BUKATA Empowerment Foundation founder Lydia Sakeni Luka says she will continue helping children through her Go Back to School Campaign which has currently enrolled over 100 pupils.
During a celebration for the campaign, Luka said the aim of Go Back to School was to facilitate accessibility to education and to ensure that children that stopped school for various reasons return to complete their education.
“Some of the children are double/single orphans; they come from divorced families with single parents. They are struggling and these are some of the reason why they stopped school. The current purpose of the Go Back to School Campaign is to enrol as many children in the communities Kalingalinga, Mtendere, Mtendere East and Kalikiliki who stopped back into school,” Luka said. “The District Education Board at the moment has offered us spaces for children in the government schools within the communities’ vicinities. BEF is helping by purchasing the children’s uniforms, books, shoes, desks and all the basic requirements to get them started with school. We started with 22 children who went to Kalingalinga Primary School, 23 went to Vera Chiluba Primary School and 60 are here today. It is important to mention that BEF doesn’t have any donors at the moment and this campaign is funded by me personally. A few individuals have contributed to our cause and their contributions have helped us and we thank you for your kindness. I encourage other entities and individuals to help us continue with our campaign in form of donations. I can manage to tackle some problems but our organisation needs sufficient funding.”
She said there were currently 200 children waiting to be enrolled as they had been given places at Chitukuko, Mtendere and Mahatma Gandhi primary schools in Mtendere.
Luka, who wore school uniform to inspire the children, said the BEF wishes to help government schools around communities by donating desks, books, and helping with school building and development with the oversight of the District Education Board.
“At the inception of the Go Back to School Campaign at the Kalingalinga Primary School celebration, I said that this is only the beginning. We only had 22 children going back to school that day. Now we have over 100 children going to school, including the 60 present here today. It is still only the beginning,” she said at Chibelo Primary School.
Luka said most people can manage to help out one or more less-privileged members of their communities.
“When you see a child selling on the streets, ask them why they are not at school and help out however you see fit. Education will eradicate poverty. If each one of us can help someone, our country will be more developed. I hope it inspires you to help the children in our communities in any way you can and not just through education,” she said.
Luka said the Bukata Empowerment Foundation was big on empowerment and nothing empowers a family, community, town, or country more than education.
She said the importance of education can never be adequately stressed upon until Zambia becomes 100 per cent literate.
Luka said schools often face shortages in books, desks, and basic teaching materials, and called on communities to help by donating these tools.