Local to build Zambian school | SteamboatToday.com

Local to build Zambian school

Benefit Wednesday at Olympian Hall

Lennae Jenkins gives Garard a low-five after a soccer game. He is one of the children who will attend the new school in Zambia she is raising money for.

If you go

What: Benefit and slide show to raise money to build a school on Zambia

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Olympian Hall

Cost: Free

Call: Contact Lennae Jenkins at lennae.jenkins@gm...

— Two Zambian brothers share one bicycle to ride the 22 kilometers every day to the Kayowelo School, the closest school to their town.

That is the only way to get an education when you live in a small remote town in Zambia. Steamboat Springs High School graduate Lennae Jenkins plans to help by building a new school for the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage’s employees and their children.

“This school could give more than 200 children and 75 adults an education,” Jenkins said. “Because, if they don’t live near a school, they can’t go.”

Jenkins learned about this issue while spending the summer teaching outdoor education at the wildlife orphanage after graduating with an education degree from Pacific University. The orphanage houses orphaned or rescued chimpanzees and other animals including hippopotamuses, African grey parrots, yellow baboons and vervet monkeys.

“I didn’t go for the chimpanzees, I went to hang out with the kids,” Jenkins said. “They were just amazing. Even though I couldn’t speak Bemba and they couldn’t speak English, we would play together and could still communicate.”

Jenkins wants to raise $20,000 to fund a native teacher’s salary, school supplies, general operating expenses, and a plane ticket for her return so she can teach English and do the bookkeeping for the first year of the project.

“Before the government will begin to help fund and run a school, it has to have community support and function for one to two years,” Jenkins said. “Once this has been accomplished, the Zambian Ministry of Education will pour a cement foundation and provide a roof, but it’s still the community’s responsibility to build the walls.”

Jenkins will be presenting a slide show of her journey in Zambia and sharing her plans to build a school at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Olympian Hall. There will be a silent auction and photos for sale to raise the money to reach her goals.

“Within the sanctuary, there are 60 people employed who live there with no school for their families,” Jenkins said. “The adults all want to learn too. The men all speak English, but can’t read and write, and the women can’t do either.”

– To reach Allison Plean, call 871-4204 or e-mail aplean@steamboatpilot.com

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