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Baraka Learning Center

Koru Pacific supported, on a volunteer basis, the planning and design process for a two-classroom science block at the Baraka Learning Center in Zambia. Construction and fit-out of the project is funded by the Koru Pacific Foundation.

Science Block, Baraka Learning Center, Zambia

Science is one of the poorest subjects in Zambia from a results perspective, primarily due to lack of teaching resources such as are found in a laboratory. There is only one school laboratory that Baraka is aware of in the Kapiri District where the Learning Centre is based, and this is out of over 200 schools. The addition of a new Science Laboratory at the Learning Centre will have a huge impact on the area. Working with Baraka and the local team in Zambia, as well as two UK based science teachers, a program was developed for a science block consisting of two classrooms, a science lab (wet lab) and science classroom (dry lab). The two classrooms are interconnected, and the science block also includes a teachers prep room to allow for the safe preparation and storage of materials used for experiments.

The science lab will be able to accommodate up to 32 students in a traditional laboratory classroom configuration and will include 4 workstations with gas supply, electrical outlets, sinks, and equipment storage cupboards. This is a very high standard for the region.

The science classroom will also be able to accommodate up to 32 students in a more traditional classroom configuration. There will be a single workstation with gas supply, electrical outlets and a sink to allow for some introductory level science demonstrations for young children. In addition to the two classrooms, the science block project will include two outdoor teaching areas. The first is a more formal, covered teaching area to allow for classes outdoors. The second is a simple open area to allow for those fun experiments that may get a bit messy indoors as well as for general activities.

A garden area, maintained by the students, will provide an opportunity for biology study and to grow plants for use in the lab. We would like to thank Dialog Design for contributing their design services for the Science Block. Construction started in the spring of 2023 and the classrooms will be ready for students by the end of the year.

Girls Safe House, Baraka Learning Center, Zambia

Koru Pacific supported, on a volunteer basis, the planning and design process for girls safe house at the Baraka Leaning Center in Zambia. Construction of the project was funded by World Housing, out of a partnership facilitated by the Koru Pacific Foundation. In rural areas of Zambia, few villages have schools offering education beyond Grades 7, 8 and 9. As a result, it is rare for children from remote areas to finish their schooling, severely limiting their career prospects. Some families choose to send their children away to study in towns where they can complete school, in most cases finding cheap lodgings in areas where they are vulnerable to exploitation. The girls safe house concept was established to address this issue, and to provide girls with a secure environment to live and learn and a chance of achieving their potential.

Baraka’s first Safe House, Maamba House, accommodates 26 girls, a matron and a young female teacher who acts as a mentor helping the girls with their studies and offering moral support in other areas. The accommodation is basic by Western standards, but far superior to that of their family homes. Building on the success of the Maamba Safe House, the new safe house at the Learning Centre will be a model for the next generation of safe housing for these vulnerable girls.

The Learning Centre location provides the girls with a wealth of educational resources, a teaching team to help with their studies, and plenty of opportunities for creativity and sport. Thirty (30) girls from rural areas of Kapiri-Mposhi district will be selected according to need and potential, to live at the new safe house where they will travel daily to one of the many secondary schools in the town. They will be looked after by a matron who will manage a budget for food and sundries making sure all girls have their basic needs met. The girls will help with cooking and cleaning and grow their own fruit and vegetables in the garden to supplement the food budget. Academic support will be available to enhance their school learning, provided by either a live-in female teacher or a member of the teaching team at the Learning Centre.

The proximity of the Learning Centre is a huge benefit, offering facilities for both study and relaxation, including a library, ICT suite and plenty of opportunities for creativity and sport. We would like to thank Dialog Design for contributing their design services for the Science Block. Construction started in early summer 2023 and is expected to be complete by early 2024.

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