Shine enrols 72 more pupils for January 2014 intake

Shine teachers conduct home visits to enrol another 72 pupils

A lot of hard work went into making 2013 our most successful year ever at Shine Zambia Reading Academy.  But after the exams and graduation were over, the work did not stop for our teachers.  They then started the process of enrolling the next crop of pupils to start at Shine Zambia Reading Academy in 2014!

We are committed to providing a free education to the most vulnerable children living in the local communities around the school in Lusaka, so this year we improved our enrolment process by conducting home visits.  Last term many people had come to the school in the hope of securing a place for their child at Shine, so we sent three teams of teachers out to visit the 100 most vulnerable children between the ages of 8 and 12 who had applied.

Children and parents queuing up at our literacy school in Zambia

Children and parents queuing up at our literacy school in Zambia in hope of obtaining a place for 2014

This task was a difficult one, given that many people living in the compounds do not have an address, as the houses are built on unplanned settlements (called ‘compounds’).  There are no street names or house numbers, and often there aren’t even proper roads that give good access to the houses.  Our teachers had to phone every family and then follow their directions to hopefully find their home!

Shine volunteer Isaac conducting a home visit

Shine volunteer, Isaac, visiting the home of a woman from the local community and her children

Over 4 days our teams of teachers managed to successfully visit 72 children, all of whom were deemed vulnerable enough to deserve one of the coveted places at Shine Zambia Reading Academy.  Part of the assessment included a reading test, and we were shocked to discover that 70 of the 72 children scored 0, even though they were already between 8 and 12 years old.  To make it worse, at least 31 of these children had attended a different school in the past.  This reflects the sad fact that the quality of education in poor areas of Zambia is so poor that a child can attend school for 4 or 5 years and still not be able to read even a three-letter word.

Although this is incredibly sad, it also gives us even more motivation to carry on our work in Zambia.  Too many Zambian parents struggle to earn enough money to send their children to schools that then fail to teach their children, and even more children reach the age of 12 without ever having stepped foot in a school.

Shine teacher Sharon enrolling future pupils at a market stall

One of the Shine teachers, Sharon, with prospective Shine pupils working at a market stall

It costs Shine £12 a month to educate a child, and we can’t do this without your help.  Please get in touch if you would like to set up a regular donation to sponsor one of our newly-enrolled children at Shine this year.

Sharing the gift of literacy with Africa's poorest children