The Linda area of Livingstone is blighted by poverty and has many children who do not attend school at all. This project has grew out of the efforts of a local teacher who had established a ‘homework club’ in the evenings in the yard of his home for the benefit of children from the compound. One of our trustees was introduced to them in early 2016 when the children were sitting on the ground outdoors without shelter from the sun or rain. For a modest sum she was able to arrange the construction of a structure, benches and a blackboard so that classes could take place when it rained and out of the heat of the sun. These are major factors to be taken account of, especially in the rainy season.
2017 saw the consolidation of that first structure – a metal roof (with matting underneath to deaden the drumming sound of the rain), a raised dry floor and low walls to prevent flooding. Electicity was introduced so that learning could take place after dark. Textbooks have been provided to support the teaching. We are delighted to say that ‘Homework Club’ has been enthusiastically embraced by many IVHQ and Travel Active volunteers in Livingstone who attend to assist the children at least once a week. Largely through their fundraising efforts, in 2018 the facilities were improved (with a second structure), as they were in 2019 and 2020 (with improved toilet and storage provision).
In 2023 Homework Club moved to purpose built classrooms with better desk provision that we had built at nearby Linda Community School. It is still supported by IVHQ and other volunteers who regularly give up their spare time to help the children once or twice a week.
On occasion, those at homework club may find themselves entertained by Clement, a local blind guitarist and composer of original songs whose album ‘Blessings’ was produced locally through Zambezi Sunrise.
On our first birthday, May 8th 2017, the first children began morning classes at Linda Sunrise Preschool. Beginning with eight children, it grew to over 30: some of whom would not otherwise attend school. It used the same Linda Sunrise facilities as Homework Club and Tiyesa Craft Club, thus ensuring that they were utilised all day for the benefit of the community. Preschool also benefitted from uniforms, teacher support and learning materials donated by our supporters. We were pleased to support this school until 2023. Our preschool support is now focussed on the class for this age range at nearby Linda Community School.