Story by Frank Phiri | Project Facilitator | Heifer Zambia
Photos by Heifer Zambia Staff
Heifer Zambia is piloting the Read to Feed program in Zambia to enable student participation in Heifer International's mission of ending hunger and poverty and caring for the Earth.
Heifer International's Read to Feed program promotes reading, introduces students to global issues, and helps to fund projects that enable people to feed their families and reach self-reliance through gifts of livestock and training. Children participating in the reading program obtain sponsorships from parents, friends and relatives and collect money based on the number of books, pages or units of time they read.
The pilot program began in December 2012 at the American International School of Lusaka (AISL), with 25 second graders participating. The class raised more than $1,000, which is an encouraging beginning. Some pupils read up to 30 books and were awarded certificates in appreciation of their efforts.
Along with motivating children to read, the program allows AISL students to partner with Heifer to end hunger and poverty in Zambia. Students also learn important lessons about using resources wisely. But most importantly, they learn how they can make a difference and become agents of change.
Read to Feed funds from this program will provide goats and training to impoverished families in the Mumbwa district in the Central Province of Zambia. Heifer Zambia plans to extend the program to more schools willing to participate, promote reading among their students, and offer children a chance to change the world.
Glick, a Read to Feed participant said, "I am happy that the money raised will help to empower families who are living in poverty, and it will also help them take their children to school."