Term 1 2008 News
April 2009

Welcome to our 2008 news!
We said goodbye to our Grade 7 children at the end of last year. Their sponsors are generously continuing to support them as they embark on their secondary school journey at various schools in Zambia.

Honeymooners volunteer at Tujatane
Written by Marie.
When Nick and I were presented with the idea of celebrating our honeymoon at Tongabezi with two weeks working at Tujatane we felt very privileged and excited. Now being back home that is still exactly how we feel but for very different reasons that we had on our arrival. The school, its achievements and its future is something to be very excited about indeed and it was a great privilege to have worked with such a driven group of people, amongst the staff, and such a talented group of children, amongst the pupils.
We felt instantly at home at Tujatane, which due to the nature of our work made our jobs very easy.
Nicks brief was to make a 15minute promotional film for the school to raise money and awareness both here in England and through the Tongabezi Lodge. With Nick, armed with a film camera and me on the boom we interrupted lessons, demanded interviews and requested songs to try to capture the essence of the school. This and much, much more was given freely creating an opportunity to raise the profile of the school within a bigger arena then we first thought…. So watch this space!

Amongst the filming my husband and I managed to squeeze in the odd poetry and English lesson which, being teaching novices, again was made extremely easy thanks to the pupils being so eager to learn and get involved, worlds apart from English classroom behaviour!
My job was to enable as much drama work with the children, as they were willing to do. Three voluntarily worked bank holidays later and a final performance with an audience of at least 150 people (including parents and visitors), I think we can successfully say that they took up every opportunity that was given to them! The pupil’s enthusiasm and passion to perform despite everything else that is going on in their lives was extremely humbling and their skill and talent is remarkable. With the help of Mike Zulu (Head of Music), Sydney Himwiita (Head of Performing Arts) and myself, the 45 strong cast embraced the amphitheatre, the schools musical instruments and costumes and put on a performance that presented a perfect mix of Zambian culture meeting English theatrical aesthetics!

Nick and Marie with their drama team
It was an amazing few weeks, where lots was learnt, and it was a perfect start to our marriage; I’d highly recommend it! Hopefully we shall be back in the none too distant future with show no.2….
If all the schools in the country were like Tujatane with its inspirational staff and dedicated pupils Zambia’s future would look very bright indeed, it certainly does for these children.

Library reclassifying and more! Thanks to Charmaine
Director of Tujatane Tongabezi Trust School, Vanessa Parker allowed me the privilege of working at the school for a period of 4 months; the last month of the last term in 2007, and the first term of 2008. I was taken on as Assistant Manager to help Vanessa sort out a few key areas of administration.
I became involved in various issues such as staff and pupil attendance registers and upgrading and updating of pupil records amongst other things. But the biggest task turned out to be the reclassifying (to the Dewey system) and relocation of the school library. This job required concerted and concentrated effort and I enjoyed it very much. In the end the tally of books in the library amounted to just on 6, 000, an impressive figure by anyone’s standards, particularly a small junior school in Zambia.
As I went through the library I realised there are some categories that could do with improvement more than others. There is a distinct lack of books pertaining to African history; southern/central Africa in particular. The library could also do with more biographies and autobiographies; although non-fiction of any kind is always wecome. I would also like to see more in the way of literary classics. For instance, the library has only the first in the Hobbit series (J.R.R. Tolkien). A complete set would be wonderful. Although not literary classics (yet) Harry Potter is a popular contemporary read amongst secondary pupils who return to the school to borrow books. More than one copy would not go amiss, so please don’t worry about donating a book that may already have been donated. There is a good selection of books in the biology section, but additions would always be welcome; particularly on the subjects of health and hygiene, human anatomy and physiology as well as plant and animal topics (from a biology point of view).
The zoology section carries a wide range, however books on plants, animals, birds, reptiles (snakes particularly) pertaining to the central African region would be useful. When it comes to the more dangerous animals we live with in Africa, I strongly believe that knowledge is power! There are many brilliant new field guides on the market and it is this kind of book that would contribute greatly in terms of practical use. Books on preserving the environment and environmentally friendly practices would also be most welcome since this is an area the school is now becoming more interested and involved in.
Approximately half the books in the library are children’s books; Beatrix Potter, Winnie-the-Pooh, Postman Pat, Thomas the Tank Engine, the Ladybird series etc. plus a wide range of Walt Disney as well as many modern story/picture books. There are also plenty of Christmas related books. No shortage there although there can never be too many children’s classics in my opinion.
All at the school are immensely proud of this special resource and thanks must go to those who have donated books to Tujatane over the years. I trust donors will maintain their generosity and the library will continue to grow. A school can never have too many books! I sincerely hope that the new classification and membership system works well for all concerned and makes the library more user-friendly.
I was generously given the use of one of the new school houses recently built behind the school and Thug (a fox terrier) and I enjoyed living there for the first term of this year. Colleagues Bond Lichaha and Oliver Mutambekwa and families were kind and considerate neighbours. I am used to living in the quiet of the bush and certainly had no problems living in closer proximity to other people than usual.
Thug was kindly allowed to attend school with me (thank you) and he loved every minute. He soon learned which staff members would bring him bones from their lunch meals and grew very fond of them (naturally). He did bark often at children but Thug was more interested in playing while many Zambian children are not used to playing with dogs and would run away shrieking. However, they soon realized that Thug is no threat and would prompt him to chase them and would then run away laughing excitedly. All in all, I think Thug provided some light moments for everyone and it was a great joy for me to have him around all the time since he and I enjoy a very close relationship.

All in all the experience of working in this wonderful school was a pleasure and somewhat enlightening. All the staff was great and dedicated, and Vanessa a fantastic motivator and leader. She does an amazing job of administering the financial side of things and it is because of this and her general devotion that the school has grown steadily. So many projects in Africa are mismanaged and this is certainly not one of them. Thank you to everyone who supports and donates to this school. Rest assured your efforts are properly and sincerely deployed and greatly appreciated.
I was born and raised in Africa and have not once set foot off this continent. I have worked in several countries all over this region doing all kinds of things. The stint at Tujatane was a unique experience that opened my eyes to a side of African life I had little awareness of before. Thank you, Vanessa and everyone at Tujatane staff and pupils alike. The time spent with you at your remarkable school has enriched my life.
By Charmaine Brogan and Thug We would like to thank Charmaine for all her hard work, dedication and focus. She achieved wonders!
New Grade 2 Class
During the first term of 2008, we realised that some of our Grade 1 children were over age for this class. We tested all the children in Grade 1 and reception and 17 children performed extremely well and were chosen to move into our new science lab (now their classroom!) to begin our new Grade 2 class (completing Grade 1 and 2 in one year!!!). We welcomed a new teacher, Cholwe, to teach our Grade 1 class, and Ireen moved from Grade 1 to teach the Grade 2's.
The new grade 2 pupils are doing extremely well in class and are very happy to be in grade 2.

New houses for teachers completed
Three brick houses that have been built for teachers next to the school were completed in early January 2008. Two teachers , Bond Lichaha and Oliver Mutambekwa, have moved in with their families. It has already made a huge difference having them so nearby to the school.
Bond Lichaha writes: "It has been indeed a good thing for me to occupy one of the houses. I now enjoy the priviledge of having my children attend school at Tujatane, where they receive quality education. The school has somebody around in case of visitors coming to the school during the weekends or after school hours."
Oliver Mutambekwa writes:"Lack of housing for an employee has more social dimensions that go beyond the four walls of a room. The news to construct staff houses brought a sense of eupahoria and exhaltation for the would be beneficials. Three houses were erected. Being used to town life with cars hooting, sirens, recruits marching, beer quaffers and crazy neighbourhood noise ........our first night was splendid, full of cool fresh air and songs from the birds in the bushes engulfed our new life.
Thanks to the director once again, life has changed a lot.

For GBP Donations

Please email emma@tujatane.com or download our UK donations form

UK Charity Status - "The Charitable Trust for The Tongabezi Trust School"
Registration number 1096710
Email. jessopprice@hotmail.co.uk

USA Donors can claim their tax deductions by donating through CAF America. Click Here

Newsletters will be put on our school website under updates and details on making a donation are also on www.tongabezitrustschool.com

Comments/feedback welcomed

The Tongabezi Trust School
PO Box 60113, Livingstone, Zambia
email: vanessa@tongabezi.com

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