a new dawn - a vision of hope
Welcome to the web site of
Literacy in a Box Trust
The Rotary Club of Roborough, Plymouth
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Without Mulela Special School, run by Susan Mulela, who is herself disabled, these children would be confined in their homes with no hope of an education. We support a number of Schools for particularly disadvantaged communities.
The Literacy in a Box Trust is proud to present its new February 2015 videos
The video above runs for 8 mins 30 secs and is specifically aimed at Primary School children. You can watch the adult version on YouTube. Please contact the Trust if you want a DVD or download link for the videos.
On a cloudy but mercifully dry day on Saturday 13th June children from Hyde Park Infant School gathered in the grounds of Buckland Abbey for a sponsored walk.
Using a selected nature trail the walk gave them an insight into the walk many School children in Zambia have to do every day. At the halfway point they stopped in the Great Barn, for 'maize porridge' the staple diet of Zambian children, and took part in workshops designed to teach them a little about life in Zambia. All children were given a 'Literacy Box Walk4Hope' sticker at the end of the walk.
The children of Hyde Park Infant School raised money for a Literacy Box last year, helped the charity pack the contents and signed their names on the Box. Headmistress Liz Hill said " The children were thrilled to see the photos from Zambia of the box they raised money for last year and all really enjoyed their experience today. We are very grateful to the National Trust for permitting us to use the grounds of Buckland Abbey for the walk and the Great Barn for the workshops. We are hoping that the children will raise enough money for at least 2 Literacy Boxes."
The event was organised by Roborough Rotary Club. Members of the Club, helped by members of Roborough Inner Wheel Club, acted as stewards for the event. Bernice Constantine, who leads Roborough Rotary Club's Youth Service committee, said " It was great to see the children experience a little of what life would be like for them if they lived in Zambia. I hope the experience will stay with then as they progress through the School system and help them appreciate the educational opportunities they have in this country."
Manaca School is a community school on the outskirts of Lusaka. It was started by its dedicated principal and founder, who provided the chicken house on her property to help educate local children.
In spite of its humble beginnings the school has grown to cater for around 400 local children who come from up to 5km away to receive lessons in all of the standard school subjects. The school offers a very high standard of education with almost all students passing their exams to go on to secondary school.
The Trust has sent a few Literacy Boxes to Manaca School in the past but it has been unable to do more because of a lack of secure storage at the School. Fortunately this problem has now been solved and thanks to the generosity of our donors have been able to send 21 Literacy Boxes (cost £6,195) and also provide the children with local curriculum text books to the value of approximately £2,200.
Our partners in this project were:
Baldock Rotary Club and Rotary District 1260 who have funded 6 Literacy Boxes,
Goodwill and Growth for Africa who has funded 3 boxes and provided £115 for text books,
Medway Sunlight Rotary Club and Rotary District 1120 who have funded 4 Literacy Boxes,
Diss and District Rotary Club and Rotary District 1080 who have funded 2 Literacy Boxes,
Howden Rotary Club who has funded 1 Literacy Box and provided £205 for text books,
Medway Rotary Club and Rotary District 1120 who have provided £1,200 for text books,
Roborough Rotary Club and Rotary District 1175 who have funded 1 box and provided £700 for textbooks.
You can read the full story about Manaca School in our June 2014, October 2014 and May 2015 newsletters which you can download from our website newsletters page.
Health, Hunger and Humanity issues engage many governmental minds around the world, but more recently another topic is becoming as important - LITERACY. Put simply, if you can't read or write, it is virtually impossible to acquire the skills to overcome poverty and support your family, let alone progress in modern society. Thus, improving levels of literacy has now become a key policy with Rotary and governments on a global basis, as it is seen as key to the development of their respective nations.
This problem of poor literacy was highlighted when two members of the Rotary Club of Roborough, Plymouth saw, independently, the appalling lack of educational resources in schools in Southern Africa and were moved to do something to support the children, who despite being well-mannered and cheerful, had little hope through lack of facilities and the ever present spectre of AIDS.
Critically, chronic under funding of capital expenditure or the parents' inability to fund school fees, supplies and uniforms are at the root of the problem.
Operation Sunshine, a charity, local to our club, and which is working in Zambia, Zimbabwe and Tanzania was the catalyst to focusing Club minds and following discussions with them, the Rotary Club of Roborough approved a pilot programme of support for schools in Zambia. School Aid 4 Zambia, as the project became known, sent out educational supplies to two selected schools in Zambia, in boxes similar to those used by the Shelter Box Trust in supporting communities following natural or man-made disasters. The joy and appreciation at receiving the supplies was heart warming and as a consequence a Trust, independent of the Club, was formed to continue this early work.
The Literacy in a Box Trust, the name approved by the Charity Commission, became a Registered Charity No. 1118177, with a key role of creating awareness and funding streams for the School Aid 4 Zambia programme, along with managing the logistics for sourcing and supplying this educational support to Zambian children.
So far 40 schools in Zambia have received 600 boxes containing enough school supplies for around 15,000 children. Our primary aim remains to provide continuity of supply to the Zambian schools who have already received our boxes but as funds permit we will expand to other schools in Zambia. Furthermore if donations are made with a specific request that boxes are sent to a particular destination then we will work with the donor to try to achieve this. In April 2010 our Trust objectives were broadened to 'advance education, primarily but not exclusively, in schools in Zambia and sub-Saharan Africa' following which we have sent 86 boxes to the Philippines and 35 boxes to Zimbabwe.
For more information on our recent activities, please look at our Facebook page.
More information on Literacy and its place in Rotary service, Zambia and the Literacy Box are available on this web site. If you feel moved to help the Trust, either as a volunteer or financially the Contacts and links page will give you the information you need.
In anticipation of your support - a big thank you in advance!!
School Aid 4 Zambia, School Aid 4 the Philippines and School Aid 4 Zimbabwe is what we do - The Literacy in a Box Trust is who we are.