JANUARY 2018 UPDATE: WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE WE HAVE HANDED OUR PRIMARY SCHOOL TO THE COMMUNITY IN ZAMBIA
About Project LOVE:
Project L.O.V.E (Letting Our Voices Empower) focuses on education, gender equality, and giving girls equal access to opportunities.
Project L.O.V.E built a community primary school in Zambia to create a platform for gender equality into the education system for both girls and boys, and give vulnerable children access to education, teaching income generating skills, providing health care, lunch programs, and more. The goal of the school was to provide a poverty-struck area with a chance for children to get an education to reach their full potential and give girls the empowerment and equal access to opportunities.
We built four classrooms, two offices, a borehole providing clean and safe water to the community, and an outdoor cooking hut which provided thousands of meals per month.
How it started:
Anoop Virk created Project L.O.V.E. when she was living as a teenager in Sub-Saharan Africa, where she was able to create gender equality/human rights presentations and workshops. She initially came to Zambia to intern as a business development officer at an NGO, but with certain challenges, she created and implemented workshops that made a positive ripple effect from her workplace to traveling to different schools.
On the side, she discovered a rural community, on the outskirts of Kitwe, where she started teaching and helping the orphans and vulnerable children. After being moved and inspired from the resilience of the children and community to make a better future through the struggles of not even having their basic needs met, she extended Project LOVE from the workshops to a dream to build a school as a platform for gender equality for this poverty stricken area. She returned to Canada, and started fundraising to make this vision a true reality.
Back in Canada, Project LOVE had many fundraisers for phase one of the school to be completed - Pub Nights, Fashion Shows, Recycling drives, Bake Sales, Freeze Sales, Backyard BBQ, Open Mic Night, and School Supply drives. We did interviews,
presentations, public speaking to engage the community, and got sponsors to help build this school.
Where is our school?
Project L.O.V.E built a primary community school in Zambia for impoverished children, giving these vulnerable children access to education and using this as a platform for gender equality.
Zambia Facts from the World Food Programme:
The number of HIV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) orphans is estimated at 1.5 million which means that one in five children in the country is an orphan.
Sixty percent of people in Zambia live below the poverty line and 42 percent are considered to be extremely poor.
In both rural and urban households, poverty levels are highest amongst female-headed households with extreme poverty levels of more than 60 percent in rural areas
What we are doing:
66 million girls worldwide are denied this basic right, and we wish to rectify this and help the girls of Zambia, and globally.
By offering these vulnerable girls a stable and specialized education, we can offer them: opportunities and knowledge to avoid HIV, and; income-generating possibilities and work, so they can marry later, have kids later, and use their income to provide stable homes. This ripple effect will then be passed down to their daughters, who will be empowered by their strong and educated mothers, who were once students of the Project L.O.V.E School.
What We Did:
We know the school will be a huge catalyst in providing girls opportunities to rise above inequality and poverty. Project L.O.V.E. built the school from the ground up. We realize that constant hunger is a reality for students, so we built our own vegetable garden, from which helps us cook and serve thousands of meals monthly. We provide clean drinking water through our borehole. It is 35-45 meters deep, and we hit the 2nd aquifer to ensure constant water for the future.