Education & IT Classroom
In March 2012, a small team from Mothers of Africa visited the village of Shiyala, 7 km from Chongwe. The trip was essentially to see the Health Post, which is the first point of contact to health services for rural Zambians. Shiyala was chosen for the visit because it had a strong women’s cooperative, which built solid family houses to replace traditional mud and grass roofed traditional huts. Discussions on that first visit culminated in the cooperative agreeing to build an education block, adjacent to the health post, which Mothers of Africa would fit out with solar powered electricity and donate simple, ruggedized personal computers on which villagers could be introduced to basic IT skills.
When Mothers of Africa returned in August 2012, the education block was almost finished and the solar power installed. Over the next two years the solar power was extended to the Health Post, the nurse’s house and the cooperative’s manager’s office and house. This increased the strain on the system and in September 2014 a new solar array was installed. Designed and installed by students at Cardiff University, under the leadership of Dr Dan Rogers, the new system used panels and batteries sourced in Zambia. It was handed over to the district government and village at a ceremony at the end of the build.