By Laura Riley
In Zambia, a country in Southern Africa, the standard uniform for private or governmental education can cost $200. This fee and other related expenses make traditional schooling unaffordable to many children. That’s where Zambia Open Community Schools (ZOCS) come into play. These schools are free for students and sponsored by the community. They provide a basic education to children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to go to school.
The Zambia Project at St. Norbert raises money for ZOCS. “We are literally funding children’s ability to go to school. Money raised goes to everything from classroom supplies to teachers’ salaries…sometimes teachers are not paid for weeks,” said Zambia Project President Rachel Gintner. “We don’t know the names of the people who we are supporting, but we have an immense desire to have a positive impact on them.” The purpose of the Zambia Project is to provide hope through education for Zambia’s most vulnerable children.
Gintner became involved in the Zambia Project as a first-year student three years ago through the Emerging Leaders program. Emerging Leaders is a competitive semester-long program for first-year students who want to learn more about leadership, program planning, and campus involvement. “I didn’t know what group to join as a first-year student,” said Gintner, “but Carrie Roberts ‘12 (Resident Assistant at the time) encouraged me to join and I really looked up to her.”
During the second semester, Emerging Leaders can become apprentices. In an apprenticeship, the first-year student works one-on-one with an upper-class student on a large-scale campus project. Through Gintner’s apprenticeship with the Zambia Project she developed the “Knight in Shining Armor Talent Show”—a fundraiser for ZOCS. Now three years later, she is leading the campus organization.
The Zambia Project is an active group on campus and welcomes new members. “Anyone can join us at any time. The group is super welcoming. You can just show up and we encourage you to come to our events!” said Gintner. In past years, select Zambia Project members have had the opportunity to travel to Zambia. During these service trips, St. Norbert students have been able to meet the children and see the schools the Zambia Project supports. A future trip to Zambia is in the works, but no plans are definite yet!
Upcoming events include a Seroogy’s Chocolate Sale and Zam Jams. The Seroogy’s sale is a combined fundraiser with Dance Marathon. Zam Jams is a musical event that happens each semester in the Knight Owl. Musically-talented students perform 15-20 minute sets in a relaxed environment. Zam Jams is a fun night complete with musical talent and snacks. All are welcome! Event details are provided below.
Seroogy’s Chocolate Sale
- Monday, October 7th – Friday, October 11th
- Campus Center 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
- Michels Commons 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Chocolate bars $2 each
- Friday, October 25th
- Knight Owl
- 7:00 – 11:00 p.m.
- $3 ticket price
Support the Zambia Project and ZOCS by checking out their great events!