As well as helping with farming activities and running healthcare sessions the project also offers women the chance to join adult literacy classes. Running since the beginning of 2016 the women are already making remarkable progress. Several times a week the Zambian ladies come to classes that are split into beginner and advanced levels to develop their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills with a grammar focus. The lessons take place in two different locations to ensure classes are available to a wider audience. The women are delighted with the progress they have made and participate fully in sessions.
A special women’s group runs twice a week focusing on skills development as well as financial matters such as making a savings plan and budgeting. You can see how thrilled the ladies are with the bags they made using recently acquired sewing skills. In addition, topics such as self-esteem and choices are discussed. One topic was life path, looking closely at things that have impacted on their lives to date, goals for the future and identifying why and how that can or may not happen. The session was remarkably open with one lady said that “the women’s group is one of my favourite places to be” and another “the support of my family is important in achieving my goals”.
Providing opportunities and support to girls is equally as important as the women. As well as supporting sports in schools and offering teaching assistance in classes there are dedicated workshop sessions for girls and volunteers are able to join and facilitate these. Issues are detailed in a syllabus and cover topics such as safety, reproductive and sexual health, the goals and aspirations of the girls, and how they can overcome barriers. A new after school club has also been opened recently providing the girls a fantastic opportunity to learn touch rugby! At the club the girls develop their listening skills, work as a team, get fit and of course, have fun! They girls learn how to tackle, participate in exercises and play a game of touch rugby. One day soon they may even play another team! The girls are certainly gaining confidence and it is great to see.