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Girls back to school in Zambia

In Zambia, many children still drop out of school for various reasons, such as early marriages, pregnancies, illnesses, and drug abuse. In effort to improve the environment for secondary education, GN Zambia has taken significant steps to uplift secondary education, particularly for girls, in the eastern region of Zambia.

As of 2022, four secondary schools have not only been established and expanded but also officially registered as public institutions, with the construction of dormitories for female students.

GN Zambia has implemented a series of initiatives to combat the dropout rates and empower young girls to access quality education. One such initiative is the creation and operation of girls’ clubs at the four participating schools, exclusively for female students in grades 8 and 9 with 422 participating in club activities.

To ensure the sustainability of these clubs, GN Zambia equipped 10 female teachers with the necessary training to serve as facilitators, actively engaging in the planning and execution of club programs. Additionally, the organization developed girl’s club curriculum materials, encompassing four essential books on reproductive health, human rights, gender, gender-based violence, and the repercussions of early marriage.

In collaboration with the community, GN Zambia educated 815 students on child rights and factors affecting graduation rates. Under the “Good Teacher Program,” 26 teachers received training to enhance their counseling skills, directly benefiting 530 students. The result was a substantial increase in teacher awareness of child education rights, surging from 24% to 86%. Moreover, counseling services surpassed their intended targets, exceeding the target by 113% for at-risk students. This initiative is truly reshaping the educational landscape in Zambia.

GN Zambia also used the power of media to spread awareness about girls’ education rights and the prevention of early marriages. They produced a 30-second short videos and radio dramas, broadcasted 24 times on ZNBC and 17 times on Chongwe Radio Station, effectively reaching local communities.

The impact of GN Zambia’s initiatives is undeniable, as seen through the inspiring story of Ruth Mureya, a student at Unicoma Secondary School in Zambia. She recalls: “To go to school, I had to walk an hour-and-a-half every day. After the shock of encountering a murderer on the lonely path to school, I couldn’t go to school for a while, but now I can live in the dormitory provided by Good Neighbors and focus more on my studies. I have even started to dream of becoming a nurse by studying hard.” Thanks to the dormitories provided by Good Neighbors, Ruth now has the safety and support to focus on her studies.

In conclusion, the holistic approach, combining infrastructure development, mentorship, and community engagement to improving the education opportunities for girls is truly transformative and heartwarming. The collaboration of everyone in the school and communities paved the way for a brighter future for the next generation of women in Zambia.

Good Neighbors Country Website