Christine enjoying Katete council day with a young musician from a school orchestra, Tikondane, Zambia
The community at Tikondane recognise that employment and education are crucial in being able to move away from poverty. Tiko run many education programs, including: early childhood, primary school, adult literacy, English, family nutrition, hygiene and sanitation, HIV/AIDs education, business skills, computer literacy and the ‘19 steps out of poverty’ program. These education programs contribute to the thriving community and to each individual and family being better off in the long run.
Early childhood education creates a great foundation for local children to grow and thrive in the community. Last month we featured Mwasei Banda who runs the early childhood education centre. Two of Tiko’s other early childhood educators and interns are Dorothy and Emmanuel. Dorothy works in the early childhood centre in the mornings and then teaches English and Chichewa in the afternoons to the young women who come to work in the Tiko gardens.
As a child Emmanuel attended preschool at Tikondane, now 25 years old he is back at the Tikondane early childhood centre every morning. Emmanuel has training in early childhood education but would love to pursue further studies to gain a diploma or degree in this field. Emmanuel is so enthusiastic about his work with the kids at Tikondane that he gets up a 4am to get ready and rides his bike 33km to arrive by 8am every day. At noon, Emmanual rides home again to look after his elderly mother. Emmanuel has noticed that other local, early childhood learning centres would like to purchase some of the excellent educational aids that are in use at Tiko, and so he is looking at ways to supply them at an affordable cost.
Another of Tikondane’s educational activities is run by Christine. Christine coordinates training for carers and patients with HIV/AIDS. She also travels around local villages teaching a traditional women’s dance alongside a new curriculum that emphasises gender equality and women’s rights to say ‘no’ to sexual advances, harassment and violence. This program works in cooperation with a drama-based program and together they appear to be contributing to a decrease in teen pregnancy. Christine has been part of the Tikondane group since its inception and she is well known across all 53 of the local villages as a passionate supporter of the ‘19 steps out of poverty’ and for organising local activities on official occasions like AIDS Day, Independence Day and Women’s Day.
The Tikondane community is aiming to be self-sufficient within the next ten years. By focussing now on education, skills training and sustainable agriculture, they are trying to ensure that no-one is left behind. What a wonderful aim for any community!