Friday, 24 August 2012

Fantastic Friday

The last week on Book Bus in Livingstone has been a busy one with some volunteers spending a week with the children at Lubasi Home and others running a teacher support workshop about using books in the classroom. Both weeks have been a great success and Friday was a highlight. We gave the children at Lubasi their own books and the teachers at the workshop got the books they had been working with and a certificate, which in Zambia is a must have!
Here are a few pictures from our fantastic Friday


Kelly 25/08/2012

Sunday, 12 August 2012

"One Book, One Book!"

Holiday time at school and the first week saw us at the rural village of Sinde, where we visit Twabuka School every Wednesday in term time. We told the children the last week of term that we would be coming but when we rolled into the village, where we wanted to park up, some of the volunteers looked concerned as we could only see a handful of children. However, true to form, within 5 minutes of arriving there were more than 50 and with 30 minutes we were almost up to 90! The turnout was around 100 each day with about 30 grade 5 to 7 and 70 grade 4 and below!

We had a very special week, getting to know the children and some of the parents. Driving through the villages on the way there we are always greeted with smiles and waves from everyone. We are always also followed by a band of children that grows steadily with each homestead we pass. The favourite chant is “one book, one book!” The shouts got more adventurous as the week went on “one book of colouring” “one book of lions”, “one atlas book!” and at the end of the week we gave all the children their own book to take home. They were thrilled. I met the head teacher of the neighbouring village school so hopefully we can begin to work with his pupils, in the near future, so they don’t just have to watch the bus pass through their village but can partake and benefit from the resources we have.

There were also some visitors to the village from another well known international charity and they were really impressed with what we were doing and how engaged the children were. They said it was so unusual to see the children being educated in a fun and proactive way, especially out in the villages. I’ve not met a Zambian child yet who prefers the holidays to term time. They have nothing to do in the 4 weeks so providing them with a week of fun educational activities is certainly a highlight of their break.

The volunteers went on a tour of the village, guided by one of the parents and really got to see where the children are living and to understand some of the challenges facing rural societies. Every day we did something fun and exciting and educational but everybody’s favourite day was when we made kites and windmills! It was fantastic to see the comprehension and joy on the children’s faces when they saw the square of paper turn into a working windmill or “fan” as they called them. From the smallest toddler to the 16 year olds everyone was walking around with their windmills. Lots of the kids were running laps of the village square to make them spin! It was a really memorable day.
It was sad to wave goodbye on Friday as all the kids were saying “see you tomorrow!” “Are you coming next week?” and we had to say no but the Bookbus will roll into another school in Livingstone for the second holiday week and bring our books and volunteers to another group of enthusiastic Zambian children!

 Kelly - August 2012

Saturday, 4 August 2012

A Book in Every Hand - In Action!

After the shipment of books arrived we had the big job of sorting out the contents. Some of the books will be donated to school libraries, some we will help community schools begin their own libraries and reading clubs, others will become part of the Bookbus collection and yet others are destined to be part of the book in every hand appeal.

As last week was the final week of term we took the opportunity to give out books to the students we have been working with over the last 3 months. All the pupils at Twabuka were given books to take home. The younger grades each got their own picture story book whilst the older ones got a story book and one of the 8000 factual books very kindly donated by Miles Kelly publishing. The children were thrilled and couldn’t quite believe the books were actually their very own! As all the kids were getting different books both myself and the teachers encouraged them to swap amongst themselves once they had read, hopefully creating a circulation of the books.

Somebody asked me what would happen if a child got a book that was too difficult for them? I see this scheme as a way of getting books into the community. Hopefully not just the pupils will make use of them but maybe parents, siblings or friends. The village of SInde now had almost 300 books distributed throughout the homesteads so hopefully this will encourage more reading!

The teachers are very interested in the factual books we have received; they are fuelling lots of interesting conversations and discussions. The other day it was: How do hot air balloons work? Why don’t we feel the earth spinning? How do pine trees reproduce? We often give some teachers a ride from the village to town and we can really debate random things and swap interesting facts!

We also gave all the pupils at Indeco Community School their own books. The reaction was again one of joy and almost disbelief; many children came up to check with me that it really was ok to go home with the books!

Growing up with access to books is something that we take for granted, they are all around us. We asked a lot of the children if they had any books in their homes and most answered no or just the bible. We didn’t find a single pupil at either school who possessed their own book. But thanks to Book Bus and the Book in Every Hand appeal they now do!
Kelly 4th August 2012