The Namwala Secondary School Zambia grew out of the partnership between the Einsiedeln Abbey School and the Namwala Secondary School.
Johannes van der Weijden had already got to know Namwala Secondary School in the seventies during his several years of teaching at this school. When he travelled to Namwala for the first time after 29 years in 2004, he found the school in a desolate state. For years nothing had been invested in its upkeep. Many windows in the classrooms and dormitories were broken, the sanitary facilities were in poor condition and in many places teaching materials were missing.
In the Einsiedeln Abbey School, where Johannes van der Weijden had taught mathematics at the time, a motivated partner was found for the school in Zambia. So far (September 2020), 700,000 Swiss francs have been collected and the money has been used to implement numerous projects.
During the summer holidays of 2006, 2008, 2010, 2016 and 2018, Johannes van der Weijden organized trips to Zambia for pupils and teachers of the Einsiedeln Abbey School. The trip of 2020 had to be cancelled because of Covid 19.
Plans and Goals
Up to now, support for Namwala Secondary School has been mainly financial. Association and members would like to support the school also in the future with the maintenance and expansion of the existing infrastructure.
In order to ensure that the donations are used responsibly and for the intended purpose, projects planned and submitted by the school management are examined in detail and offers of materials and services are jointly evaluated. The association settles invoices directly with the suppliers.
Whenever possible, the school is involved in the implementation process of projects. Regular visits are essential to maintain contacts in Namwala.
In the longer term, the aim is to improve vocational subjects such as metalworking and woodworking as well as sewing and computer science lessons, on the one hand by providing additional training for the teachers and on the other hand by purchasing the resources needed for teaching.
A further aim is to provide financial support for a small number of pupils who are unable to pay all the school fees they need and who cannot count on the government’s scholarship aid.