Teacher Profile: Meet Mondella

Posted on by Sophie Hicks

TeacherHere at African Revival, we absolutely love meeting brilliant and inspiring teachers! Mondella, from Inkumbi Basic School, is one such teacher.

Mondella is originally from Mongo, a town in Zambia’s western province, but moved to Livingstone (southern province) in 1997 to study for his teaching certificate at Livingstone College of Education. Mondella has now been a teacher for fifteen years, and joined the teaching staff at Inkumbi Basic three years ago. Mondella lives on the school compound with his wife and children who attend the school. He has an 11-year old son, Naromindilla and twin daughters: Sepiso and Seveso who are six. Naromindilla is in grade 7, whilst the twins are currently in grade 1 and are taught by their mother, Natala, who is also a teacher. When your mother is your teacher, we’re sure that the old “the dog ate my home-work” excuses don’t really fly!

Teacher with his twins!

Mondella currently teaches grade 6, and also teaches maths and science to students in the upper basic section (secondary) of the school. Mondella actually entered the teaching profession because he was so inspired by one of his own secondary school teachers: “I used to really admire my physics, chemistry and biology teacher; he was my role model, he taught me so many things and he was just a genius because he had so much knowledge! He encouraged me a lot, and I wanted to be like him.” Just like his own teacher, Mondella likes “seeing children learn things they never knew before, and seeing them develop as individuals and as peers, it really brings joy to me”. One of the reasons Mondella loves seeing his students eager to learn is because he knows just how valuable education is, and what it can help people achieve: “(education) is so important, and the good thing is that it doesn’t choose who you are- whether you are rich or poor, as long as you can study, you can improve your life and move forward. You could be poor but if you have an education, then you can work your way up- a farmer’s son could even become president!”

Sunset and latrines!However, it can be challenging to give the children at Inkumbi the quality of teaching they deserve as the school struggles with over-enrolment and under-staffing. Although Mondella tells us that he tries his best, managing large classes is hard, and ideally he would like to divide the classes up, so that he can give individual children more attention. Although the school has its difficulties, the pupils still enjoy and benefit from their learning environment: “My pupils enjoy learning; they like school because they are learning new things, and they are able to socialise with their peers. They have time to play so they like it here.” Mondella hopes that his pupils will continue to enjoy school so that “they will complete their education, and they might be employed or self-reliant due to the knowledge which they have acquired here at school.”

We think Mondella’s pupils are very fortunate to have such a passionate teacher, who works so hard to instil a love for knowledge in his students. We’re sure that, just as his teacher inspired him, Mondella has inspired many children over the years to pursue excellent vocations!

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Meet Trainee Teacher Siatwiko Chipo

Posted on by Elaine Miller

Teacher ChipoSiatwiko Chipo, 23, is a teacher at one of our partner schools: Musebela Community School, located in Zambia’s Zimba district. Chipo lives with his mother, his wife, his five-year old son Enoch and his baby daughter, Hope. The family live in the town of Musebela, around 5km from the school, which Chipo walks to everyday. Chipo is currently studying for his teaching qualification at Charles Lwenga Teacher Training College, which he is really enjoying: “I am very pleased with the course and I am very, very happy because it is giving me more experience. Since I started at the college, I have improved in terms of teaching because I am using better methodologies”.

Chipo has been a community teacher ever since he left secondary school in 2008, having completed his Grade 12. The community in Musebela saw the potential in Chipo and employed him as a teacher at the local school. As a young man, Chipo told us that “I saw the big problems that the community faced; there were many challenges because the government did not send any trained teachers at Musebela Community School. As I saw those problems, I decided to be a teacher. I was very interested to train as a teacher but I didn’t have money to go to college, but fortunately I found African Revival [which] has assisted me to train at Charles Lwenga.”

bus leaving collegeChipo has been teaching at the school for seven years now, and is experienced in teaching different year groups, from nursery level all the way up to Grade 7. In his classroom (built by African Revival several years ago), Chipo currently teaches 10 girls and 13 boys in Grade 6, who are performing well. Chipo loves his job, and particularly enjoys teaching mathematics. However, the most rewarding part of his job is “watching the change in the level of the young ones; to see them going from a low level of knowledge and ability to really do well academically – that makes me so happy”.

Chipo has high hopes for his pupils and is motivated to “continue assisting them so that one day they can become teachers, or doctors, or whatever they hope for. “ This is one of the reasons that Chipo is such a motivated teacher because “it can change pupils’ lives, especially those who are unprivileged; an education can raise their standard of living when they are older because they will be able to get a job more easily. If you aren’t educated, it is very difficult to survive. Without education, you really have no hope so I want to make sure my pupils have hope for their future”.

Pupil walking through CampusIn spite of his hard work, Chipo, like most community teachers, faces challenges on a daily basis. Notably, he hardly ever gets paid because the local community struggles to pay school fees. Additionally, his school lacks teaching materials which the government now requires schools to have. For example, a primary reading programme has recently been introduced but it requires expensive equipment like computers, which the school cannot afford. However, good news will soon be coming Chipo’s way: once he qualifies as a teacher this coming December, Chipo will be paid by the government which means that Chipo and his family will enjoy a well-deserved stable income!

Chipo is very happy to have had the opportunity to formally train as a teacher:  “I fail to find the words to thank you because really you have assisted me a lot in my life and without you, it would be very impossible for me to go to college because I live in a poor family in the village.” It has been our absolute pleasure to support hard-working and dedicated teachers like Chipo through their training, so that they can be the best teachers possible to their young pupils!


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Meet Trainee Teacher Mweetwa Erocious

Posted on by Elaine Miller

In Zambia, one of the community teachers we are currently sponsoring through a teacher training course at Charles Lwenga Teacher Training College is 27 year old Mweetwa Erocious from Kalomo district, located in the country’s southern province.

teacher Mweetwa Erocious

Erocious left school in 2009, after completing his Grade 12. Although he was keen to become a teacher, he lacked the financial support to pursue further study and his confidence was impacted by a stammer so, “after I finished school, I was unemployed and stayed at home for three years”.  After this challenging spell of unemployment, Erocious overcame his speech difficulties to catch his first career break as a community teacher at Habulile Basic School, where he taught for one year before moving across to Habulile Community School.

Erocious has now been working at the school for two years, which is 4km away from his home in Kalomo where he lives with his extended family. He currently teaches Grade 1 and Grade 4, juggling these two teaching responsibilities by teaching his 20 Grade 4 pupils in the morning, before holding lessons for his 24 Grade 1 students in the afternoon. Despite this full-on workload, Erocious enjoys most aspects of teaching, especially teaching maths and science!

College buildingErocious tells us: “I like teaching because it is my career.  Teaching is the foundation of everything, so I have that heart to help those small learners because some of the teachers we see, they don’t care about those young ones. So, I have that heart to help them so that’s why I wanted to become a teacher”. 


Although he loves his job, being a community teacher presents some real difficulties: “There are no payments, as a community teacher, we receive nothing. At my school, the classes aren’t in good condition. The classes are incomplete, and we only have two classes in total. We don’t really any teaching materials so we have to improvise. “

As you can tell, being a community teacher here in Zambia is no easy career route, but Erocious is dedicated to his chosen profession because “education is important as it is a bridge to everything in this world. If someone has never been to school, maybe he or she will have difficulties to contribute to their society. So, I want to teach so my pupils can be problem solvers, and perhaps even have their own businesses one day.”

Just as Erocious has big dreams for his pupils, we have been delighted to help make Erocious’s dreams of formally training as a teacher come true; he told us: “I am really appreciating your help because I never knew that one day I could go back to study. I have no parents because they died, so I really appreciate the help.”

David greeting teachersAlthough Erocious has been working extremely hard during the course, he has also been enjoying his studies, “because it has helped me; it is so interesting. I understand what our lecturers teach us. Teaching is  a profession, so there is no way I can be a good teacher without studying teaching, and learning how to teach properly and how to handle a class. I enjoy being here, because I am learning so much- now I know how to take care of my class.”

Indeed, Erocious is already implementing everything he has learnt into his classrooms, especially the practical elements of the course: “My class has improved since I started the course; now I can improvise when some teaching materials are not available. So, at school there is no chalkboard, we can use charcoal instead. If we have no duster, we can take other cloths to wipe the board instead.”

Erocious will complete his teacher training this coming December, and will recognized by the government as a fully qualified teacher, which will enable him to be paid by the state. We wish Erocious the best of luck as he takes his final exams in the coming months!

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Welcome Sophie!

Posted on by Elaine Miller

Sophie HicksAfter meeting her in the London off last week, today we are very excited to welcome new Fundraising & Communications Volunteer Sophie Hicks to our Gulu office! Sophie will be joining fellow volunteer Alex and the rest of the Gulu team for 6 months, to interview members of our school communities, photograph our projects and write up funding proposals to support our work.

After graduating from Durham University with a degree in Philosophy, Sophie travelled to Tanzania to volunteer and climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Following a teaching placement in Istanbul, she travelled back to Africa to intern with a charity in Togo for 8 months. She tells us she is very excited about working for African Revival, meeting the team in Uganda and contributing to our projects. She is also looking forward to exploring Uganda and discovering everything Gulu has to offer – especially the yoga and hip-hop classes! After her placement, Sophie hopes to do a masters degree in International Development and pursue a career in the same field.

Keep an eye on our website and social media for her work from the field – coming soon!

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Climb Kilimanjaro for African Revival!

Posted on by Elaine Miller

Want to race to the roof of Africa? We’re organising a Mount Kilimanjaro Trek from 13-23 October 2016! 

Kili Summit

4 climate zones, 5895 metres, one experience of a lifetime. For many, conquering the highest mountain in Africa is a ‘bucket-list’ challenge. Not only will taking on the mountain be an incredible personal feat, you’ll also be doing something amazing for African Revival by raising sponsorship.

The seven day trek, on the Lemosho Route, will be led by experienced trekking company Action Challenge; they  hold regular open evening for you to hear more about this fantastic experience! Get in touch with Holly in the fundraising office on 020 8939 3190 or holly@africanrevival.org to book your place.

The Sponsorship Bit:

Kili 3To register your place, you will pay a registration fee of £449 to Action Challenge. After that there are three options for sponsorship.

Full sponsorship: You can aim to raise £4,100 with £2,050 paying for your trip and the rest going to African Revival’s work.
Self-funding: You can personally contribute £2,050 as the cost of taking part and aim to raise £2,050 for us.
Mixed sponsorship:  Or you could opt for a personal contribution of £820 (in addition to your reg fee) and aim towards raising £3,280 (with £2,050 going to African Revival).

There is no doubt that climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for African Revival would be a big fundraising challenge as well as a physical challenge, but we’re here at the fundraising office to offer guidance, ideas and support every step of the way. 1000s of amazing fundraisers have done this for their favourite cause – we know you can too. Plus, what better way to spur you on in the final ascent than knowing you’re helping us make sure children’s dreams grow and don’t get squashed?

Interested? Get in touch with Holly on 020 8939 3190 or holly@africanrevival.org for a full information pack.


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Teacher Training – Zambia

Posted on by Elaine Miller

We are currently supporting 20 untrained teachers in the districts of Kalomo and Zimba in Zambia’s southern province, through a two year teaching training course at Charles Lwenga Teacher Training College.

College buildingSeveral years ago, we worked with the local education office to identify 20 community teachers from Kalomo and Zimba who would benefit from teacher training. In these rural districts, there are a large number of teachers (particularly within community schools) who have not had the opportunity to undergo any formal teacher training. Instead, communities in need of teaching staff saw the potential in these bright young individuals, and offered them jobs based on their school results.

teacher ElizabethAlthough many untrained teachers would have liked to have completed a teaching qualification, the significant financial cost involved poses a major block to pursuing further study. As such, we are delighted to have been able to sponsor these fantastic teachers to become fully trained in their chosen profession! Although many untrained teachers are brilliant at their jobs, obtaining a recognized teaching certificate will help them provide excellent teaching, and equip them with the skills needed to manage their classrooms so that their pupils can enjoy the best quality of education possible.

On the way to college!The selected teachers work at community schools which means that they often go without pay as many poor and rural communities struggle to pay school fees. However, many teachers are so dedicated to their profession and their pupils that they keep on coming to teach even if they do not receive any financial gain at the end of the month. But the good news is that once these teachers obtain their recognized teaching certificate at the end of December 2015, they will become government teachers which will translate into a well-deserved regular pay cheque!

teacher Mweetwa ErociousSince December 2013, the selected teachers on our programme have been visiting the training college every three months for 10-14 days of intense training sessions.  During these sessions, the teachers have deepened their knowledge of all core subjects, learnt how best to teach challenging concepts, how to manage and discipline pupils, and how to create learning resources – thus making their classrooms positive, productive and exciting places to study. Although the course is full-on, with classes running from 7.30am until 5.30pm, the college takes good care of the teachers, with comfortable dorms, regular tea breaks, and we hear the catering is delicious!

David greeting teachersThe teacher’s most recent training session began on 26th August, when they all met in Kalomo and piled into a hired bus to make the two and a half hour journey to the college. The teachers have made this journey many times together now, and have built up some great friendships as they chat, laugh and even engage in some deep philosophical conversations as they pass away the time. The teachers are now on a home run, with just a few more months to go until they have completed their course. We hope that the group remain motivated and energised for this final stretch, and we cannot wait to celebrate all their hard work once they graduate later on in the year!

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