Joseph came to the Pestalozzi Zambian Village in 2009. He reflects on his time at the Village and tells us about his life now as a gold star coach working for Edulution and preparing to start university.
“My name is Joseph Kumwenda and my life before joining Pestalozzi was going to be very hard for me, I didn’t see myself completing primary or secondary school because there was no one who was going to support me.
When Pestalozzi World selected me back in Lundazi everything changed, I was able to get a good education and live in the best environment at the Pestalozzi African Village. I received the best support from both the housemothers and my fellow peers within the school.”
The first day I joined Pestalozzi my biggest fear was how I was going to communicate with people because the only language I knew was my native language, Tambuka. However, the experience in the end actually turned out to be the best and bit by bit I improved my vocabulary and was able to speak English very well.
My most memorable time at Pestalozzi was when we were asked to help at Cheshire homes. We would go and help children there who are physically disabled. That gave me a sense of fulfilment and I was happy that I was given an opportunity to serve in the best possible way.
Learning at Pestalozzi about the ‘head, heart and hands’ just felt like I was in the right place.
We used to help with the cleaning, and we also used to help learners with games and teach them basic skills. It was a good experience for us and the children there.”
Changing lives after graduation
“In relation to contributing to Pestalozzi and my family back home, the first thing I did is uplift the standard of living for my parents. Before we didn’t have enough money to buy seeds but now, they are able to do some basic farming.
For Pestalozzi, I am running the Pestalozzi alumni Facebook page in conjunction with alumni coordinator in Zambia as well as a WhatsApp group which helps us to keep in touch. Pestalozzi works closely with Edulution, a mobile learning programme that works with learners using tablet technology to teach maths. I was lucky to be asked to work in my community in Lundazi where I am a gold star coach, looking after 7 centres in Lundazi with a team of 14 other coaches. This opportunity has also allowed me to train South African coaches and spend 2 months training in Namibia.”
The future is bright for Joseph
In August, I am going Chalimbana university in Chongwe where I will be studying information and communication technology. My major will be ICT and my minor is going to be in biology which I will be funding myself.
To Pestalozzi’s donors and funders, I am grateful to have been a part of Pestalozzi’s success. I have grown and benefitted from all the initiatives that Pestalozzi World put in place to ensure that my education is a good one and also getting a place for me at Edulution when I finished secondary school. Thank you for your support and please continue supporting the children who are at our Villages.”