It’s Official! Pakachele Opening Ceremony, March 25, 2011

Opening Day T-Shirt Drummers and Dancers Preschool Children Performing

Drums pounding out rhythms of celebration, children singing songs of praise, women dancing, laughter rippling through the crowd….. March 25, 2011 marked the official opening ceremony for the PaKachele Primary School in Lusaka, Zambia. Board members Regan Murray, Bevin Dunn, and Leah Berger attended on behalf of the over 300 donors from the Temwani Children’s Foundation who have contributed to the building of the school over the past five years.

Children from the Kondwa Day Center for Orphans, the Seko House for Girls (from traumatized homes), and the students of PaKachele were all present for the ceremony.

An afternoon of performances and speeches wove a story of a community as diverse as the colorful chitenge cloth worn throughout the audience.

Portraying the founder and director of PaKachele Primary School-Angela Malik, a young girl acted the part of the busy woman beholden to her cell phone and always just one minute away from another meeting. The child’s humorous rendition captured the essence of the woman who still finds the time to sit down and talk with the many orphaned and vulnerable children to whom she has become a parental figure. The characterization rang so true that the real Angela Malik had to leave the stage to catch her breath from laughing so hard. (Below)

Play by Seko House girls Imitating Seko Director Angela Malik Angela laughs

PaKachele School Board members, the Parents Association, government officials, and Angela took the stage to thank those who have made it possible to build the school, which serves the children of Ng’ombe and the neighboring community of Foxdale in Lusaka. In  session since February 2010, grades 1, 2, and 3 are currently in attendance while the new classroom for grade four will open in early 2012. Subsequent grades will be added as more classrooms are built with funds obtained through the Temwani Children’s Foundation and other donors.

The school site also contains a large garden from which the harvest supports the children’s feeding program, with excess sold in local markets. Caregivers for the children participate in maintaining the crops, and can often be found on site during the school day. In this way, the school serves as a source of empowerment, not only to the children of the community, but to adults as well.

As the PaKachele teachers stated aptly in their performance that day, “Hunger has no age.” Like the rest of Zambia, the neighborhood of Ng’ombe has been impacted by the effects of a ten year drought in the country, in addition to HIV/AIDS and extreme poverty. Indeed, the PaKachele Primary School has already become a welcome addition to this small community located in the heart of the capital city, Lusaka.

Thank you, Temwani supporters, for continuing to invest in the orphans and vulnerable children of Zambia!

Click to watch a video of the Opening Ceremony.

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