Official Opening of Sinazongwe ITC in Zambia

The Tonga.Online project has been well received in Sinazongwe, Zambia, with the Honourable Chief Sinazongwe and Mr and Mrs S Miyanda taking a lead in working with the T.O trainer Ms Theo Sianyuka in project awareness and getting started - many thanks for their good support. A number of Zambian stakeholders have also offered support, including World Vision and Zambia Beef. Twalumba!

On 27 July 2006 the Sinazongwe ITC was officially opened and handed over by AZFA chairperson Peter Kuthan to the community of Sinazongwe, who have warmly welcomed this valuable development in their education. AZFA further committed themselves to join forces with HIVOS and facilitate assistance for other schools on the Zambian side of Gwembe Valley with computers and a small „suitcase“ radio station for Sinazongwe Basic school in the near future.

The Zimbabwean side of the community was represented by a Village Head who is the Simonga cultural group Chairperson, Mr Peter Mungombe, the Simonga leader Mr Sialwiindi J Munkuli, Mbobola Munkuli who takes stock of Simonga instruments, and two female group members, Margaret Mombe and Pouline Munkuli. Added to the group were two staff, Mr D Mungombe, the Project Coordinator and Miss E. Munkombwe, the IT trainer at Siachilaba ITC along with two transporters who had assisted the group with crossing the Lake. The group received all the expected care and respect during their visit.

School children's music and poems were amaizing, educational and in praise of the sponsors, the trainer and appreciating the computer lessons that they had started on. The Honourable Chief Sinazongwe, the School Development Committee, the ITC Management committee, Traditional Leaders and traditional artists are cooperating in pushing for the development of their area.

There were 3 ngoma buntibe groups celebrating the official opening and handover of the ITC. Some elders who performed the war dance, kuzemba, were simulating perfectly tonga warriors of the early days.

The occasion was attended by the Traditional Councillors, the Provincial Education Officer, Mrs Isabel Nanja, Headmasters of six other schools including Maamba and Nkandabwe High schools, which have already applied for inclusion in the project. After a warm welcome by Honourable Chief Sinazongwe especially for the representatives of Tonga.Online and Simonga group from across the lake and after the cheerful performances by local artists and Budima groups the ribbon was cut by the Provincial Education Officer. Zambians of all age groups stormed the ITC room where T.O trainer Ms Theo Sianyuka presented the operations report. With everyone willing to learn, the staff carried out IT familiarization for a full house, based on basic computer operations and viewed photographs of the Zambian Maliko group who had visited Siachilaba in Zimbabwe during the official openning of Siachilaba and Syanzyundu ITCs in 2004.

Thanks to all Binga and Sinazongwe local authorities for the necessary permissions for T.O representatives and Simonga to cross the river.

see some pictures from the handover ceremony