As part of a three-year partnership with Funzeleo, Orica invested in the expansion of the Funzeleo mission in Zambia. Orica is a global provider of commercial explosives and innovative blasting systems to the mining industry.
A southern central African country, Zambia has a population of 17 million, 67 percent of whom are under the age of 25. Recently, the Government of Zambia revamped its curriculum to put greater emphasis on experiential learning and vocational training built around math, science, computer skills, and entrepreneurship. With Orica’s support, our programs will enable Zambian youth to pursue high-demand science, engineering and other technical professions.
In September 2018, 28 Zambian teachers attended a week-long training on Funzeleo’s Engineering Program and the hands-on experiences that are the hallmarks of Funzeleo’s mission. Combined, these 28 teachers are serving more than 6,000 secondary students in Zambia’s Copperbelt Province. As one teacher remarked, “Hands-on activities and application of science and math in ‘real-life situations’ have added value to the way I will be teaching.”
In preparation for the follow-up training in 2019, these teachers are working on team projects to solve relevant community challenges. As one team observed, the purpose of these projects is “to help the teachers understand fully why practical experiences are important when teaching a science lesson. It promotes critical thinking as well as problem solving.”
In addition to our Zambian program, we will continue our work in Tanzania, where more than 23,800 students have benefited from our STEM programs in the past three years.