A link between Bishop Henderson School and The Hands of Compassion School was formed just over four years ago. Through teacher exchanges, and shared project work, we have learnt more about each other, and encouraged our thinking in connection with The Rights Respecting goals including one article which states that every child (in the world) should have a right to education.
Our interest in Zambia began with a whole school Zambian Day when we learnt as much as we could about Zambia, through workshops and activities.
In 2000, 25 orphaned and vulnerable children living in Chipuluska, a shanty compound near Ndola in Zambia, started to meet each day in a derelict building which had no roof, doors or windows. Sitting on the dirt ground, they were eager to learn. It didn't matter that there was no classroom, blackboard or books. Lessons stopped at 12 noon when the sun was too hot on their heads.
Today 500 orphaned or vulnerable children attend the Hands of Compassion School. Many of the children live in extreme poverty, basic mud brick houses with no running water or electricity. Many have lost their parents to Aids.
An education brings them hope for a future. Free education is provided for Nursery pupils to Grade 7. Vocational skills such as carpentry are also taught. The school is funded by a charity with links to The Anglican Cathedral in Ndola and a charity based in Kent.
You can see a display of photographs of the school and a book of self portraits drawn by the children in Zambia in the entrance hall of our school.
In February 2012 Mrs Needs, one of our teachers, made a two week visit to the school in Zambia, and then in May 2012 Miss Sylvia Goma, a teacher from The hands of Compassion School visited Bishop Henderson School. The visits were possible through a grant from The British Council. In summer 2013 we received a second visit from The Dean of Ndola Cathedral – The Rev Sammy Zulu, who spoke to the school during Collective worship and with individual classes. We were proud the fly the Zambian flag on the occasion of his visit.
Our Harvest Produce Sale will help support the further development of facilities at the school.