By Moses Nyirenda – Mana.
Kasungu based non-profit organisation, Sonder Project has been hailed for promoting primary education in Kasungu district through its textbooks donation initiative.
Speaking on the sidelines of the recent donation of the textbooks by the organisation at Matundu and Kasikidzi Primary school in Kasungu, Ministry of Education Director of Education, Youth and Sports, Joseph Chioza expressed gratitude for the work which Sonder Project is doing in Kasungu district.
“We are very grateful to Sonder Project, it has been an outcry concerning shortage of books in the schools, therefore their coming with donation of textbooks covers that gap, we want them to continue with the rest of schools in Kasungu district,” Chioza said.
“We have shortage of books, our wish as the ministry is that every learner should have a book.
“Sometimes because of shortage of books you will notice that one book is used by two, three or four learners hence the learners do not have enough time to use the books, so if we have enough books that every student should have at least one, that would be good,” he said.
He therefore asked other Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the country to emulate what Sonder Project is doing in Kasungu district saying that would help many primary schools in Kasungu to have enough textbooks for learners.
Sonder Project Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chad Zibelman said they decided to start distributing the textbooks after learning about the impact which the textbooks would bring amongst learners in primary schools which they are working with.
“We have been partnering with primary schools in Kasungu for number of years and it came to our attention a year ago when we visited some of the primary schools where we talked to the teachers on what their needs are.
“The teachers mentioned textbooks as one of the important factors that would help the students to perform better, after considering the options and agreed that textbooks are critical for learning, we decided to start distributing the textbooks,” Zibelman explained.
In the recent donation of the textbooks at Matundu and Kasikidzi Primary School, Sonder Project donated over one thousand textbooks worth about K6.5 million and the textbooks are for standard five, six and seven.
Apart from donating textbooks in primary schools, Sonder Project also supports secondary school students with school fees, mentorship and life skills training among others under the project dubbed ‘Education is Power’ which the organisation is implementing in Kasungu district.
The organisation with its partner known as ‘Build On’ is also into construction of school blocks in schools that are within Kasungu district as one way of creating conducive environment for learners.
The NGO is also into drilling of boreholes in communities around Kasungu in an effort to assist community members to have access to potable water and prevent waterborne diseases such as cholera and it has drilled about 18 boreholes since 2020 in Kasungu district.