On from my post of October 11, 2016 I launched a mentoring program at the Mfuwe Day Secondary School to the year 12 students of 2016 with the goal to teach and support the students on how to obtain employment once they completed year 12. The classes are held at the school on my day off from work most Thursday’s between 11am – 1pm and 30 to 60 students would attend each lesson. The final year 12 “senior grade” exams commenced October 25 and went through till late November with their results being available February 6, 2017 onwards. Post the exams the attendance dropped down to between 5 -20 students each week as a number of the students were boarders and in life there will always be the self-motivated and goal driven humans which was fine as working with small groups would generate much greater results.

The first group of star students who proved to the most motivated and hardworking by completing their homework each week, contacting me via email and mobile for support and regular attendance at class are:

Ackson – Graphic Artist.

The founding member and motivation for me is Ackson.

From day one when I met Ackson he wanted to be a Graphic Artist and had worked part time during his senior school years in Chipata to pay his school fees of US$600.00 per year.

Prosper Phiri – Clinical Medicine.

At the age of 16 in grade 10 Prosper attended presentations on different careers from government departments, health professionals and various companies including safari lodges. There was a medical presentation on “how important good health is to living a good and long life” by a Doctor. From that day on Prosper has worked very hard at school to achieve the results required to qualify for a university degree in medicine.

Yvonne – Nurse.

Yvonne is my star female and attended every class and completed all tasks wonderfully.

Her dream is to be a registered nurse with her end goal to become a mid-wife.

Artison – Jeweller.

Artison is a clever tall big smiling young man who is determined to become a jeweller.

An unusual profession in little rural Mfuwe town!

Richard and Alick – Electrical engineers.

These two boys are good friends and never gave me a rest!!

From the first lesson they were fun, well manned, determined and extremely respectful of my time.

Shadreck Sakala – Carpenter.

A little shy in my classes though Shadreck attended every class, completed his homework, was extremely courteous and would always send me a text to confirm the class time and date.

It’s now July 2017 and I am very proud to confirm that through the students hard work and determination in conjunction with my persistence (nagging could be a better description) with local business owners and support from family and friends back home here is the update.

Ackson eagerly completed 6 weeks work experience in April 2017 at a printing and graphic company in Lusaka Neon Graphics and now has a 2 year employment contract.

Prosper has proven over the past 10 months to be an outstanding student who has achieved the grades in year 12 to be accepted into to the Mulungushi University in Zambia to study a 6 year degree in Clinical Medicine Bachelor of Science.

“If I was given the opportunity to be sponsored to complete this degree in medicine I would be highly committed to completing all my studies to the best of by ability. My goal is to make Zambia a better place to live and save lives”. He has been an outstanding student in my mentoring classes and has proven to be an extremely reliable, hard working and committed young man. His goal is to make Zambia a better place to live and save lives and is currently seeking sponsorship to commence his degree. Click here to view via YouTube Prospers story Meet Prosper Phiri Mfuwe Zambia

Yvonne unfortunately did not achieve the maths and science results in her year 12 exams to enter a nursing degree in 2017 though is working towards re-doing the two subjects in term 1 of 2018 school year. Yvonne has been a volunteer at the Kakumbi Medical Clinic since December 24, 2016 working Monday – Friday 7am – 230pm and is a much valued and respected young woman. Likando the head of the clinic and the staff advise she is a hardworking, reliable and dedicated young woman. Based on her performance at the clinic Yvonne has been taken on as a trainee massage therapist at the gorgeous Bush Spa located in the Mfuwe Lodge with Natalie and her team of wonderful therapists. She is thrilled with this opportunity and very committed to Nat and becoming a trained massage therapist in Mfuwe.

Artison our wonder jeweller has been offered training and full time employment at Mulberry Mongoose, a seriously amazing jewellery company based in Mfuwe thanks to Kate the founder and owner and her team. In the words of Kate “Artison is a gem” and she is extremely grateful for being introduced to him via my mentoring program.

Shadreck Sakala, the camp is closed from 15 Jan – 15 March each year to allow the staff a well earned holiday and for renovations and general maintenance to be carried out. Ade and Jess had organised the 4 chalets to have a total refurbishment including soft furnishings and a new fit out for the kitchens and bedrooms. Raphel owns a successful building company Artnera based at Chipata. While his team was installing the new kitchens and bedroom furniture Raph and I chated about the opportunity of an apprenticeship for Shadreck. On June 4, 2017 Shadreck was signed on with Raph and his team as an apprentice carpenter with a contract.

Richard and Alick, after I completed research on courses and meetings with the boys and their parents we agreed they would commence a 2 year apprenticeship starting February 4, 2016 at the Chikowa Youth Development Centre located a 2 hour drive from Mfuwe. Richard is studying Agriculture and Alick Automotive Mechanics and truly loving it. At a cost of US$500.00 per year per student which includes boarding, all meals, and education Jamie’s parents and sister have committed to sponsoring both the boys to complete their two year degrees. Over half way through the year now and they have achieved great results. Thanks to Quantium for the generous donation of a lap top as the boys are using this for their studies at Chikowa.

Jamie and I decided to visit the boys at Chikowa to support and encourage them and learn about the centre. Thanks to Kenneth who drove us. The Chikowa Youth Development Centre CYDC was created in 1987 by the Comboni Missionaries, an Italian congregation. It still belongs to Chipata’s Diocese and is still run by the Comboni Missionaries. The aim is to help youth from low income families to get a technical skills in different courses such as Agriculture, Mechanic, Bricklaying and Carpentry. CYDC proposes the lowest school fees of the Eastern Province of Zambia due to generating income from sales of goods from the carpentry workshop which produces pieces of furniture and field and garden produce. Currently it has 83 students. The small team consists of Francisco the Director of 18 years, Lorenzo the head of Carpentry, School Principle, teachers and support staff.

This is a snap shot of the work both the students and I have put into achieving these results though I am so very very proud of all the students and thank all the people I have hassled over the past 10 months for support.

A special thanks to Anna, Jenn and the team at Chipembele Wildlife Education Program who continues to mentor me on how to bring out the best in the students from a local rural life perspective and use of their class room on site at the school. The other special thanks goes to Malama our head guide at Flatdogs Camp for his personal, honest and inspiring presentation to the class in June.