Comprehensive Approach to African Education Helps The Q Fund’s Chimoza Community School in Zambia Post Leading Test Scores

Comprehensive Approach to African Education Helps The Q Fund’s Chimoza Community School in Zambia Post Leading Test Scores

The Q Fund, a U.S. public charity and Zambian nongovernmental organization that develops community schools in impoverished communities, announced today that 100 percent of students at its Chimoza Community School in Zambia, Africa, passed their grade 7 and grade 9 national exams.

The success of Chimoza students is the result of strategic partnerships and a 360-degree approach to education that focuses on nutrition; healthcare; extended school days; literacy; close collaboration with guardians, parents and community in general; and physical fitness, in addition to the traditional curriculum. As a result, Chimoza students significantly outperform their government-sponsored and private school counterparts at many grade levels.

For example, on average Chimoza’s seventh graders achieved a score of 76 percent on their national exams. And 93 percent of Chimoza’s seventh graders exceeded the school’s self-imposed passing threshold of a score of 70 percent—more than double the score required by the Ministry of Education. The national average on the seventh-grade exam is 68 percent. In addition, Chimoza Community School students earned 10 of the top 15 test scores in the region.

At the ninth grade level, 100 percent of Chimoza’s students passed their national exams and received their junior secondary school leaving certificate. As a nation, only 35 percent of ninth grade students passed the national exam.

“Ten years ago, we took our first steps toward creating a school that could help educate and protect orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa,” said Q Fund Founder and CEO Chellie Kew. “My fundamental belief was that the only lasting solution to the challenges these kids face would come through access to education. Today, we have a student body of more than 400 in one of the most impoverished areas of Zambia, and I am incredibly humbled by what we have achieved through the Chimoza Community School. I am profoundly grateful to our students, staff and partners who have helped us achieve this remarkable success.”

Partnering for Success

Much of the Chimoza Community School’s success can be attributed to The Q Fund’s partnerships with various organizations. These partnerships allow the school to provide the highest quality education in one of the few Zambian community schools that provides classrooms with electricity, nutritious meals, extracurricular activities, healthcare and education programs for adults in the community as well.

The Q Fund has developed a strong partnership with The Boedecker Foundation whose mission is to empower communities and inspire positive change throughout the world. Grant support from the Boedecker Foundation has enabled Chimoza to recruit and train teachers; serve lunch to students, which may be their only meal of the day; expand and maintain classroom and office facilities; and purchase desks, textbooks and teaching aids—all at no expense to children.

“As Winston Churchill said, ‘I believe that we make a living by what we get, but that we make a life by what we give,” said George B. Boedecker Jr., founder of The Boedecker Foundation. “It is in that spirit that it is important for us to support initiatives such as the Chimoza Community School because education paves the path to success. I am proud to have played a small part in the success of the school.”

“We are immensely grateful to the continued support of the Boedecker Foundation and long-time personal support of the Boedecker Foundation founder and CEO, George B. Boedecker Jr. Without George’s and the Foundation’s assistance and commitment to the children of Chimoza, none of what we have done would have been possible,” said Kew.

Chimoza also offers a free, comprehensive health plan, thanks to an agreement with the Kavu Rural Health Center. Through this unusual arrangement, Chimoza staff and students have access to physical examinations performed by trained doctors and nurses; treatment, including prescribing medicines from an on-site pharmacy; lab work; X-rays; dental care; HIV testing and counseling; and antiretroviral administration. Kavu Rural Health Center medical personnel provide services at the school as well, including deworming, vitamin supplementation and tetanus vaccinations, and periodic programs such as HIV testing and consultation.

Physical fitness also is an important component to the students’ learning, and Chimoza partners with Play Soccer Zambia and the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s Football for Hope initiative to give students the opportunity to learn about and play soccer while gaining social development life skills.

The Q fund has formed partnerships with the Alliance for Technology, Learning, and Society (ATLAS) Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder and the Women Worldwide Initiative to develop a computer lab for Chimoza. In addition to providing digital literacy skills and computer-based training for students, the computer lab will also be available to community members after school hours for adult education courses and personal use. Northrise University in Ndola, Zambia, will help administer the computer-based programs and maintain the equipment.

Partnering for Success

The Q Fund’s mission is to collaborate with communities in turmoil and build school-centered, self-sustaining environments that nurture, educate and empower vulnerable children by honoring diversity, cultivating creativity, and fostering respect for the earth.