Interview with Clarence Mwami – Director, Pestalozzi Zambia
Clarence Mwami, Director Pestalozzi Zambia, explains how watching the children transform into young adults, go on to university and give back to their communities is the motivation for him to carry out the work that he does, to support our children in our Zambian Village.
Read his interview in full here:
“My name is Clarence Mwami, I am Director for Pestalozzi World in Zambia, I joined Pestalozzi in 2015.
the motivation in this job is the kind of impact Pestalozzi has on the life of these children because I look at the first day, when the child gets into the village, you see them crying wanting to go back. Then they are transformed into young adults. They get into University, they go abroad, they come back, give back to their community and everybody’s looking up to them. So for me it’s the huge transformation that motivates me because I know that when the children go back, they are ambassadors for Pestalozzi and with our ethos and everything, they become useful members of their community.
For me, what makes the Pestalozzi children to be exceptional?
I think, it is the emphasis that we have on our ethos, because with our children is not just about education, maybe I can say, it’s education for life, because of all these dimensions that we emphasize on our children. They tend to be different from every other child out there.
Then also at the school, we have the best facilities. I think the school that the children go to this one of the top 10 schools in Lusaka, and this is a school owned by the Trust. So the children, go there, the teachers are employed too by the trust.
This is also to ensure that we are able to influence the quality of Education that the children get because the teachers are also part of us, and these teachers have been with the organization for some time. They are passionate about the work they do. They’ve seen a lot of children go through their hands.
So as one of our Values also is the Heart, under the Heart, we encourage our children, we teach them to have empathy, love. And also, just to care for one another. So you see that when children leave Pestalozzi, they would have been well rounded because our approach to education is holistic.
Then we also emphasize on the aspect of Social Work. This is a way of ensuring that our children learn to give back to society. So our children are involved in social work at the moment we have two sites. The first site is the Kalikili reading Program, our children go there every Saturday to teach members of the community, the children that are in government schools, others are in Community Schools, they teach them how to read. Then, we’ve also got another site at Cheshire Homes, Cheshire Home is a Catholic institution, that looks after the disabled. So the Children go there every Saturday to help out with that. So all this is to teach the children that they should be able to give back to society, what they’ve gained. And this is all in the spirit of humanity.
We have a number of skills on our skills program because we have The Head, Heart, and Hands ethos. So, to complement the Hands, I think we’ve a number of skills. So currently the skills that are running, we have baking, we have handcrafts. We also have a very exciting program of the JAFF Garden. In this garden, the children practice organic farming, and we’ve just added another project to which is quite exciting for us. We now have a poultry farm where we started with about 500 birds and the children are actively involved in this program.
So, the idea is that, by the time the children leave Pestalozzi, they would have acquired all these skills that can help them, even when they are out there. Because we believe that it’s not just about the Head, it’s not just about the Heart, those that may not make it academically because we are also promoting entrepreneurship. We are coming from a background where entrepreneurship was considered to be for those that have not been to school, but I must state that now even the government as a matter of policy is talking about entrepreneurship.
So this means that our children are more equipped and better equipped when they leave Pestalozzi. So for me the future is bright. I know. there are a lot of challenges, but within all the challenges, there are opportunities. So in terms of secondary education, I think we’ve achieved a lot.
But now we are getting into another dimension where we want to increase opportunities for children that are completing. And with this, we embarked on a Leadership Program and the objectives of this program is to create more opportunities for children Beyond Grade 12.”Clarence Mwami.