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Belvedere Zambia 2017

Belvedere Zambia 2017

Immersion Programme is Ready to Begin

The inaugural Belvedere College Zambia Immersion programme is ready to begin.

From Thursday Mar 30th to April 1st, the 20 students and 4 teachers went to Sli An Chroi, a St Patrick's Missionary Society retreat centre, to prepare for the Zambia programme which takes place from June 3rd to 18th.

The group will immerse themselves into the Taonga culture and life in the rural village of Chikuni, a mission run by the Jesuits of the Zambia / Malawi Province. The specific focus is to support school children in a radio school - a rural outstation where an educational curriculum is broadcast over a radio for a few hours each day. This allows  children access education in remote areas and balance that with normal household chores that might ordinarily prevent them from travelling long distances to the nearest government run school. Education is promoted strongly as a pathway out of poverty but often the barriers to getting an education are huge. The radio schools have overcome these barriers, and due to regular contact with school, the rural children are in many cases out performing the national results for state examinations. A real success measure.

The Belvedere students will support local children with English, Maths and cultural exchange through games, music and dance. The emphasis is on the exchange of our human story - we learn from one another and enrich one another.

An added element of the Belvedere programme is that, through fundraising by the 20 Belvedere students, we will donate enough funds for the Jesuits to invest in permanent school buildings to replace the current mud huts used for classrooms.

All in all it's a great example of living out the Jesuit characteristics of connecting faith and social justice in a very real and practical way.

This inaugural programme is intended to be the first of May visits to Zambia by Belvedere students.

We wish the programme every blessing.



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