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Children in this rural area of Zambia rarely see books; many have difficulty in learning to read whilst others, although they can read the words, don't have a clue what they mean or what the story is about.
Reading is taught by rote, often without phonics and usually without any fun involved.   We must not forget that these kids may be learning to read and learning English at the same time.
Teachers around the world agree that reading is a complex activity; a child needs to understand what they are reading and put it into context through their own personal experiences.  Whilst recognising that local kids also need to experience books about other cultures we feel that at the very start of their reading lives they need to be able to recognise the characters (whether people or animals) and relate to the story or situation portrayed.    
For many Zambian children this will most likely be the first time that they have had a story read to them as well as their first experience of books and we often have to start by showing them how to turn a page.
At Project Luangwa we are keen to build a strong foundation in literacy as we feel that this is key to developing a child’s imagination and ability to write.  We feel that a fresh, fun approach to learning to read will develop and enhance children’s love of books and stories.
To implement this we have introduced two schemes: the Happy Readers Reading Scheme and our Literacy Scheme using our own list of African related books and story sacks.  You can find out more about Happy Readers here.
Our Literacy Scheme for Early Learners
With assistance from international, as well as Zambian, teachers we have identified a range of children’s books for Zambian early learners.  Whilst not specifically written for Zambian children these books feature people, animals or events from everyday life that will be familiar to kids living in rural South Luangwa.  It is by no means a complete list and we are always looking for new titles.
Book Bags and Story Sacks
As we build up our stocks of books so we try to increase the number of story sacks and book bags containing resources and props to support the stories.   These resources help to bring a story alive by encouraging children to live the story through role play or engaging in fun activities.  The resources in a book bag may include hand or finger puppets, masks, games, costumes, objects from the story, reference books, crayons, flash cards with words from the story and suggestions for activities.
So how can you help?
If you would like to buy or donate books to bring with you when you visit Zambia you can see our list here.  Or you can go straight to our Amazon Wish List  for ease of purchasing.  However before you order anything please read the instructions on this page. if you help in getting the books from Lusaka to Mfuwe.
How do we use the books and book bags?
We use the books and bags for volunteers to take into the local schools.  If you have some teaching experience you can come and run a class yourself. You’ll need to volunteer for at least a week in order to benefit the kids.  
For loan to local schools: The books and story sacks are also available for loan to interested teachers and schools in South Luangwa - they can take out a set for up to a month. 
How you can help
Donate books and resources from our
Amazon Wish List:
Reading Books for Young African Learners.
Look at the list of our
books and resourses
Volunteer - If you have some teaching experience you can  volunteer to work with the kids for a week or more.
with your details
We are currently looking for a volunteer to expand and run our Reading Scheme.
The volunteers will need to be self funding and willing to stay for at least 3 months.
Please email if you are interested.


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