15 Years of Conserving Life: Mothers of Africa

This is the first in our blog series "15 Years of Conserving Life," to commemorate our 15th Anniversary at TWFF and highlight specific collaborations that have made a meaningful impact on the world.
Zambia Nursery School Build Site

The first project Mothers of Africa and The White Feather Foundation worked on together was the Shiyala Community Primary School in rural Zambia back in 2017. Once the school was built, TWFF supporters came together to help complete the experience for students through donations of furniture, library shelves to hold their books, and other necessities.

In 2019, TWFF launched a campaign to help raise funds to Build a Nursery School for Zambia. We’re pleased to announce that the campaign was completed earlier this year and the team will break ground on the new build this Friday! The site where the school will be located, is pictured above.

We caught up with Mothers of Africa Founder and Trustee, Judith Hall, to learn more about this project and all that’s happened since we last spoke.

COVID-19 Clinics

TWFF: The last time we spoke with your team, Mothers of Africa was focused on helping to re-open a hospital in the midst of the pandemic. How is that facility doing over a year later, and how is the area coping with the impacts of the virus?

JH: Mothers of Africa made a significant and sustained contribution to the running of Chongwe District Hospital during COVID-19 outbreak. Lots of PPE and soap were provided, as well as educational packages, vaccinations campaigns and signage to ensure safe patient flows.

In addition, communications were fostered in Indigenous languages as well as the first language of Zambia, English, plus we trained community ambassadors to communicate the dangers of COVID-19 and how to manage these as best as possible.

The charity did its very best and made major impact on behaviours in Chongwe, a large Zambian District of 300,000 people.

We also worked in Southern Province in Zambia and once again provided extensive education and a vaccination campaign coupled with solar fridges for the vaccines.
However, over a year later, the work still goes on and now our focus is on disadvantaged populations and in particular on people living with HIV/AIDS who, as stigmatised populations, have trouble accessing the health care necessary for managing COIVD-19. We are now providing COVID-19 clinics especially for this specific population through education and training, vaccinations and containerised fully fitted clinics: this time in both Western and Southern Provinces.  We are also, through our structures, supporting patients with Long COVID. This new project just started in May 2022, and it will last for a full year, as there is much to do in supporting disadvantaged populations

Zambia Nursery School

TWFF: The Zambia school build campaign was paused due to Covid-19, but then restarted when the world began to re-open. Tell us how you were able to complete the fundraising for that project, which is now fully funded.

JH: We were lucky enough to have a significant amount of funding from The White Feather Foundation, however other funders have come in and helped. We have also received an important grant from the Government of Monaco’s International Development funding stream. There have been continuous fundraising efforts from the Monaco Mothers of Africa charity and the UK MoA has been able to donate funding to complete the build.  Altogether it has been a successful combined effort.

TWFF: Has construction begun on the school? If so, when is the new projected opening date?

JH: The building/architecture team has just arrived in Zambia, on 28th June, Zambia builders will break ground on 8th July. The projected opening date is September 2022.

A New Beginning

TWFF: Tell us more about the children and community the school will serve. How many students will attend? What grades/ages? How many jobs will the school create for teachers and staff?

JH: The original Primary school built at Chongwe by Mothers of Africa is now an adopted Zambian School run by the Zambian Education Board, so that once built, the Nursery School will be part of that construct. Mothers of Africa believes that it is essential to hand over ownership to Zambian experts: Zambians know best as to how to run Zambian Schools.

The Nursery Schools will be for 60 pre-school children. It is much needed, as the Zambian mums frequently work for long hours in their small farms and the children can now be cared for in this nursery. Zambia has a major nursery school education campaign, and your build supports their vision of care for young children.
New jobs will be created, and with the agreement of the Chongwe District Education Board, the nursery school will employ 3 teachers.  

TWFF: Does the school need supply and equipment donations or any additional assistance prior to opening?

JH: Mothers of Africa has to admit that their funding only covers the build of the Nursery School. Additional funding is needed to buy suitable furniture, and things like bedding for the toddlers, and extras like toys, potties, art materials and books are essential.  Any additional funding to support the finishing of the nursery space with this equipment would be very gratefully received.

Looking to the Future

TWFF: Are there any additional details you’d like to share about the project or Mothers of Africa?

JH: Mothers of Africa has worked tirelessly throughout COVID and now our Nursery School build is back on track, we are very excited.  
However please note that Mothers of Africa has another significant project: End Period Poverty.  
We are supplying fabric, reusable sanitary towels for the girls of Chongwe District. The girls get 5 of these each. These reusable sanitary towels are sewn by our community sewing team and ee intend to supply these packs for 16,000 girls. This is a big job for the sewing team led by Mrs Noriah Buleya, but they are committed. These are life changing donations; donations which mean the girls can stay in school and successfully complete their education. 
To date we have the funding for 5,000 girls so we’re a third of the way through the project. 
Will you donate to Mothers of Africa for this project?  Give a girl a chance, help change her life and her future by keeping her in school?  Please consider supporting this important project.

To donate to Mothers of Africa directly, visit their website at Mothers-of-Africa.org.

Photo: Courtesy of Mothers of Africa.

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