Here's what Jones Shamalambo, Programmes Manager at Twatasha had to say, “Twatasha Disability and OVC Organisation, thanks to the great team at Prudential Life Assurance for the generosity and kindness through your corporate social responsibility. The support rendered came at a time when the COVID-19 Crisis hard-hit children with disabilities and their families. As a result of their underlying health and social problems, they were nearly missed from the response measures and efforts that the government and other stakeholders were making to alleviate the suffering.
This support has enabled children and their families to cope and recover from the global crisis, the support has contributed to a behaviour transformation, thanks to the project's awareness has risen on COVID-19. The project helped to support children with continued learning during school closures resulting from restrictions imposed to curb the spread of the virus. Most encouraging is that the project helped to increase vaccination coverage for eligible children and their families. The families are now better than they were before the project. Parents and the children have formed support groups that were supported with grants to create self-help initiatives, while they provide psychosocial counselling to one another. The project enabled the implementation organization, Twatasha, to acquire valuable experience and technical knowledge of implementing similar programs in future global crises.
My grandparents hail from Luapula. My grandmother was a formidable woman, ahead of her time and extremely industrious. She had 7 years of formal education under her belt and was able to read and write, uncommon among Zambian women in the 70s. Her husband, my grandfather, graduated with a Form 2 education (the equivalent of 9th grade) –considered an extremely high standard of education during that era.
Since their time, there have been deliberate strides by public and private entities to educate the girl child in Zambia. While the educational landscape in the country has improved, UNICEF reports that ‘only 27% of girls in Zambia complete upper secondary school, and among the poorest children, this falls to 3%’. Furthermore, the 2020 Finscope Survey results show that a significant portion of the population has low financial capabilities, with financial inclusion recorded at 71.2% for men and 67.9% for women. This has been attributed to low levels of financial education, which is skewed toward the urban population at 31.9% and 16.2% among rural households.
In September, Prudential Marketing and Comms took a 700-kilometer drive through Zambia to a remote fishing village known as Samfya. Joined by Marc Fancy, Executive Director of the Prudence Foundation, Pia Warburton, and our colleagues from Junior Achievement Zambia, we were excited at the prospect of seeing the Cha-Ching program being implemented in rural Zambia.
After a 10-hour drive and a refreshing evening in the home of the extraordinary Lake Bangweulu (where the water meets the sky), we set out at 7am the next morning for our school visits. As we drove, we saw a number of children in their miserly uniforms walking to school along a dirt road.
Luapula, in Northern Zambia, is one of the 3 provinces in which we are running our Cha-Ching pilot targeting 28,000 children by December 2022. In this largely rural province, we are reaching almost 3400 children in 14 schools through teacher led learning using Cha-Ching comic books and other materials. The comics have been localised to the Zambian context where possible.
One of the schools we visited is called Lubwe Girls Mission School. The unassuming grounds and buildings couldn’t have prepared us for the grand presentation we were about to witness. Lubwe Girls, like many rural schools, is a simple set up of a few structures that serve as classrooms and offices. The ablution facilities are dug out toilets known as pit latrines. Some of the girls walk as far as 8 kilometres to get to and from school and have to contend with extreme poverty, the threat of child marriage, unwanted pregnancies, or all three. The situation from the outside looking in is dire, to say the least
Enter the Rockstar teacher, Euphrasia Mwansa. She has an air of grace about her while at the same time commanding authority. We walked into her classroom and all the grade 5 and 6 girls stood up, ready to roll like a backup choir. True to form, they welcomed us with a song. Nothing about their resounding voices reflected the derelict building we were sitting in. We settled in and Teacher Mwansa, as her pupils call her, began her lesson.
“What are the 4 concepts of Money?” She asked with conviction. Immediately, the girls shot up in batches to respond with hand gestures to boot.
What followed was a comprehensive lesson on Wants and Needs. The girls excitedly read the comics, translating them into their local language for a fuller understanding. They then filled out their exercise forms, carefully detailing their wants and needs, classifying them in a neat budget. Towards what we thought was the end of the lesson, Teacher Mwansa asked them to take their forms home and work in their assigned groups. Instead of leaving, the girls went on to do their group work together, keen to learn more. We sat at the back of the classroom and marvelled at the stellar performance displayed by teacher and pupils. The children had a good grasp on the content and, despite being in rural setting, were able to relate it to their context.
Later, I caught up with Euphrasia and congratulated her on a great lesson. She smiled shyly and said thank you. Euphrasia has been teaching at Lubwa Girls Mission School for 6 years now. From a young age, Euphrasia was passionate about teaching. She would round up the children in her neighbourhood and teach them how to read. “I just like the whole thing. I like imparting knowledge in the learners so that one day they will be like me/ better than me,” she said.
When it comes to the Cha-Ching program, Euphrasia has taken to teaching it, like a duck to water. This is evident in how the children respond and how the classroom lights up as she teaches. She says it is really enjoyable to teach and the learners want to do a lesson every day. Euphrasia believes, “The best part about the program is the 4 concepts of money. At least if learners grasp these 4 concepts, they will grow into responsible citizens. Many a times, us adults fail to manage money because we are lacking these concepts which we needed at a tender age.”
Our rockstar teacher strongly believes in the program’s impact on her and her learners in a positive way. For their Home Economics class, the children earned money, put it together to save up to buy ingredients for a feast, spent it on ingredients that they cooked, and they shared (or donated, if you like) with children from other grades, putting into practice what they had learned during their Cha-Ching sessions. “The same learners were able to assist their friends who couldn't manage to contribute a K10, by doing that, it means they are using the concept of donating” Euphrasia added enthusiastically.
As we drove to our next school visit, we sat in the car and mused over Euphrasia’s teaching and the hope we saw across those faces in the classroom. Even if the children cannot experience the videos and songs in the Cha-Ching program, they were still able to bring the stories to life all thanks to the rockstar teacher from Luapula.
Following a successful trip to Luapula province to witness the implementation of
the Cha-Ching Financial Literacy program in rural schools, Prudential Zambia
identified the need for the children to experience the video and song aspect of
the program. Thus, the concept of the Cha-Ching Summer Camp was born.
The Cha-Ching Summer camp is the first of its kind the world over. It combined
financial literacy, team building, and critical thinking activities to provide
280 children with a unique experiential learning encounter. It was kicked off by
an opening ceremony attended by the provincial leadership of the Ministry of
Education who spoke highly of the program and endorse it’s roll out not only in
Luapula, but in Zambia as a whole.
Using Cha-Ching Videos, we reinforced the concepts of earning, saving, spending,
and donating that the children had already learned in class. We also used
physical activities and games to teach the children how to work together as a
team, how to solve problems, and how to be better people.
After an action-packed couple of days of learning and games such as pass the
hoola-hoop, 3-legged-race, the pipeline, as well as Cha-Ching videos on big
screen, and a competitive session of Minute to Win it, a team called the Huggers
emerged victorious with over 1,100 points. However, with a pack of marshmallows,
hard candy, and cheese puffs, everyone was a winner.
We also awarded the top 3 girls and top 3 boys for good behaviour, volunteering,
displaying leadership, and understanding the Cha-Ching Concepts. The children
won a money box, stationery, and a calculator. Finally, we ran a story
competition in which Astridah Chate from Mpota Primary School won a school bag
and stationery for writing the best story about the camp.
Prudential Zambia officially launched
the 2022 SAFESTEPS Road SAFETY
campaign at a ceremony held this
morning in Lusaka. We were joined
by our partners in road safety the
Road Transport and Safety Agency
(RTSA), the Zambia Motorsport
Association, Zambia Cycling
Association, Toyota Zambia, and the
Zambia Road Safety Trust.
The Prudence foundation has availed
US$110,000.00 and Prudential
Zambia US$10,000.00 to ensure the
smooth roll out of the 2022
The move is part of Prudential's commitment to
helping and improving the communities we work
and live in.
In celebration of the
day 2022, the
remembered friends at
Prison in Kamwala and
donated much needed
sanitary packs to 114
inmates and 5
We also had
our BANCA assurance
staff members attend