- The Great Ones - Pre School
- partner school
- Camfed International and the University of Cambridge - Cambridge Assessment Group and Judge Business School
When my team members and I decided to open a preschool in the area where we grew up, we had no idea that it would attract so many children. Preschooling is not compulsory in Zambia and the vulnerable are not able to attend the expensive schools in our area. We saw this gap in our community and were eager to set up a preschool for children aged between two and six years old. On the day we opened we didn't expect 65 children to turn up!
We have now been open since February and always have full classes of bright, enthusiastic children all eager to learn. We have bought books, stationery and uniforms and teach a range of subjects such as Math, English, Religious Studies and Art. We have had overwhelming support from the community, even receiving donations to help us cover basic costs. The Zambia Ministry of Education has also shown strong support for us by granting us permission to open the preschool as it is necessary to register such ventures with the government.
The children all love coming to school and in fact we have a long waiting list. Going to preschool gives children a healthy foundation. If we can enroll vulnerable children in school early, it will help prepare them to make something of their lives in the future.
Our biggest challenge has been to collect money from all of the parents. The children mainly come from poor families whose parents are finding it hard to pay the school fees regardless of how minimal it is. We have been able to provide bursaries for the most vulnerable of all children and are now looking at ways of making this sustainable.
We have learned the huge task of responsibility. We are looking after 65 children. Their safety is paramount to us and we all have to work as a team to ensure it. We have to manage our funds, plan our activities and remain true to our mission statement. Clear, efficient communication is important and so is reliability - we know how important this school is to our children and their parents.
We would like to open another school. There is a clear need for it in our area. Two members of our team have even gone to teacher training college. This is in order to run the school effectively. They teach in the morning and go to college every afternoon; it shows just how dedicated we all are.