Nadia Buhna, ARISE Program Officer | Zambia | 1 June 2017
Since joining the ARISE team last year, I’ve learned a lot about the Program through reports, success stories and data. However it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to visit the program in Zambia last month, that I truly understood how ARISE operates and achieves long-term impact. It not only prevents child labor through education, but it also alleviates poverty and provides hope for a better future for children, their families and the communities they live in.
During my visit we went to Kaoma District, and my colleagues and I were shown around the Kakanda Primary School by Mr Munukayumbwa, the school’s Headmaster. It was an early and peaceful morning and the pupils were in class. The Headmaster was very enthusiastic and proud of his well-cared school. He beamed as he showed us the school buildings, solar panels and solar powered pumps provided by JTI’s Grower Support Program. He explained that the pumps draw water for use in the school garden where pupils are taught how to grow trees and vegetables, as part of the ARISE after school program. The water is also used in ablution blocks, which has increased hygiene and sanitation levels at the school. This improvement in infrastructure and the way it works at the school seems to me a perfect example of sustainable impact.
During my stay in Kaoma I learned firsthand about the impact of ARISE. I spoke with representatives from government and communities, as well as teachers, mothers and children. They all shared why they appreciate ARISE. For most of them, the presence of ARISE is an opportunity to learn and grow. The Program motivates pupils to walk up to 11km to school, teachers to attend trainings and pass knowledge to the next generation, and mothers to gain financial literacy and management skills.
I very much enjoyed being in Zambia. It’s a peace-loving country where I learned about the real sense of community. I felt welcome from the moment of my arrival, largely because of the gentle presence and sincere smiles of all the people I met. The willingness of the children to attend classes and their infectious joy won my heart.