EASTERN Province permanent secretary Chanda Kasolo says the government is grateful to Swiss tennis star Roger Federer and his foundation for extending support to schools in the province.
Speaking when Federer and his foundation paid a courtesy call on him yesterday, Kasolo said the foundation’s assistance to schools was welcome because there were a lot of poor people in the province.
“As government, we do what we can but what happens is that we can only do so much because the cake we have to share out is restricted. So whenever we have a foundation like yours coming in to help we are very, very grateful. And we will use the funding that you will provide to what it is intended for. That’s my role, to ensure that funds are applied according to the specifications,” he said.
Kasolo said the vast majority of Zambians struggle to get education.
“I hope that the foundation continues sponsoring and I hope that you will keep winning because if you keep winning, good things happen. I am most grateful that you chose to come to Zambia. It’s not often to meet a superstar like you are,” he said.
Kasolo said there was need to come up with a tennis court in the province and asked the foundation for assistance.
He also appealed to the foundation to consider assisting Magwero Special School.
And Rodger Federer Foundation chief executive officer Jemine Handel says the foundation is in 53 districts in Zambia – six of which are in Eastern Province – covering 300 community schools.
She said the province was their first geographical focus because it had a high number of vulnerable people.
“They (people in the province) may be poor in finance but rich in commitment. We have really tremendous success with the communities with our community driven approach. We mobilise through ROCS and ZOCS,” Handel said.
Federer said being on the ground, he was happy with the support the foundation was getting from government, teachers and partners.
“The support inspires me a lot to get back and go back to work and go back to fundraise and support the community. We can only achieve if we work hand in hand altogether, if we all chip in and believe that it is the right thing to do,” said Federer.
The foundation also commissioned one community school in Chipata’s Kapatamoyo area