2009 New Student Orientation
This luncheon is held every year for the newly selected students and their parents in order for them to sign contracts with KF and also to meet the Heads of the schools they will attend. At this event, the goals and requirements of KF are explained and the student expectations are detailed.The Heads of the Primary Schools form which the students were selected are also invited to talk about their schools and the pupils they are handing over. This interaction helps build a cordial relationship with all parties involved and is a great source of information. The students are also requested to make a presentation during this event. All members of the KF Board were present to grace the occasion.
Welcoming Remarks and a Brief Background about KF
The program commenced with the Director welcoming all those present and she went on to introduce the KF members of staff and board members, who were all present. Each Head of the schools or their representative was also introduced by the Director. And finally the new students were introduced together with their parents to the Heads of schools that they will attend. The Director went on to give a brief background about the history of the Kucetekela Foundation. She explained that KF was founded by a young American university student, Oliver Barry, who was on internship with Africare. He saw the levels of poverty among the many communities he worked with, especially the children who couldnít gain access to a good education because of the poverty levels of their parents. It was then in 2006 that he founded The Kucetekela Foundation which provides scholarships to young Zambians to attend high quality secondary schools from Grade 8 through Grade 12. The foundation identifies Zambian students that demonstrate great academic promise, but do not have the financial means to obtain a secondary education, much less a secondary education of the highest quality available. This is done through a very elaborate and vigorous selection process. She concluded by stating that the mission of KF was to develop leaders and create hope in Zambia by equipping academically promising but financially disadvantaged students outstanding education and guidance to empower them to contribute and compete successfully in society.
Ngosa Besa, a student from Northmead Basic School who will be attending Chalo Trust School, began the presentation by singing a song. She has a very beautiful voice and she sang with passion and great confidence. There was no doubt that this girl was talented in singing.
Edson came from Ngerere Basic School in Garden compound and will be attending Chalo Trust School. He presented a special song which he wrote himself dedicated to Kucetekela Foundation. In the song he thanked KF for the wonderful thing it has blessed him with by providing him an opportunity to acquire a good education. He went on to urge KF to continue with this good work and that God will bless the whole program and that he will never forget KF. He sang it in a way that touched each one of us present and it really showed how appreciative Edson is to be selected as one of the KF students. It also highlights his creativity.
Kate was selected from Mumana Basic School and will be attending Ibex Hill Secondary School. She presented a poem entitled Education which she wrote herself.
Education is the future; it is the only key to success
Without education we canít have careers
Lawyers, teachers, doctors and so many
To mention at the same time life can be hard
But with education life is much easier
The standard of living changes in some ways
Parents itís your responsibility to support us children
We are the future leaders of tomorrow.
The poem showed that Kate values education and realizes that it can improve the quality of her life in the future.
She also came from Ngwerere Basic School and will now attend Leopards Hill Secondary School. She also presented a poem entitled The Girl Child. In her poem she depicted the girl child as one who is disadvantaged when it came to education due to primitive traditions. She is a very confident girl who understands what she must do to be succesful member of the community.
Martinho Da Silva Tembo
Martinho recited a poem about street kids. In his poem he depicted the plight of the street children; their cry to society - How they live each day with no expectations, the hardship on the street and how they long that one day their misery, hardships will end. In his presentation he expressed his concern towards people who are less privileged than he.
After the student presentations, all gathered for a delicious meal. It was anjoyable to watch the parents and their children perhaps eat in a posh restaurant, perhaps for the first time. Following lunch, the Heads of schools gave their remarks.
Chalo Trust School
The Director and owner of the school, Mrs. Chileshe, in her remarks stated that Chalo Trust School was established in 2004 and that the school administration believes in the potential each individual child has to become an asset to the family and nation as a whole. In this regard, the school aims to develop each child by identifying his/her strengths. She thanked KF for the invitation to attend the luncheon, to meet the students who will be attending her school, and also to meet with the parents. She assured the parents that their children were coming to a school with a conducive environment for learning. She finally thanked KF partnering with her school in order to give quality education to the children they sponsor.
Ibex Hill School
A representative from the school, Mr. Tembo began by apologising on behalf of the principle who could not attend as he was out of town on other school business. He went on to say that his school was competitive and offers everything that is needed for a child's development. They offer both the General Certificate of Education and Cambridge final examinations. He also stated that the school has spiritual activities and assured the parents that it was a very good school and produces excellent results. In conclusion, he thanked KF for their excellent choice of students.
Leopards Hill School
There was no representative from Leopards Hill School but the KF Director, having taught there before, assured the parents that it was a very good school where KF students were excelling in academic performance. She also assured the parents that KF will not let them down and will do its best to look after the welfare of their children.
Mumana Basic School
The Deputy Head, Mrs. Zulu, spoke on behalf of school highlighted that her school took the education of children very seriously and that its staff members are all work oriented. She also explained that the children who pass through her school are well disciplined and hard working. For example, Kate Míhango passed her grade seven final exams with the highest marks. In closing, Mrs. Zulu thanked KF for the strong partnership it has with her school.
Northmead Basic School
The school representative began with a brief history of the school (established in 1958) and explained that it has continued to produced strong results. She also mentioned that the school prepares its students well both academically and with extracurricular activities. She added that Ngosa was a very talented girl with a lot of potential and is very focused in her endeavours. In conclusion, she noted that most of the students from her school were doing exceptionally well under KF scholarships.
Ngrere Basic School
The head teacher at the school began by thanking KF for its student selection process. He also took the opportunity to thank KF for organising a community service project to paint a classroom block, which was last painted when it was commissioned in 1992. He said that the pupils interacted well with the visitors from the United States, and had a good cultural exchange and experience. He also urged parents to render support to the children so that they could become future leaders. He reminded the students that they were going to some of the best schools in the country and that they should value this opportunity by excelling.
Signing of Contracts
After the remarks from basic school representatives, it was time for the main event of the luncheon, the signing of contracts between KF, the students and parents. This was done under the supervision of KF staff who explained the contractual obligations to the students and the parents before they signed. During the signing ceremony the Director explained that the scholarship that each selected student receives covers more than just tuition fees. KF is committed to providing each student with all resources necessary to succeed. Therefore, the scholarship also covers:
-Boarding Fees (most KF students are boarding students)
-International and National examination and test fees
-Extra academic lessons.
The students were also encouraged to look after all materials and provisions given to them.
After the signing of contracts the children entertained the gathering with karaoke music, where they sang along with the help of the owner of Dolphin Restaurant. Parents, teachers and members of the KF board joined in to sing and dance with the students. The whole atmosphere in the restaurant was full of euphoria as everyone enjoyed the occasion.
Remarks for KF Board Member
The KF Director called upon Professor Yizenge Chondoka, a member of KF Board, to address the gathering. The professor commenced by thanking KF-USA for making it possible for disadvantaged children in Zambia to be availed a qualitative education. Education opens many doors to those who pursue it with great fervour and to the new students selected this occasion has become the stepping stone to a brighter and successful future. He went on to declare that the KF-Zambia team was committed to developing and moulding these students in full. He urged parents to render support to KF and recognize that the cooperative partners are the parents themselves, the teachers and KF; collectively all can play a pivotal role in building a whole child. KF wants to build the child in full by providing academic and co curricular activities. He also advised the schools to expand their libraries by stocking up with good books. Libraries are the nerve centres of any learning institution and as such should always be stocked with relevant books that will help the students to excel. He concluded by thanking the Dolphin proprietor for his hospitality and contribution to the activity.
Vote of Thanks
The vote of thanks was given by Mr. Mumba grandfather to Martinho. He began by acknowledging all who were present and thanked KF for giving him the rare opportunity to give a vote of thanks. Firstly, he thanked KF on behalf of the students and parents for offering them a unique gift of meeting the educational needs of their children. He hoped that the Foundation will continue to extend its hand by providing scholarships to more students.
Secondly, he encouraged the participating schools, especially teachers for their tireless and unappreciated efforts they put in to tutor the students. He hoped that others could emulate their efforts. To the parents he said that they should be grateful that their burden has been made lighter and in return should assist KF by instilling a sense of personal excellence in the children. As parents we should try and give guidance to the children on good behaviour especially during the holidays. That good discipline, behaviour and hard work are better rewarded than intelligence. The combination of all these attributes will be a good ingredient to success.
Thirdly, he addressed the students and encouraged them to meet challenges at their new schools with vigour and determination. It will be the only way that they will fit into their new environment. Their goal should be to work harder now so that they can attain good academic qualifications to enable them to achieve their dreams. He urged them to keep good company and respect their teachers as they respect their parents.
He concluded by thanking KF again and appreciated all those who played a part to make the ceremony a great success. Special thanks went to the proprietor of the restaurant for the tasty food and excellent hospitality we all received. To the children he wished them Godís blessings and success in their studies.
Article written by Harrison Lumbama, Programs officer