library is a focal point for the groups. Waterberry shipped 27,000 books to Zambia from the UK charity Books 2 Africa.
They arrived in dozens of boxes and were unpacked by Waterberry tutors and two brave Scottish librarian volunteers who set up and catalogued the library and trained staff to manage the library which will be accessible to the whole community. The library opened in June.
Parity, who teaches reading, summed up his perception of the work being done at Tukongote,
“Everything has improved so fast and seeing adults that are now able to read and write is a beautiful thing”.
The Tukongote project is providing materials and training teachers in 4 other nearby schools, with a total responsibility for more than 400 pupils
Guests are always pleased to discover that Waterberry’s owners fund the building and administration of Tukongote Community Projects so that 100% of donations go directly to the schools and adult training centre.
Waterberry Zambezi Lodge is a small, informal, friendly lodge situated 35 minutes from Livingstone. The lodge is set in a secluded position on the banks of the spectacular Zambezi River with views to the Zambezi National Park on the opposite bank. River Farmhouse is located within walking distance from Waterberry Zambezi Lodge. The farmhouse was built with family holidays and groups of friends in mind on the site of the old colonial farm.