Agritech Outreach Programme has already started to transform school in Chisamba
“Education a powerful instrument for reducing poverty”
Some 546 students and 17 teachers at the Golden Valley Basic School in Chisamba, Zambia are already reaping the benefits of the recently launched Agritech Expo Outreach Programme. The school is situated on the GART research farm where the annual Agritech Expo takes place, and the event organisers decided to raise funds to assist the school with much needed building renovations, equipment supply and management of the school’s farm.
Agritech Expo drew more than 11 700 visitors last month, including the country’s President Edgar Lungu, the Vice President, Mrs Inonge Wina, the Zambian and German agri ministers and many other dignitaries and agri experts. The event is owned by the Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and organised by Spintelligent, leading Cape Town-based trade exhibition and conference organiser, and the African office of Clarion Events Ltd, based in the UK.
Power instrument to reduce poverty
David Ashdown is the Managing Director of Spintelligent: “Education is one of the most powerful instruments for reducing poverty and inequality and lays a foundation for sustained economic growth. We’re thrilled that so many of our sponsors and exhibitors at Agritech Expo responded with such generosity when we asked them to join us in this pilot project to address and facilitate much needed assistance in creating a safer and more stimulating environment for the children as well as teachers. And the results are staggering! During the first phase of the project we were able to replace the windows, give the school a new paint job and replace ablution facilities in less than a week.”
“A better place to study”
The school’s teachers are overjoyed with the results. “A better place to study will have an impact on how our kids perform academically” says the Golden Valley Basic School headmaster, Darius Tshisenga. He adds: “you know, these kids used to dose off while studying because of the lack of oxygen in the classrooms because we had no windows to get fresh air. Now I can really see how overjoyed they will be on 11 May when the school reopens!”
The school’s headmistress Mrs Ritha agrees: “you are God sent to us, this story will be told to every generation that will seat on these benches, may God bless you and your company, you are good people.”
Generous Agritech Expo sponsors
To assist the Golden Valley Basic School with equipment and supplies, the Agritech Expo team has joined forces with another event that Spintelligentorganises, namely the annual African EduWeek in Johannesburg. A school library, new furniture and equipment and a sustainable supply of learning materials and stationery are in the pipeline.
Since the opening of the school in 1992, the self-sufficient farm school relies on its crops and the sale thereof to keep the institution running. Says David Ashdown: “with the donations of our Agritech Expo sponsors we will be able to assist the farm with maize seeds for the year, soil mapping, drip irrigation and vegetable seeds, machinery and manpower and grass seed for the football pitch”. The contributing companies include:
- Maize seeds for the year – Seed Co.
- Soil mapping for the farm – SGS
- Drip irrigation & vegetable seeds – Amiran
- Machinery & manpower – AFGRI
- Grass seed for the football pitch – Klein Karoo
- 1000 vegetable planting kits – Klein Karoo
- Crop management tutoring – Klein Karoo
Spintelligent’s David Ashdown says “it is very important for us that this is the start of a long-term project in which we will stay involved with the school in a sustainable manner. The Agritech Outreach Programme still needs more financial donations to assist with the renovations, farming assistance, stationery, school and sports equipment”. For more information on how to become involved in this project, go to www.agritech-expo.com