On the last day of our 2013 trip I made contact with Prisca Kabole, who runs an organization called PLAEP (Pro-Life Advancement & Education Project) in Kitwe Zambia. After taking on the phone for a while it was clear to me that she absolutely wanted to have access to a program like Smart Choices that could be used to mold the lives of young adults. We agreed immediately that we would include a week in the 2014 trip to go back to Zambia and train some of her volunteer workers.
These are the two trainee teams
We have just completed that week in Kitwe. We trained 20 new Smart Choices trainers. After two days of training on Monday and Tuesday, we observed them teach Smart Choices to 74 kids from one of the nearby extremely underprivileged areas of Kitwe referred to as the “compound.” All things considered, they did an excellent job. At the end of the training I cautioned them about running long on their presentations when the switched to using the local language (Bemba) for the benefit of younger students that are not fluent in English. This is exactly what happened with some of them as they over embellished and repeated themselves. Others did great sticking to the time allocation for their section.
74 Students graduate Smart Choices in Kitwe
Many of these volunteers only have high school diplomas but are teachers at community schools. A community school is a school established and managed by poor underprivileged communities. The teachers are typically volunteer high school graduates who don’t get paid but have a passion for making sure that these underprivileged kids get some education. If it were not for these community schools most of the kids that attend them would not get an education and would just grow up as street kids probably turning to crime to try and get by. According to the peer teachers from the community schools they often produce better results than the government schools. The peer teachers explain that this is because to often the trained school teachers are just there to collect a salary whereas the volunteer peer teachers really have a passion to see the underprivileged kids get ahead and be given a chance in life.
In general the Smart Choice Volunteers did a great job. All of the children in the class seemed to get it. All 74 students on the last day made commitments to abstinence. After seeing the Jesus film 15 students made commitments to follow up Jesus. All of the other students claimed to already be Christians.