San Dimas, Calif. – (August 28, 2020) –  Siksha Foundation, a California-based nonprofit that rebuilds schools and provides children with the tools they need to succeed in India and Zambia, today announces a partnership with Manu Foundation to expand the Kanini Secondary School in Ndola, Zambia. The Manu Foundation is a charitable organization that supports in-need children with funding for healthcare and education in India. This is Manu Foundation’s first endeavor into Africa.

Together the two organizations will fund and build a single-story, two-room building at Kanini School. The goals of the project will be to increase the size of the school to accommodate more secondary students, improve the quality of the infrastructure and improve the overall livelihood of the local community.

“We believe the more students to whom we offer the opportunity of an education, the more who can succeed and achieve their dreams,” said Henry Desai, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Siksha Foundation.

The Kanini School was built in 1954 as a primary school to cater to a small number of children. In 2014, it was upgraded to a secondary school by the Government of Zambia in an effort to offer more opportunities for continued education through grade 12. However, the teachers and staff quickly realized the infrastructure was inadequate to support the enrollment of more children and families who wanted access to secondary education.

In Zambia, the education structure begins with four years of early childhood education, which is optional. Primary schooling follows at age seven and extends through the age of 13. It is then followed by five years of secondary education that begins at age 14.

“Less than 20 percent of primary school students in Zambia have the opportunity to continue to a high-school-level education,” said Desai. “There aren’t enough schools for them to attend and that is why we are committed to helping expand the Kanini school.”

According to local education statistics, in 2005 Zambia had 6,962 primary schools with 2.8 million students and 463 secondary schools with more than 136,000 students. This prompted the government in Zambia to change their policy and convert select primary schools into secondary schools. However, the government has been constrained to support expansion of new infrastructure due various pressing issues.

“We have been rebuilding and expanding schools in Zambia since 2011 and we’re proud to continue our support for the region,” said Desai. The following are some of the notable projects that Siksha Foundation has supported in Zambia:

  1. Ndola Lions School for the Visually Impaired (Ndola): At this school, Siksha supported the school through a feeding program for almost two years. At the same school, Siksha donated a deep freezer to help the school keep fresh foods and helped to replace a water tank.
  2. Washa Community School (Masaiti District): Siksha Foundation funded the construction of an entirely new school, a 1×4 classroom block, furnished with new desks and teachers’ tables and chairs in all classrooms and the Head teacher’s office. The school was given solar power and a borehole fitted with a hand pump. The school was handed over to the government in November 2018 and graced by the Provincial Education Officer, the Masaiti DC, Area MP and Area Councilor and the Masaiti Mayor.
  1. Jackson Phiri Community School (Chingola): Siksha funded the construction of a single story, two-classroom building, furnished with new desks and teachers’ tables and chairs. Siksha also supported the construction of new ablution facility.
  1. George Mwelwa Community School (Chingola): Siksha funded the construction of two single-story, two-classroom buildings, furnished with new desks and teachers’ tables and chairs. The school was officially opened by the Minister of Energy and Area MP Mr. Nkhuwa. At the same school, Siksha Foundation continues to support the enhancement of e-learning in primary school through the tablet program. The Foundation donated tablets, a desktop computer and a TV set to enhance the offering of quality modern education.

Both Siksha Foundation and Manu Foundation are dedicated to providing an efficient and effective environment that protects children’s rights and supports gender equality and universal access to a strong educational base.

“Our Board of Directors has been continually making ‘A Small Step with a Big Difference’ and is grateful for the support from our donors and partners,” said Desai.

About Siksha Foundation

Siksha Foundation is a non-profit, 501(c)3, charitable organization committed to providing assistance to poverty stricken children and families through means of education and other humanitarian efforts. We started the Siksha Foundation in 2013 because we witnessed first-hand the need to serve the poverty-stricken children in India and Africa with the basic building blocks for learning, and ultimately for a successful future. Siksha is more than halfway to its goal of helping 10,000 kids by 2023 and will continue improving the lives of children years beyond that. For more information, please visit http://sikshafoundation.com/.

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