The 57 young trainees overcame enormous challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic brought to complete their training. Online learning and Covid-safe precautions at the training centre meant that every graduate sat and passed their trade test!
Judy Bwalya and Foster Kakungu were both tailor trainees who were actively involved in the sewing of 3,500 reusable sanitary pads which were donated to the girls of the school, as well as educational sessions to empower young women with information about periods.
Shop bought pads cost around 15 Zambian Kwacha for 10 – equivalent to about £1 – and most girls will never use these, relying instead on bundles of rags, which are not efficient, carry risk of infection, and make them uncomfortable and self-conscious. Instead of enjoying school and focussing on their lessons, girls are worrying that they will stain their clothes and be teased – so frequently will instead miss school for up to a week. These absences mean girls fall behind, and often drop out altogether, as patchy attendance hinders their progress.
Building and carpentry graduates also gained valuable practical experience through building a brand new pit latrine block. The improved facilities will reduce incidences of communicable diseases amongst pupils and teachers, improving attendance and community health.
The project has been such a success that many other local schools have contacted KEVTC to talk about working in partnership to improve their facilities too.
The trainees finished their training in December 2020 and are looking forward to their graduation ceremony soon.