- Children during lessons by radio.
The majority of the children in the villages of the Chikuni district have no opportunity to attend school. In some cases, the state schools are up to 50 kilometres away – a distance that the children cannot travel by foot. Many of the girls and boys live in abject poverty. To make matters worse, they have to help out with farming tasks at a very young age to contribute to their families’ income.
The Chikuni Mission runs radio schools to give these children access to education. The pre-produced instructional programmes are currently broadcast in 17 villages. Teachers look after the radio schoolchildren and practice the lessons with them. This makes it possible to teach the children until the seventh grade. The Chikuni Mission is collaborating with the Zambian Ministry of Education. The children take a state exam at the end of each school year. Many Chikuni radio schoolchildren achieve good results in these exams, some even with scores that are among the very best nationwide.
In the Chikuni region, located 200 kilometres southeast of the capital Lusaka, the population faces serious environmental problems. There is far too little precipitation and the soil is of poor quality. The water scarcity is made even worse by deforestation that makes room for fields and to harvest the wood for processing. Most adults are poorly educated and have no alternative sources of income.
Kindernothilfe complements the radio instruction in ten radio schools with an additional component: After their regular radio school programme, the children and young people receive lessons once a week in sustainable agriculture over the period of three years. Thanks to these broadcasts, they learn how they can use reforestation methods to rejuvenate the forests in the areas surrounding their villages. Furthermore, they learn how to cultivate fruits and vegetables as profitably as possible. The radio school project includes gardens and tree nurseries where the girls and boys can immediately put their newfound knowledge to use. The gardens are equipped with new wells and irrigation systems. Two teachers in each village supervise the schoolchildren during these activities. The goal is to improve the nutritional situation of these village communities over the short and long term.
Regular radio school instruction is combined with weekly lessons in sustainable agriculture. Every year, 36 lessons are broadcast. Children receive important information on sustainable agriculture over the period of three years.
A tree nursery and a vegetable garden are planted in each village, where children can put their newly acquired agriculture skills into practice. Wells and irrigation systems provide access to water. Gardening tools, seeds and additional learning materials are available.
Project No. 61391