By Jessica Long
By Jessica Long
ll in all, things are moving along smoothly for the KnowledgeBeat girls in their difficult, yet inspiring, mission in Zambia. Their task to educate and motivate the youth of Zambia, through the help and commitment of the community adults, is continuing to progress. KnowledgeBeat hosted a ten day long training session for the facilitators of the Girls Empowerment camp in early July, in hopes of teaching the volunteers the importance of motivating the young ladies of Ngoma, to stay in school and pursue a future beyond motherhood.
Throughout the Girls Empowerment Camp it has quickly become apparent that confidence and self reliance is essential in sustaining a woman’s future, particularly in rural Africa. The Girls Empowerment Camp, focusing on creativity, entrepreneurship and social and financial independence for these young women, teaches the enrolled students the importance of these life necessities. In just this short time, several girls have exuded greater self-belief and bolder determination. One student expressed, “as girls, we need to put more effort in our school, so we can be someone in our life”; a huge feat that a young Zambian girl conceives this concept.
As the young females in the camp engage in conversation with the KnowledgeBeat girls, they ask them questions and listen to their answers. The Zambian girls giggle when they hear that not only are Annie, Sarah and Margaret in their late twenties and college graduates, but they are also all single. The intrigued girls chuckle with enthrallment. Another student quotes, “I want to achieve in my life, so I can be like her”, and by her, this student means one of the community leaders chosen to serve as a role model and educator for the camp. Through KnowledgeBeat’s main objective to disperse knowledge through the work of the local people, the Girls Empowerment Camp leaders consist of three local women, all whom balance a career with a family: one being a teacher, one an area warden, and one a ZAWA officer.
Other educators, those involved with the Environmental Science Program, endured three days of training in mid July, focusing on imperative issues such as the affects of burning plastic, littering and other pressing environmental issues. The trained facilitators are now eager to begin the program and spread the enlightened word. Mr. Kasanga, an influential Zambian KnowledgeBeat team member told the girls at the end of the training camp, “you have opened our minds, this is wonderful.”
With any luck, the wonderful insight in which these KnowledgeBeat girls have shared will have exponential powers to reach the children and adults of the community, today and in generations to come. With each new program, training session, day of a camp and conversation, KnowledgeBeat is spreading awareness to better their future. For the first time, provided with necessary resources and materials, the youth of rural Zambia are beginning to experience the well rounded education that they deserve.