#education

Preparations for the Japan Handover Ceremony

This week Kristen, our Education Development Intern, writes about the team’s activities to plan for a ceremony celebrating the completion of Impact Network’s grant from the Japanese Embassy in Lusaka.

February 28th is an exciting day at David Seidenfield School! The Japanese Ambassador to Zambia, H.E. Hidenobu Sobashima, as well as Chief M’ban’gombe, the Minister of Eastern Province the Hon. Makebi Zulu and many other government officials are visiting for a handover ceremony.  The Japanese Embassy funded the construction of three new school blocks at David Seidenfield, Mkale, and Zatose Community Schools. These buildings will accommodate more students at schools - an important step because there are more grade 7 students attending classes at Impact Schools.

The past week has been full of preparations, ranging from visiting the Ministry of Education offices in Katete and Chipata to deliver invitations to cleaning up the school.  Some of the highlights for me have been the many practices I’ve sat in on as students prepare poetry and dance pieces.

Several teachers at David Seidenfield and Kanyelele have spent countless hours over the past week working with students and helping them learn their routines. Joseph Banda, the head teacher at David Seidenfield, penned a beautiful poem thanking the Japanese Embassy, entitled Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu, and after plenty of auditions, Mphumulo Banda selected a group of five students to perform it. Zuwana Banda additionally coached a group of 6th and 7th graders on three songs and their respective dances. It’s inspiring to see the dedication that Zuwana and Mphumulo show.  They are new teachers and have stayed late every day of the past week to make sure everyone is ready for the ceremony! Many parents from David Seidenfield School have also been practicing nightly, as they are going to open the ceremony with a song and dance.

The Nyau will perform at the beginning of the ceremony so that as guests arrive they will be greeted with traditional Chewa dancing. Huge piles of firewood have been delivered, tents have been pitched, 10 cooks have been hired, audio equipment has been set up, and we are all ready for the big day! As I write this, all of the performers are going through the last run-through of their pieces.   

As the Deputy Commissioner of Katete said during our meeting last week, the future of the children of Zambia is everyone’s priority and goal - the handover ceremony will be a special occasion marking progress towards the achievement of that goal.

Check back next week to read more about how the ceremony went!

Kristen 

Introducing Kristen Fraley

This week on the blog, Kristen Fraley introduces herself

 

Hello!

           I’m Kristen and I am thrilled to join Impact Network’s Zambia team as an Education Development Intern! I’m from Florida but I’ve called Scotland home for the last year and a half. I recently completed a Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of Edinburgh. During this time, I specialized in Education Policy, Transitional Justice, and Africa in International Politics. I received a B.A. from Florida State University in International Affairs and Religion with a minor in Anthropology in 2012. Afterwards, I moved to the Czech Republic and became a certified English Teacher, spending two years working as a preschool, primary, secondary, and adult English teacher in Prague. I also held a position as an Observer at a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification school, and I worked with teachers in training by observing their lessons and strategizing techniques for improvement. When I’m in Florida, I am a substitute teacher for Lee County School District. This role has granted me in-depth experience with students aged 4-18 and the stages of learning development.

One of the most brilliant things about teaching to me is seeing the “light bulb moment:” the way a student’s face lights up when they’ve figured out a challenging problem or improved in their abilities is so rewarding!

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    Exploring Ben Lomond in the Trossachs National Park, Scotland.

Exploring Ben Lomond in the Trossachs National Park, Scotland.

 

Why do you want to intern for Impact Network?

          As the daughter of a teacher, I have always had a profound respect for education. I believe that education is the bedrock of society and that, within every mind, lies great potential waiting to be unlocked. To me, equal access to education is a right for every individual and I am committed to strengthening education infrastructure across the world. I am particularly interested in the use of sustainable technologies for providing education to off-the-grid communities, therefore, the work Impact Network does is truly up my alley! This internship initially caught my eye because it bridges my academic studies with my previous work experience and my future career goals. I ultimately aim to work in Education Policy and International Development. I am very excited to see firsthand Impact Network’s successful implementation of Zambian curriculum standards while providing a ‘learning by doing’ environment for teachers and students alike!

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    Face painting during a sensory English summer camp in Prague- the book theme that day was Alice in Wonderland!

Face painting during a sensory English summer camp in Prague- the book theme that day was Alice in Wonderland!

 

What are you most looking forward to?

        I am most looking forward to assisting the team while further honing the skills I’ve gained over the last few years. Not only is this internship a unique opportunity for career development, it is also a way to learn firsthand about life in Zambia. I love learning new languages and I am looking forward to studying Chewa and Nyanja while I am here. I also can’t wait to explore the natural beauty Zambia has to offer by visiting the impressive Victoria Falls and going on a safari in the South Luangwe National Park. I will be in Lusaka for a few more days but I am eager to go to Eastern Province and begin working. For now, I am enjoying the sights and the weather. It is the rainy season so the days are warm, the nights are cool, and the trees are lush and green. Coming from Florida, it reminds me a lot of home!

I’ll post updates regarding my experiences here so do keep an eye out!

                 Kristen

 

 

Impact Network's 2016 Year in Review

This year, we created a Virtual Reality experience to bring Impact Network's schools to you.  I Am Because of You is a stunning 360-degree film that allows you to step into a day in the life of Janet, a 10-year-old girl with big dreams.

WATCH NOW

 

2016 Year In Review

 

2016 was a year full of milestones for Impact Network. We could not do this important work without you! These are some of the highlights you helped us achieve:

  • We built three new, much-needed upper primary schools to house our older students at Joel, Mkale, and Zatose, thanks to a generous grant from the Japanese Embassy in Lusaka.
  • We received funding from the German Embassy in Lusaka to create VIP latrines at two of our schools as part of a pilot project to improve hygiene and health outcomes for students. Watch our students performing a poetry slam from the workshop here.
  • We piloted and expanded a Reproductive Health & Life Skills pilot program to better serve students in the Upper Primary Grades.

Building on these successes, we are planning to expand in Eastern Province next year.  Follow our journey here

We continue to rely on your generosity to serve 2,200 students every day in Zambia. Thank you for your continued support and Happy New Year!

DONATE NOW

 

Highlights from the Web

Board Members of American Institutes for Research visit Zambia

AIR board members made the long trip to Zambia to visit our schools in May. They were the largest group of visitors yet, and spent three days touring Joel village, observing Impact Network classrooms, and learning about our students.  Read more about the trip in UPenn's press release >

POETRY SLAM ABOUT...SEX ED?

We are so impressed with the humor and maturity of our 6th grade students, who recently completed Impact Network's first class on reproductive health. One class even performed a poetry slam demonstrating what they learned. Check out the video >

Our First Graduating Class!

Mnyaula Community School graduated our first class of grade seven students! Over three dozen students sat for the National Examinations this fall under the guidance of their teacher, Maxwell Mbewe. Read more about the students here >

 

Chefs for Impact Guests Step Into Zambia with VR at 2016 Gala

We hosted our largest-ever Chefs for Impact gala at the Eventi Hotel, where guests enjoyed a 6-course tasting menu from top NYC chefs and experienced our VR film set in rural Zambia. Check out our article on creating VR in Huffington Post >

 

Day in the Life: Petros Banda

Petros Banda is the longest-serving teacher at Impact Network and was recently promoted to Teacher Supervisor for Zone B. Petros is very kind and works hard to help teachers improve week by week. He always wanted to be a teacher so that he could share his own knowledge with the pupils and help educate a new generation of bright students. Do you want to know more about Petros and his work as a Teacher Supervisor? Keep reading!

Could you tell me about when you joined Impact Network? 

I was actually the first teacher to join Impact Network in 2010. After I completed school, I applied and went for an interview and I have been here since. At that time, we did not have the same technology as we do now, so I have seen the whole process. I have also done several trainings and received certificates. 

How do you get ready for work? 

Firstly I have to prepare all the items I need during the day and I also need to check that the motorbike is in good shape. I have to check the tires and that I have enough petrol to go to the school. When I became the Teacher Supervisor I had to learn how to ride the motorbike - the previous Implementation Specialist taught me, and now I am even able to drive with a passenger! 

Do you have a favorite class or grade? 

My favorite subject is science and I like to work with Grade 1, because you can learn a lot from the young students. My favorite school is Kanyelele, where I worked when I first joined Impact, but now it is not in my Zone.

Do you like using the tablet? 

Yes, I like using it - it is very easy to use. Sometimes I have to help new teachers with the technology and demonstrate how to use tablets and projectors properly. 

What is the most meaningful thing about being a teacher supervisor? 

I like to include learners (pupils, teachers) and see them improve. I also enjoy our Teacher Trainings, when I hold a presentation and discuss the topics with the teachers. 

Do you have any funny stories from your time as a teacher? 

Yes! When I worked as a teacher, the students really liked my classes because at the end of the day I would tell a story. However, I would not tell the whole story - I would tell them that we would continue the story the following day. Therefore all the children would come to school the next day to hear the end of the story!

What did you want to do when you grew up when you were little? 

Since I started school I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. School is very different now from when I grew up - for example, now the pupils are learning a lot about technology. Previously there was a shortage of schools and teaching materials, but at Impact Network the pupils receive all the materials they need. 

Do you tell your family about your day at work? 

Yes, sometimes I call my mother during the day. My mother is a farmer and during the holiday I help her in the field. She grows ground maize, cotton, onions, beans and tomatoes and we also have some chickens on the farm. 

What do you like to do when you are not at school? 

I go to church and sometimes I watch sports or traditional dances. My favorite sport is football, and my team is called Chipolopolo, which is the Zambian national team. 

- Camilla

October Teacher Training Highlights!

October Teacher Training Highlights!

On a monthly basis Impact Network conducts trainings for all the teachers. This is to constantly improve the skills of our teachers and also to give them an opportunity to give us feedback and raise any concerns they may have. In this blog post I would like to share more about our most recent Teacher Training.