VEGETABLE GROWING ADDS VALUE TO LIBUYUNGU COMMUNITY SCHOOL
Walking long distances to access education, Libuyungu Community School has been the saviour for most learners who come from far areas with the hope to complete school and have a bright future.
Just like any other Community School in Zambia, Libuyungu located in one of the rural districts in Western province has been subject to the situation of not having enough resources and good infrastructure to carter for the teachers and learners so that they have a conducive teaching and learning environment.
However, through the efforts of Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) that has been advocating for quality education, Lubuyungu was among the schools that were supported with an Oxcart and a Plough in 2019 through a project supported by Hei Verden. The aim of this initiative was to assist schools to embark on an income generating activities for sustainability.
The school has showcased proactiveness from the time it received the oxcart and the plough. Today (April 2021) the school has a vegetable garden, grows maize, groundnuts and soya beans which are sold to the communities once harvested. The oxcart and the plough if not being used by the school are rented out to the community members at a fee.
“We have been growing vegetables and selling to community members. We have also been supplying vegetable seedlings to nearby schools like Munkuye and Nkeyema Secondary School”, commented Parent Community School Committee (PCSC) Chairperson Mr. Sibinda Imisho.
He added that through the same fundraising ventures, the school has used some of its proceeds realised to build a two bedroomed teachers house and rehabilitated 40 desks.
Mr. Imisho said the committee has been very committed in wanting to see the school develop and serve a lot of learners who have not been going to school and that it has been the motivation for them to work hard especially making the production unit venture thrive.
“There is a big change at the school after working with ZOCS, the plough and oxcart support has really helped the school develop,” Mr. Imisho said.
Meanwhile the PCSC chairperson added that COVID -19 affected the learner’s performance as they spent so much time at home working in farms and this made them lose focus on school activities.
Beatrice Sundano a teacher handling grade six and seven classes at Libuyungu said the school suffered greatly during covid-19 pandemic, many projects at the school had to stop running due to lack of manpower.
She said the gardening at the school fully depends on labour from the learners and this cost the school a K600 which went on to hire someone to tend the garden during the prolonged closure of due to COVID 19.
She added that the school has been facing a water challenge when it comes to sustaining the gardens as the hand pump available has not been adequate and requested for support in form of a reservoir tank that can supply the garden adequately and efficiently.
“I really thank ZOCS and Hei verden for everything they are doing to Libuyungu Community School,” Mrs. Sundano said.