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UNICEF sends emergency education supplies to Zambia

58 schools-in-a-box offloaded at Lusaka airport

LUSAKA, 19 March 2008 – As part of its emergency response to assist flood affected Zambian schools, UNICEF, has flown in 58 schools-in-a-box from its supply division in Copenhagen. The highly portable materials are designed to provide teachers and students with everything they need to resume school, an extremely important activity especially for children whose families have been forced to flee their homes because of rising floodwaters – or in areas where school buildings have been damaged or destroyed.

Each schools-in-a-box contains enough supplies for 100 children – will be distributed to over 40 community and government schools in flood damaged areas of Southern, Lusaka, and Western Provinces. The educational materials are being provided to the Ministry of Education.

The kits contain learning materials for students in grades 1- 9 and include exercise books; student slates; an inflatable globe; a student register; crayons, pencils, pencil sharpeners, ball-point pens and felt-tip pens; erasers; two chalkboards; chalk and chalk duster; chalkboard paint; a chalkboard compass and ruler; a clock; flipchart markers; scissors; tape; paint brushes; several educational posters; over 90 coloured wooden cubes; book bags; rulers; safety scissors; and a metal box for transport and storage.

“The kits are designed to provide support for teachers and children and to ensure a sense of normalcy remains despite the difficult circumstances that tragedies such as floods can bring,” said Pawan Kucita, Chief of UNICEF Zambia’s Education Section.

UNICEF Zambia Representative Lotta Sylwander noted how important the imperatives of normalcy and protection for children can be in times of crisis.

“If children have lost the regularity and continuity of their lives, as we are seeing throughout many flood affected areas of Zambia, preserving fundamental daily events in their lives – such as education – can prove critical to their psycho-social development and mental health. Moreover, it gives children a safe place to spend their days, keeping them secure and away from potential dangers,” said Sylwander. “Access to education is the primary means for any people’s growth and development, and is a key strategy for reducing poverty and reaching the MDGs. By assisting to ensure these children’s education continues, we also ensure these children will hold the opportunity to realize their full potential.”

UNICEF Zambia will be providing $139,000 in emergency supplies to the Ministry of Education, including 36 large tents and  40 recreation kits which include volleyballs, netballs, footballs, nets, and whistles.

“Under the leadership of the Ministry of Education and as the UN’s education sector lead for the flood response, and in partnership with international organizations such as the World Food Programme, the International Labour Organizaiton, Save the Children Norway, Care International, World Vision, Red Cross, and local NGOs such as ZOCS, FAWEZA, ZANEC, CAMFED, UNICEF will continue to monitor the situation throughout Zambia in case more emergency educational supplies are needed,” said UNICEF’s Kucita. “Further, the United Nations is working as one to network with the international community to ensure resources are ready to be mobilized should subsequent needs develop.”

Overall UNICEF and its partners are rushing to provide more than US$1 million in emergency supplies to Zambia, including tents, school supplies, and basic household items for families whose homes have washed away.

For further information, please contact:

Patrick Slavin, Chief, Communications, UNICEF Zambia at +260-211-252055, pslavin@unicef.org,  or Betty C. Nalungwe, Senior Communications Assistant, UNICEF Zambia at +260-211--252055 bcnalungwe@unicef.org


 

 

 

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