Utah fund giving Zambians leg up
Country's citizens get an education through program
A Utah organization that has taken on the task of educating and funding students and teachers in Zambia schools is inviting the public to a number of events this fall outlining their work and success in Africa.
Zambia's Scholarship Fund is a relief program dedicated to giving the people of Zambia a better life through education.
Peggy Rogers, president of the fund, said in six years, they have helped more than 350 college students, 440 high school students, and provided 63 teachers with a paying job.
She said Zambia is one of the more isolated countries in Africa, illiteracy rates are around 87 percent and life expectancy is 36 years old.
"Only 8 percent of the entire population can attend high school because it costs," Rogers said. "We are trying to get teachers into villages, help kids go to high school, send them to teacher colleges, and then give them a job by paying them to teach at a school."
She said many of the villages have existing free elementary schools. The problem is, there are no teachers because the government can't afford to pay them.
The fund helps Zambians grow their own teachers and pays them in hopes of educating children and raising the quality of life.
"(The fund) works with and supports the existing educational infrastructure and education economy," Rogers said. "By working with the existing infrastructure, it uses natural market forces to build the education system in Zambia."
Families can also get involved by sponsoring a student for $20 a month, which affords an opportunity to create a relationship with the student through letters and pictures. Donors can pick who they want to sponsor by perusing piles of scholarship applications from the Zambia student-hopefuls.
She said the upcoming events, "An Evening in Zambia," are meant to inform the public of what the organization does and will include performances, slide shows, Zambian music and speakers. Events will be Sept. 13 at Clearfield High, Sept. 20 at East High and Sept. 27 at Timpview High in Provo. All are at 7 p.m.
For more information on the Zambia Scholarship Fund, visit www.hearttoheartafrica.org.