As many of you know, earlier this year, Impact Network received a grant to expand to 35 schools in partnership with AIR, and combined with a randomized controlled trial evaluation. And over the last six months, our team has been working fervently to make this a reality.
This has involved in-depth meetings with district representatives from the Ministry, and the careful coordination with the heads of each of the schools. It’s included individual site evaluations of all 35 schools to determine what supplies are needed – how many iron sheets, how many windows, even how many nails. This culminated into dozens of orders for construction supplies from vendors in the three districts that we work, transporting hundreds of resources and materials, and overseeing the maintenance works at close to three dozen different sites. Meanwhile, solar installations are taking place across these same schools, along with orders for school supplies and furniture, pencils, pens, notebooks, and everything in between. All this in areas that aren’t always accessible by car, where cell signals often don’t work, and where reliable transport is very hard to come by.
But more than all of those logistics, this expansion has involved the hiring of teachers across these schools, teacher supervisors to help train them, and operations managers to oversee the day-to-day management of the schools. It’s been a Herculean effort – involving hundreds of applications, scores of interviews, and the onboarding of close to 40 new staff members to the team. Over the month of August, we have been training each of these groups, spending time with them, and helping them build relationships with one another.
The partnership that we have witnessed over this month has been incredibly enduring. And to the Expansion Team in Zambia – Daniel, Karly, Dalitso and Hope – we owe our greatest thanks and gratitude. This expansion truly could not have happened without them, and we are incredibly lucky to have them on the Impact Network Team!