We work in a rural part of Zambia. When students have visited us here for short courses, they tell us how conducive the place is for studying. From January 2020, our programmes have been running from our site in Chibombo, in Zambia's Central Province.
OUR NEW LEARNING CENTRE
In March 2019, we formally acquired some land from Chief Liteta, our local Chief and have been in the process of developing it since then. The land is arranged into sections, with staff huts around the perimeter for added security. Our students stay in the Student Village section which contains four thatched-roofed huts to accommodate three to six students in each. There are separate bathrooms and a small shelter for gatherings. Staff also stay on site to ensure security and provide care for the students. The village is walled with a lockable gate.
We have also built a dining area which includes a fully functioning kitchen, storage, water supply from a bore hole with solar pump, dining space, office and accommodation.
Our next major project is to build the learning forum. This will contain our classrooms and computer suite. We are currently using one of our student accommodation buildings as a classroom and library until we can complete the forum.
This comprises the David and Demi Mann Learning Forum. It is a multi-purpose teaching and learning space, containing a small library, IT room, small and large classrooms. The central square incorporates an amphitheatre and stage for performance, debate and lectures.
Students stay in purpose-built, thatch-roofed huts with two to four students sharing a hut.
"I will always be grateful for the opportunity to spend some time at Our Moon's camp in Chibombo, with its clean air, friendly locals and tranquil atmosphere. I am already a bit jealous of the future scholars who will get to call this hidden haven home."
Zoe Mebude-Steves, class of 2019
SUPPORTING OUR COMMUNITY
We encourage our students to identify problems in the community and to set up long term projects to solve those problems. They also volunteer within the community. Naturally, most scholars tutor other children within our community and from visiting NGOs, such as Kucetekela Foundation. They will, however, also work on environmental issues, including waste management, tree planting, and planting of crops both on Our Moon’s land and within the vicinity. It is long-term involvement so that everyone benefits.
"I used to think impact was mainly about numbers but now I realise that by impacting a few in a positive and life-changing way, the ripple effect can be enormous. Through Helen and Justin, Our Moon has managed to create an effective relationship with the community in Chibombo thereby enabling Our Moon to make a wider impact."
Ntasuwila Nambao Mushitu
It is just as important to us that the people who work at Our Moon feel as supported and able to develop as our students. We employ a number of people including those who help with cooking, maintenance, security as well as tutors and a social worker. We provide them with a small home, a salary, education for their children, and food. We also develop their skills.
Take Sanky. Sanky is the cook to our students. This is a new role to him as last year he was the students’ house parent. But we discovered that not only does he love cooking, but he is also very good at it. Sanky says
"Our Moon has allowed me to improve my cooking skills and helped me enjoy doing what I love to do. Most Zambians eat nshima, a maize based product, for lunch and supper. There is very little variety. Ntasuwila and I plan a balanced menu which is as nutritious as possible, within our budget and food availability. Our Moon has given me the chance to do something I love, offered me employment and a roof over my head, and giving me the chance to contribute to its very worthwhile programme."
Some of our workers’ children are not in school or they feel they are not learning. Under the overall guidance of Iwell Banda, our students help to tutor the children, teaching them English (reading, writing and speaking), basic maths, and science. The children also get involved in agricultural and horticultural projects. Ultimately, we hope the children will eventually be able to transition into mainstream school, with continued extension lessons from our after school club. We call this the New Moon Children’s College.
The painting at the top of this page is by Chitundu Limbikani, class of 2019, who is now studying for a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems & Technology at United States International University – Africa, in Kenya supported by 100% scholarship by MasterCard Foundation.