Thursday, December 01, 2005

Our trip to Kawaza Village

Charles with Raphael
Originally uploaded by CharlesFred.
Kawaza Village, is in fact more of a collection of villages falling ionto one fiefdom, under a chief of chiefs (there are six chiefdoms). It lies a little bit further away from South Luangwa Park than Mfuwe and some locals have fgormed a co-operative to open up the village to tourism in a responsible and mutually beneficial way. The tourists are treated to glimpses of village life and viallegrs benefit by talking to tourists and using the money raised for community projects.

We were taken there by Joseph and Yotam from the Flatdogs camp and we were taken first to the local school. You cannot believe what sort of welcome we were given by the kids of Class 1A, as they all stood up and greeted us in English and sang songs, recited poems and told us about their school. It was an incredible experience and unbelievable how self-assured the young children were.

It was pretty well much the same in Class 8A, although the children here were much older and very mature for their age. We sat down with small groups of them as they interrogated us about our ages (I was nine days younger than the headmaster), where we were from, what we did, what we thought about Zambia and so on, whilst we found out that they wanted to become pilots, tourist guides, accountants even!!! Again,we were treated to songs and poems and small speeches about development, overpopulation, HIV/AIDS and so on.

Everywhere in the school were HIV/AIDS related posters, many asking childrenm to resist peer pressure and not have sex, Virgin Power adn Virgin Pride and so on.

The motto of the school was Education - The Key to Success. At this school, with many foreign benefactors seemed to be doing very well. A couple of disturbing issues though... 20% of the children were orphans and the ratio of girls to boys fell dramatically in the upper classes was much lower as girls woukld drop out to help in the home (maybe on the death of the mother) or would get married (sometimes as young as 13). Gender equality is a big issue here in Zambia by all accounts.

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