Cakes and coffee make a Zambian difference

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ZamScotEd, the Mid Argyll-based charity that supports education in Zambia, is close to achieving three of the UN’s sustainable development goals in Lusaka, where its secondary school is steadily growing.

If you pop in to ZamScotEd’s next coffee morning in Lochgilphead Parish Church Hall, you will help to put the icing on the cake of St Columba’s third classroom block – the science building that will enable pupils to forge ahead and gain qualifications to work in their country’s industries and professions.

ZamScotEd founder, Marian Pallister, was back in Zambia this summer to check on the progress of the much needed secondary school the organisation initiated in one of the poorest communities on the fringe of Lusaka.

She said: ‘Progress has been amazing. St Columba’s Community Secondary Day School opened in January 2016 with one classroom block match funded by Missio Scotland.

Last year, with the help of the Spanish organisation Manos Unidas, the second classroom block opened and there was an amazing 100 per cent pass rate for the important Grade 9 exam – roughly equating to our Nat 5. Now, with funding from another Spanish organisation, Africa Directo, the science block has been built and ZamScotEd is committed to completing the interior and providing the furniture and equipment.’

Marian added that Manos Unidas have just agreed to fund the fourth and final classroom block.

There are now 190 pupils at the school, which is run by ZamScotEd’s Zambian partners, the Teresian Sisters, and there are 95 boys and 95 girls.

‘Our aims are to meet three of the UN’s sustainable development goals,’ Marian continued. ‘Goal number four is quality education, and head teacher Sr Veronica Nyoni and her team (paid by the Zambian Government) are achieving that.

‘Goal number five is gender equality – and we’re spot on there. These two can lead to Goal number one, which is to eliminate poverty. If these youngsters get a good education that leads to worthwhile employment, they will be able to turn around their own communities.’

Every penny from events like ZamScotEd’s coffee mornings goes to enhance the school and the lives of these Zambia children.

Marian concluded: ‘ZamScotEd can’t thank our community here enough.’