|UNICEF Zambia Representative Lotta Sylwander with students and faculty from the Kabulonga Basic School, in Zambia.|
By Daniel Banda
LUSAKA, Zambia, 4 March 2010 – For Little Mukali, a seventh grader at Kabulonga Basic School in Lusaka, the visit to UNICEF was an opportunity he had long been waiting for.
I would love to help children
“I am happy that we came here to learn more about ourselves, to know what we can do for ourselves, and also appreciate what others are doing for us. I would love to work in the health section,” Little said during a class field trip to UNICEF’s offices in the Zambian capital. “I would love to help children, especially those that are born to HIV-positive parents.”
|UNICEF Zambia Representative Lotta Sylwander, right, presents a football to Kabulonga school teacher Musonda Musole.|
Little laments that some of his friends have not been able to attend school because their parents have died of HIV- and AIDS-related diseases, leaving them without the needed financial support. “They can’t come to school because there is no one to support them. I feel pity because I can’t see a bright future for them. I hope a cure can be found one day,” he added.
Speaking during the visit, Kondwani Joe Banda, 17, a UNICEF Zambia Unite for Climate Ambassador, encouraged other children to work hard and help control climate change in their communities. “Let’s help preserve our climate. We are global citizens, so whatever happens elsewhere affects us, too. We should be proactive… and the time to act for our environment is now,” said Kondwani.
A broader understanding
Musonda Musole, a teacher at the school, thanked UNICEF for giving the pupils a broader understanding of UNICEF’s work in Zambia: “We feel this will inspire many pupils to work extra hard, especially because they shall begin to appreciate what organizations like UNICEF do for them.”
|A student listens carefully to a presentation during a class trip from Kabulonga Basic School to UNICEF's offices in Lusaka.|
UNICEF Representative in Zambia Lotta Sylwander led a 90-minute interactive discussion with the students, which included watching a video explaining UNICEF’s accelerated child survival and development programme in Zambia, and a talk by UNICEF Zambia’s Staff Association President James Simasiku.
“UNICEF Zambia takes pride in its ongoing and future collaboration with the Government of Zambia, and implementing programmes aimed at improving the welfare of children and mothers. We warmly welcome significantly better outcomes for children and their mothers, now and in the future, in every part of the country,” said Ms. Sylwander.
The ten pupils who visited UNICEF are among the 130 seventh graders at Kabulonga Basic School who are studying about the United Nations during the current school year. The UN is incorporated in the Zambian Social Studies syllabus. The field trip offered an opportunity for pupils to visit UNICEF and find out for themselves about the UN’s work in the country.