2,900 children get a chance at education with the ceremonial opening of six schools in Zambia. The schools are the result of a social project to promote educational infrastructure in Zambia the Otto Group launched in cooperation with the Aid by Trade Foundation in July 2011.
"Reading, Writing, Arithmetic: For us, they are things we take for granted but for African children, unfortunately, an often unattainable dream. We are delighted to be able to contribute together with our partners to make this desire come true for 2,900 children of cotton farmers that are part of CmiA, including those in remote areas of Zambia, and that they now have the opportunity to go to school," said Andreas Streubig, Head of Corporate Responsibility at the Otto Group.
Children in the rural areas of Zambia in particular have little chance to get an education: miles long, arduous journeys to school on foot, overcrowded classrooms without tables and benches as well as a lack of teaching materials are just some of the obstacles.
The low level of education is one of the main reasons for minimal development in Zambia. This is where the school project initiated by the Otto Group and the Aid by Trade Foundation comes in. "Only through education can people lead independent lives and improve their living conditions through their own efforts.
That is why the Cotton made in Africa initiative's goal has not only been focused on teaching smallholder farmers skills in growing cotton. We are also committed to creating educational opportunities for the farmers, their wives, and children," explains Tina Stridde, Managing Director of the Aid by Trade Foundation.
During this project, four schools were built, and two buildings were completely refurbished for use. All schools have been connected to the grid with solar panels installed on some and equipped with a significantly improved selection of textbooks.
Moreover, children now have their own seat at new tables and benches and can work in peace, instead of learning in a confined space on the floor. School gardens were also constructed as part of the social project and sanitary facilities along with a total of 17 wells were built new.
The school children also received a special surprise thanks to the contribution by employees at the Otto Group who collected additional funds for the project. This made it possible to equip each classroom with black board geometry sets including a supply of chalk and pencils for the students. The project is supported by the German Investment and Development Company (DEG) and the NWK Agri-Services local cotton company.