Making Concrete Change

Making Concrete Change

During the last week of May 2018, the Emmeline Cook community (teachers, parents, and students) expanded its efforts to build a deep partnership with the Kalangu community by organizing a fundraising effort (“Making CONCRETE Change“) to raise money to purchase bags of concrete for the construction of new classrooms at Kalangu. To kick off the fundraising, Mushe spent some time in the classrooms teaching the students about the daily lives of Kalangu students and delivering messages of thanks from Kalangu to E-Cook (for E-Cook’s school supply drive efforts in 2017).

Mushe talking to the 2nd graders at Emmeline Cook about Kalangu.

 

SEPO Zambia is excited to announce that the Emmeline Cook community raised $491.43 through the school-wide penny drive. Through their partnership with Walk with a Doc, Dr. & Mrs. Smiltneek committed to donating $5 for every student that walked to school on May 25th. 70 students participated in the walk, raising an additional $350 – bringing the grand total to $841.43! This means that SEPO Zambia will be able to purchase over 80 bags of concrete on behalf of the Emmeline Cook community – that equals approximately 2,800 bricks! We are overwhelmed by the generosity and commitment of the Emmeline Cook community. We can’t wait to post photos of cement being purchased in Mongu!

Thanks to all those who participated and contributed in any way. Special additional thanks to: Emmeline Cook PTOE Cook Elementary,Jennifer BowenMolly Norton Smiltneek, and all the E-Cook teachers/parents.

 

 

Exciting News!

Exciting News!

Mushe talking to the students about SEPO on the first day of class.

SEPO Zambia is excited to announce that we are partnering with students in Dr. Alicia Johnson’s Global Perspectives on Women and Gender course to strategize and develop new and innovative projects, informed by place-based development and our mission. This partnership advances our mission by identifying needs/strengths, developing global partnerships, and building more sustainable futures.

We will spend our semester engaging with these students, fostering global citizenship and developing their intercultural knowledge. At the end of the term, groups will pitch project proposals to SEPO for potential development on the ground in western Zambia.

UW Oshkosh student engagement with SEPO Zambia reinforces our core belief that the work we do is ‘as one’ – meaning that we are all best-served when people of diverse backgrounds and experiences work collaboratively for social change AND that we all have much to learn from each other.

Mushe checking out the syllabus and getting excited about the possibilities

 

 

 

 

Accident at Kalangu

Accident at Kalangu

We received news today that a land rover ran into/over? Kalangu’s sign. Yep, the one SEPO just fixed a few months ago. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

If anyone is interested in raising the funds to fix the sign, please let us know! See the support us page for ways to send money.

Remnants of Kalangu’s sign
CNOS is still standing, but Kalangu and SEPO parts of the sign are down

Construction at Kalangu!

Construction at Kalangu!

Due to the generous support of CNOS and numerous individual donors, SEPO was in a position to assist Kalangu with a few of their critical needs. After the excitement of delivering school supplies to Kalangu teachers and students, SEPO sat down with the parents, teachers, and administration to discuss possible projects and needs at Kalangu.

It is clear from our discussions with the parents, teachers, and community that Kalangu’s most pressing need is for additional classroom space. They are currently serving over 400 students with only 4 classroom – which means that classes have to stagger/rotate and students only learn for half a day (to make room for others).

In fact, the PTA had already started trying to raise the materials needed to construct an additional school block with 3 classrooms to relieve the current congestion. The PTA planned to require all families to bring 1 bag of cement at the beginning of the next term. A bag of cement costs approximately $10. Given the economic position of most Kalangu families (where $15 is approximately what they live on for an entire month), an extra $10 is not easy to come by (and is contrary to the principle of free primary education).

While the total cost of the new building is beyond the scope of SEPO’s resources at the moment, SEPO committed to funding the initial stages of the project by purchasing half of the cement that will be needed to make the cement blocks for building. The Kalangu PTA and parents committed to providing the labor and expertise in brick making and construction.

On July 5th, the PTA purchased the cement to begin construction. Each weekend since, parents meet at Kalangu on Saturdays to make cement blocks. Those with expertise in brick-making lead the volunteers through the process. In the afternoons, some of the women cook a large lunch for all the workers.

New bricks for construction

Check out all the action in the Kalangu Construction photo gallery.

As the project continues, the PTA will continue to ask families that are capable to donate a bag of cement. And last weekend, each of the teachers at Kalangu also donated a bag of cement as a contribution to the community they serve.

Check out videos of all the activities below or on SEPO’s Youtube channel.

As the process moves forward, SEPO will continue to look for the resources to support this critical project to expand Kalangu’s ability to serve its students.  If you are interested, get in touch!

Kalangu Receives ECook Supplies

Kalangu Receives ECook Supplies

On July 5th, we visited Kalangu Primary School and delivered the school supplies donated by Emmeline Cook Elementary School students and parents. We were welcomed with songs from the students and dancing from the parents (take a look at our facebook page for some great videos!). The Kalangu community extends its gratitude to the ECook community and looks forward to innovative partnerships between the two schools. Check out some of the photos below (which capture only a fraction of the excitement!).

The Kalangu community extends its gratitude to the ECook community and looks forward to innovative partnerships between the two schools. Check out some of the photos below (which capture only a fraction of the excitement!).

 

Arriving at Kalangu with the ECook donations

 

Welcome song by Kalangu’s oldest students

 

Principal of Kalangu Primary School (Mrs. Munkoyo) meeting with us prior to the distribution of supplies.
Gathering of Kalangu parents on distribution day

 

Supplies from ECook community

 

Kalangu students awaiting new supplies

 

We are finally back stateside and will be posting frequent updates on all our summer 2017 SEPO projects.

Updates from SEPO

Updates from SEPO

We are finally able to take a moment to update everyone on our SEPO activities. We know it has taken too long to post our first update but we’ve spent our first few weeks here taking care of various family issues and projects so that we could dedicate the bulk of our remaining time to SEPO projects.

Our initial work involved identifying someone on the ground to manage SEPO projects once we are out of the country. We are pleased to introduce our Project Coordinator, Mato Kanenga.

Mato is a mechanic, a teacher, a farmer, and a friend (but one of those rare friends who has become family). He worked with Angela on her dissertation research in eastern Zambia back in 2005 and has continued to assist us every time we are in Zambia. Most importantly, he is as committed to the mission of SEPO as we are.

 

Additionally, we met last week with the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) to discuss their vision for a SEPO-Kalangu partnership, as well as a sister-school relationship with Emmeline Cook Elementary School. The PTA is very enthusiastic about SEPO’s continued commitment to the community.

In our discussions, numerous possible projects were discussed and outlined. Kalangu’s most pressing need is for additional classroom space. They are currently serving 400 students with only 4 classroom – which means that classes have to stagger/rotate and students only learn for half a day (to make room for others).  

During our meeting, we outlined a budget to construct an additional school block with 3 classrooms to relieve the current congestion. While the total cost of the new building is beyond the scope of our resources at the moment, SEPO committed to funding the initial stages of the project by purchasing most of the cement that will be needed to make the cement blocks for building (thanks to the support of CNOS and many other donors). The Kalangu PTA and parents will provide the labor and expertise in brick making and construction.

We will continue to provide updates as the project develops.

 

We will distribute the school supplies that were generously donated by Emmeline Cook Elementary School and shipped by Goatshark Enterprises, Inc. on Monday, June 25th – so look for updates soon after!

Departure Day!

Departure Day!

We’ve finally arrived at departure day! Bags are packed and ready to load. Think we have enough stuff??

Zambia katundu – Summer 2017

One last thanks from SEPO to all our supporters – your generosity will have an impact.

Look for updates throughout the summer as we make progress on lots of SEPO projects!

Packing School Supplies

Packing School Supplies

Spent the day packing all the supplies for Kalangu Basic School.

2,129 pencils

1,246 erasers

107 pencil sharpeners

93 pens

45 scissors

42 rulers

32 protractors

32 chalk

24 crayons

12 jump ropes

6 double jump ropes

6 soccer balls

6 bouncy balls

Grand total of 75 pounds!!

Huge thanks to Emmeline Cook students, families, PTO, and Lighted Schoolhouse for your generous support.

 

Kalangu & Emmeline Cook Sister School Partnership

Kalangu & Emmeline Cook Sister School Partnership

SEPO Zambia is excited to announce the formation of a sister school partnership between Kalangu Basic School and Emmeline Cook Elementary School in the Oshkosh Area School District (Mooka’s school!).

We officially launched these efforts this morning at Emmeline Cook’s morning meeting by introducing the students to Zambia and Kalangu.

@ Emmeline Cook morning meeting talking to the kids about Kalangu

 

The Emmeline Cook PTO and Student Council organized a supply drive to collect new pencils, pens, and erasers for delivery to Kalangu this summer. SEPO will facilitate the delivery and distribution of the supplies at Kalangu (in partnership with the Kalangu PTO).

SEPO is working with the PTO and teachers at both Kalangu & Emmeline Cook to create opportunities for increased cultural exchange and global citizenship as we move forward in this partnership. Partnerships like these are critical in strengthening the links between these awesome students, teachers, parents, and communities.

CNOS Supports Kalangu

CNOS Supports Kalangu

Thanks to the generosity of CNOS staff, the Jean’s Day raised $376 today.

These funds will be used this summer to refurbish classrooms at Kalunga School in Zambia.

 

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