Grade 1 to 6 pupils arrived back at school for Term 3 to find new protocols. They wore masks in class and on the grounds, tried their best to stay 2 metres from their classmates and made sure their hands were clean.
They missed their little sisters and brothers who had been in Baby class or Pre-Grade and were no longer in school. And they saw their older friends in Grade 7, studying hard since June to prepare for National Exams in December.
There was a great deal of work to catch up with after the shutdown, and exams came much too soon near the end of November. On December 4 the school year ended with the promise of longer than usual terms in 2021 and a real effort to make up what they had missed in 2020. They will be back to class on January 4.
When schools in New Brunswick, Canada, shut down on March 16, 2020, due to COVID19, many things changed at GSMS. Two big changes that had a far-reaching effect (as far-reaching as Zambia!) were the cancellation of the 12th annual Twitti Book Sale in April. Usually the Sale brings from $2000 to $5000 that is sent to Twitti Primary School and used for the benefit of the children in their classrooms.
The other change was the cancellation of Marketplace, a sale of products produced by the Grade 8 students. Their hard work each year has brought thousands of dollars to TPS, money to build the Play Park, for example.
Their last donation, from 2019, included enough funds to sponsor two Twitti children for 2 years. We thank George Street from the bottom of our hearts!
Simonds High School has been sponsoring TPS pupils for many years. Their generosity has helped several children complete their basic education and be ready to go on to the next levels of their learning. One of their former sponsored pupils will begin her 3rd year of the Nursing program at Chikankata in January.
Usually, funds are raised by students participating in varied fund raising events. It was impossible to run these fun and profitable projects when the pandemic began. However, the students had raised enough money before it began to support their current TPS pupil and to make a substantial contribution to the School Shoes and Bags Fund for 2020!
L'École internationale du village, an international school in the Canadian Province of Québec, has contributed a great deal to TPS. Steve Wadlow and his family visited Lilayi several years ago and Steve was so impressed that he came back for a second visit. Steve told his school about TPS and for the past 8 years they have raised funds to sponsor 4 children. In addition, Steve has organized his friends to form Club 25 and sponsor an additional 5 children. He has also been instrumental in establishing the Literacy program at Twitti and has been enthusiastic in his encouragement of the school.
This year it has been more difficult to raise the funds without school-based events. Steve talked about Twitti to his classes and the children went home to their parents and asked for help. Through the generosity of the whole community, these children will be able to continue their studies.
Zikomo! Zikomo! Zikomo!
The vision of the Lilayi Education Trust is to be the leading provider of quality primary education in the Lilayi – Chilanga area. The Board of Trustees and the Founders of the school are committed to the realization of this vision. They intend to achieve this vision through their mission of providing community-based quality education at an affordable price. Going forward, the Lilayi Education Trust remains steadfast in its efforts to find ways and means of assisting vulnerable children and the struggling parents desiring to educate them. The Board envisages that, when provided with the best education possible in primary school, each student coming through our doors will be given the opportunity to excel beyond Twitti Primary School. And that the education being provided yields life-changing successes with a positive impact on their families and the community as a whole.
When Lydia and Simon Maonde retired from their long careers in education, they took up a new life as farmers in the Lilayi community near Lusaka, Zambia’s capital. The need for a school for the children of the farm workers was apparent and so, in 1994, Mrs. Maonde began to teach 5 pre-schoolers in the Maonde home. Word spread in the community of how well these children were being taught, and parents soon brought others to learn. Since the Maonde sons and daughter had grown and moved away, their 3 small bedrooms became the school classrooms.
By 2005 there were about 200 children coming, in morning and afternoon shifts, to be pupils at this new Twitti School. The name Twitti was chosen since the word ‘twitti’ means the smallest twig, a symbol for these tiny children who were becoming part of the powerful tree of education.When this ‘school in the house’ was reaching its physical limits, an amazing re-connection occurred. Mr. and Mrs. Maonde, by means of the Internet, began to correspond with three Canadians who had worked with them at Namwala Secondary School more than thirty-five years earlier. Mr. Maonde requested their help in financing the construction of a ‘real’ school.
Former CUSO volunteer teachers, Patrick and Shelley O' Callaghan in British Columbia, and Patricia Ellsworth in New Brunswick, committed to their former Headmaster and his wife to help them build a school, an enduring legacy for the Lilayi community. In 2006, Friends for Zambia Society was established and fund raising began. In 2009, the first 4 classrooms were constructed and each year more facilities were added until 2012 when Twitti School was completed. (See photo above.)
When Twitti School was Officially Opened in July 2012, there were on the campus 3 classroom buildings containing 11 classrooms, 3 washroom buildings at the back of the photo above, a water well and storage tank, a sports field, a basketball court, a playground for the little ones, and an administration building containing offices, a staff room and a library.
Since then the campus was surrounded by attractive security fencing and was beautifully landscaped. A netball court was added, as well as a sheltered stand for bicycles. Stone walkways constructed between buildings reduce the amount of mud that comes into the classrooms in the rainy season. There are benches near the playing field for the children during break times. In 2018 the cholera outbreak necessitated the addition of water points for hand washing. A new Play Park was built in 2019 to replace the old metal playground equipment that was rusting and dangerous. With cement donated by Lafarge Cement Zambia and a financial contribution from Friends For Zambia, a new security wall was completed at the rear of the school property. This wall provides a secure environment for the children and protects the property, including the new Play Park from vandalism. A wall formerly on site was demolished in 2016 as a result of a property dispute.
School Shoes and Bags Appeal 2020 was a success: There was enough money raised to provide the 30 sponsored children at Twitti School with a new pair of school shoes and a new book bag again this year.
This is a yearly effort so donations are accepted at any time for the following year. Some of the money required for 2021 ($50 per child) has already been raised by generous donors. Could you help with a donation to Friends For Zambia to finish the project for next year? Any amount would help!
These are the current needs, and the next steps that will be taken in order to optimize Twitti's success.
Want to help? To see how to financially contribute to these projects, go to the How to Help Page.