Maunga Village Primary School is one of Go2Africa’s Positive Impact partners in community projects. Maunga Primary School is in a remote community (Maunga Village) outside of Livingstone in Zambia. We wholeheartedly believe that every child has the right to receive a good education in an environment that positively encourages learning. When selecting Positive Impact initiatives to support, Maunga Village emerged as a top candidate for Go2Africa’s Conservation Committee. We have entered into a pledge partnership with African Bush Camps with the sole purpose of empowering the youth of Africa.
Our CEO, Maija de Rijk-Uys and Product Manager, Liesel van Zyl travelled to Zambia to intimately acquaint themselves with the work being done on the ground and live our ethos, ‘we know because we go’. This helps us to accurately inform our clients of this inspiring initiative, and how their travel spend will make a lasting positive impact in the years to come.
What Challenges is Maunga Primary School Facing?
Maunga is the only primary school in this remote village, accommodating up to 177 learners and has only three teachers, including the principal. The school has a high absenteeism rate and a low pass rate of only 22%. Many of the learners are coming to the school hungry and must travel long distances by foot.
The school is understaffed, and learners are dropping out to go to work or be married off; child marriages are devastatingly on the rise in Zambia because of teen pregnancies and poverty factors. Learners have little to no educational support at home as parents are often not educated themselves and simply can’t assist with homework. On top of these debilitating challenges, poor and old infrastructure create uninhabitable classrooms, and there is a serious lack of teaching materials and resources.
We are going to see more tour operators, like ourselves, being more aware and motivated to make a positive impact on the ground. Seeing these kinds of projects from far away, behind your laptop, is a very different experience to actually being here - experiencing first-hand what is being done and the positive difference it makes to peoples lives. We’re committed to ensuring that our clients’ trips serve as an aid to the upliftment of local communities and empowering the youth of Africa.
Go2Africa & Maunga Primary School Positive Impact Initiative
Go2Africa has pledged to donate $30 to Maunga Village Primary School through the African Bush Camps Foundation for every trip booked with us that includes a night at one of our selected Zambian camps and lodges. We are committed to donating at least $12,000 in our 2023 financial year.
These lodges and camps will form part of the Positive Impact initiative and have been selected for their proximity to the village, as well as their unwavering commitment to community support:
The project is taking a three-phased approach over the next few months:
Phase 1 – Infrastructure
Maija and Liesel arrived to kick off the painting of the ablution blocks, and learners participated in painting their hands and adding their own creative flair to the newest structure.
This will be expanded on in the coming months with general repairs to the school building, the painting of classrooms and blackboards, replacing notice boards as well as desks and chairs, and the construction of a play park.
Phase 2 – Feeding Scheme
Hunger remains a significant problem in Africa, with millions of children facing malnutrition and food insecurity. Schools like Maunga Primary have seen the devastating impact of hunger, with many learners missing school, coming to school on an empty stomach, and travelling over 20 kilometres (12 miles) on foot to get to class. Learning, focusing and concentration is severely impacted, as many of them are hungry.
The African Bush Camps Foundation has feeding programs running in schools in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, providing daily meals to learners to help them perform better in school. They served over 8,000 meals in 2022.
As part of Go2Africa's Positive Impact initiative with the African Bush Camps Foundation to create a thriving learning environment at Maunga Primary School, we are running a feeding program at the school to provide daily meals for learners. In addition, a new school kitchen will be built, and a vegetable garden will be developed to aid with sustainably supplying the school.
How You Can Make a Difference
The African Bush Camps Foundation is running a feeding program drive to cater 20,000 meals to learners at all their schools in 2023.
For as little as $15 a week or $50 a month, you can provide two daily meals to learners at Maunga Primary School.
Sign up to GlobalGiving and donate to the African Bush Camps Foundation's feeding program. If you sign up as a monthly donor, your first monthly donation will be matched by GlobalGiving, up to $200.
Reviving our feeding programs post COVID-19 has been one of the greatest highlights for us as a foundation, as we have seen first-hand the tremendous benefit that this program has added to our schools, the learners and the teachers. Our schools are at maximum attendance when the feeding programs are running, in comparison to the low attendance we saw during COVID when the feeding programs were closed. Learners coming from poorer households are also more encouraged to come to school, because that may be the only meal they eat that day. Our teachers are also more motivated and energised to teach, as the learners are attending class, are fully engaged, active, and participating in and understanding the material they are being taught.
– Koinonia Baloyi, Communications & Fundraising Officer, African Bush Camps Foundation
Phase 3 – Learning Materials
Learning materials are vital for equipping staff with the tools that they need to provide quality education. The overall mission is to improve the school pass rate and provide support for educators facing numerous challenges.
Victoria Falls is one of my favourite destinations in Africa, for many reasons – beauty, diversity, people. It is estimated to receive one million visitors per year and remains one of our most requested destinations to visit, and it does not disappoint! But how does this thriving tourism industry benefit the local community? Many of the lodges support local villages and offer village visits that are easily accessible from your lodge, but Thorntree River Lodge found a community that was entirely overlooked - Maunga Village. At the end of the previous term, the school had recorded only 16 learners (many are still required to tend to the fields and the livestock) but on the day the school opened for a new term they had 156! This is not a message of doom, but one of hope & joy that every little positive thing we can do creates a ripple effect of change. With my own children in pre & primary school, we take for granted these simple privileges but so begins the sewing seeds of hope for a future for 100+ families. It was so affirming to meet the passionate team on the ground who work hand in hand with the school principal and village chief on deciding what comes next. And for now that is building an ‘elephant-proof barrier’ so they can start planting their own veggie garden before the rains come!
Make a Direct Donation
You are welcome to make a direct donation to the improvement projects at Maunga Village Primary School, no matter how big or small, every donation goes to meaningful and lasting change.
Ready to Book Your Positive Impact Safari?
Get in touch with one of our Africa Safari Experts to help tailor-make your positive impact trip of a lifetime: