Over the 2021-2022 school year, we invited classrooms across Canada to help girls in Zambia receive a Christ-centred education. Here’s how some of them responded!
THE CALL TO ACTION
It is estimated that 130 million girls worldwide are not currently in school. In many majority world countries, girls face unique challenges that often keep them from attending class. For many students in Zambia, the trip is long and dangerous, especially for girls. And when they get there, they don’t always have safe, sanitary facilities to use. However, when a girl receives an education, she has more control over her life, breaking the cycle of poverty and allowing her to use her gifts to multiply her effect in the entire community.
To meet this need, our partner, Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP), is building six washrooms and one dormitory at various high schools in rural Zambia. As summarized by Collins, Education Secretary at CCAP, “Girls face many challenges that often keep them from attending school. Providing them with sanitary washroom facilities and safe dormitories gives them the peace of mind they need to concentrate on their studies. They also allow us to offer an inclusive, quality education for all children.”
This year we invited students and classrooms across Canada to join EduDeo in raising $50,000 for the dormitory and washrooms, and wow, have they delivered!
We’ve had such an incredible response to this invitation, and teachers and students have showed great ambition in their fundraising. Here are just two examples of the many projects we’ve seen this year.
Trenton Christian School’s (ON) Grade 6 class challenged their peers across Canada to join them in their “Read for Girls’ Education in Zambia” read-a-thon. They set ambitious goals, read thousands of pages, and got lots of support along the way. Three neighbouring schools – Sonrise Christian Academy, Quinte Christian Middle School and Belleville Christian School – teamed up with Trenton and set a $10,000 goal. Inspired by their invitation, Covenant Christian School in London and Chatham Christian School decided to host their own read-a-thons.
Teachers demonstrated their creativity by how they chose to motivate their students. For instance, at Belleville Christian School (ON) students tracked their reading progress by converting pages to kilometers and comparing this to the distance between Belleville and Zambia. Students tracked their individual progress via passports. At Chatham Christian School, students tracked their progress by colouring in sections of footprint-shaped bookmarks. When all the spaces were filled, they posted them in the hallway, which followed a route that represented a Zambian girl’s trip to school.
Meanwhile, Providence Christian School’s (ON) Grade 7/8 class was learning about global inequalities. But they didn’t stop at learning about it – they created an action plan to be more intentional and selfless in their everyday lives. They designed a fundraiser in which students spent six hours not talking. They wanted to use silence to make space for other voices to be heard. Students created resources for participating classes to use during their day of silence including devotionals, music playlists, writing activities, and art projects.
Providence students challenged Canadian schools to join the cause and use their silence as a voice and advocate for girls' education and five other schools responded to the call (Chatham Christian School, Calvin Christian School, Willowdale Christian School, John Knox Christian School, and Trenton Christian School).
Because of the efforts of these schools and many others who chose to support the campaign in their own ways, we blew our $50,000 fundraising goal out of the water - raising $70,702 for these dormitories and washrooms!
We’re already seeing the impact partner projects like these are having on girls in Zambia. One female student from Mwase Secondary School said this in her recent speech about the importance of dormitories: “In the past, girls could not access education, others would drop out due to challenges associated with accommodation… [Access to dormitories] has encouraged us to study hard since electricity is available in the school... We are so happy now that we have a dormitory; we are able to study with a free mind.”
We are so thankful for these teachers, students, and school communities who have creatively used reading and silence to support girls’ education!
If you're a teacher looking to learn more about how to partner with EduDeo, contact Laurie Koning, EduDeo's School Relationship Manager, at email@example.com.