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With a grant from The Elephant Charge, an annual off-road motor sport challenge, Project Luangwa took 24 local teenagers to stay at Kafunta River Lodge on the banks of the Luangwa river for a 4 day/3 night safari. We wanted to encourage the kids to gain a better understanding of conservation of their environment and wildlife, understand how a visitor sees the environment and experience exactly what a tourist experiences. We hoped that they would consider a career in tourism or conservation too but above all we wanted them to have fun.

You can read about their experiences and see all of the photos here.

 

In last months newsletter we asked you to help buy a little boy a wheelchair. Five year old John was born with legs that end above knee level and just one hand. Although he can crawl around with remarkable speed he could not go far and was unable to attend pre-school. His horizons were limited to just around his house in a tiny village in Mfuwe.

As the newsletter hit inboxes across the world we set up a page for John on the Just Giving website to enable donations to be made easily. Within a short time we had exceeded our target and had actually raised enough for two wheelchairs. Thank you so much each and every one of you who donated towards this cause. However the story did not end there.

We received an email from John Oberg who is the MD of Sandvik Mining and Construction Zambia Limited in Zambia. John and his wife work closely with http://www.wheelchairsforkids.org/, an Australian organisation that makes and distributes wheelchairs for children in the poorer countries of the World. John kindly offered us just what we needed – a child’s wheelchair especially made for rough conditions free of charge. Of course we accepted and just a short time later John had his first trip out in his chair. Thank you John.

Last week he attended Chiyembekezo Pre-school for the first time and not surprisingly was a little overawed by nearly ninety kids singing and chanting. He soon settled in and is now pushed to school each morning by his big sister. Take a look at how he got on during his first few outings. We've taken so many photos that we had to give him his own page on the website.

This does leave us with the matter of the unused donations. As John is just one of many disabled children in the Mfuwe area and we will set up a specific fund to help these other kids too.

 

Project Luangwa, with funds raised through the Safari Lodges, is building 6 new classrooms. However with only a few desks belonging to the Secondary school the pupils will be forced to sit on the floor in their new classrooms. Even now three kids will often have to squash in a desk meant for two . . . and these are students taking the most important exams of their lives.
 
With the planned completion of the new classroom blocks for the end of July our thoughts have turned to providing new desks. And we haven't just got our 6 new classrooms to think about - there's the new community built block of 3 classrooms too.

A conservative estimate of 30 double desks per class means that we need a total of 270 desks. It costs just $65 to buy one double desk. Can you help?

You can buy a whole desk or just make a small donation - it all helps.
If you wish to make a donation then please visit our website at www.projectluangwa.org/donate to see the different ways that you can donate.

If you are a UK resident you can chose to donate either £1, £5 or £10 via text message from your phone. To donate is simple just text the words DESK21 £1 or DESK21 £5 or DESK21 £10 to 70070
As we are concerned about deforestation in this beautiful wildlife area we are not going to use traditional hardwood to make the desks but employ a local business to make them from steel and aluminium.

 

 

 

 

 

UK residents are now able to make donations from their mobile phones. Thanks to Vodaphone and JustGiving.com making a text donation is very simple

Just text GIFT21 £1 to 70070 to donate £1 to Project Luangwa. If you are feeling more generous you text GIFT21 £10 to 70070.

You can donate by text regardless of your service provider. We will receive 100% of the text donation.

If making a donation by text is not for you then have a look at all of the other ways that you can donate on our donations page.

 

 

Building work is progressing well at Mfuwe Day School. The site is cleared and the foundations are now being dug for both new classroom blocks. A large team of workers is also on site to mould the bricks that we are going to be using. Traditionally these buildings are constructed using locally made brick that requires the bricks to be burnt. This uses a great deal of hard wood and has in the past caused significant deforestation.

At Project Luangwa we have taken the step of using concrete blocks that are made on site using Zambian cement. This is a more environmentally sustainable practice.

This building project has helped to provide a significant employment opportunity for local skilled and unskilled workers. We are on schedule for a grand opening at the beginning of Term 3. We will keep you informed of how we progress. Click here to read more about the work we are doing at Mfuwe Day School..

 

 

No film crew. No ‘fixers’ for the borders. No 4WD back-up. No back-up at all, in fact, except for a man with a shed-full of old bike spares, deep in rural Gloucestershire. For a 50-year-old, simple, rugged British single cylinder motorbike. And its even older and arguably simpler rider…
 
Author Steve Wilson wanted to do a final Real Run on two wheels before the bus pass took over. A holiday with Robin Pope Safaris in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park had provided the spark. Africa’s wide, croc- and hippo-infested brown rivers, its bush-buck and baobab trees, the marks of baboon claws in the dust of a Series I Land Rover’s windscreen, had all worked their spell.
 
Steve's story of his solo 6,000 mile journey around Southern Africa on a 1950s Aerial is a remarkable one and will soon be published by Haynes Publishing in the UK.  Steve has very kindly offered to donate 50 pence for every single book sold.
 
You can read more about his journey and how to get his forthcoming book here..

 

Thanks to a very generous donation from Nick Abel in Australia we have been able to donate 125 bags of cement to help with the construction of a 3 classroom school block for Mfuwe Day Secondary.
 
This building work has been started by the local community who are trying to help the school with much needed infrastructure of its own. The school currently occupies classrooms loaned to them from the neighboring Basic school.
 
The selfless support from the local community for this school has moved us to try and provide further support for this school in 2011.

 

Who would have thought that when a couple of British Airways pilots went on safari they would end up becoming regular postmen?

Following a visit to Kawaza School by Wendy Smith, a Business Manager at Elmtree School in the UK, to wonder how she could help the local children. Shortly after returning home she contacted Project Luangwa about sponsoring a local child to attend school. Over the ensuing emails the relationship between Wendy and Project Luangwa deepened as discussions took place not just about sponsorship, but also twinning Elmtree with a school in the Luangwa Valley through the Class to Class Scheme.


Wendy then met William, who works for a book recycling organisation and, never one to miss an opportunity she decided to collect children's books and surplus classroom resources from Elmtree and the neighbouring schools to send to Project Luangwa for distribution.

But how to get the books to Zambia without it costing a fortune? Well, Wendy is not shy of asking a favour or two . . . . . . especially when it comes to her sister. Knowing Elaine and Bill's love of South Luangwa - they married whilst on an RPS safari - Wendy asked them to take a suitcase or two on their regular flights to Lusaka.
 

Read the full story here..

 

 

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