Luangwa Schools Project

Dec 7th, 2006, 04:03 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 11
Luangwa Schools Project

Dear All

In response to Steelie Jim's request that I post something about our forthoming project with local schools - please see below - thanks Jim for giving me the opportunity as I did not know if this was the correct place to advertise something like this but given an invitation I wont miss the opportunity.

Actually the credit for this project lies not with LRL but with Erinn McGurn and Guy Baron - Erinn and Guy come from NYC - Erinn is an architect and Guy is in the banking/finance arena
Erinn and Guy were visitors to LRL over New Year of 2005/6 and decided that they wanted to get involved in some way to help local children. Together we identified Chuitika School as a local school that needed serious help. Chuitika is a school for approx 1000 kids but has no roof on its 4 room school block, poor teacher housing, no electricity, no water, no school consumables (pens, paper, pencils etc) a couple of blackboards and one large whiteboard donated by Guy and Erinn and LRL. Erinn and Guy managed to secure the services of Cliford Chance law firm in NY (Free of charge)to assist in setting up a proper charity/Trust so that we could start this project properly. The Trust is called Scale Africa -They have been working on that as well as putting together a website for the project in their spare time. They have also secured some corporate funding in the US and LRL are in process of securing some corporate funding from the UK. Once the project starts LRL will handle the day to day building and logistics side of things in order to get the new roof put on initially and then to proceed as funding allows onto other projects at the school.

Erinn has also made some approached to a couple of universities in the US that offer architecture as one of their courses in order to see if we can get some students over to assist - one university in particular ofers courses on environmentally sustainable architecture and a possible tie up with them would be fantastic - nothing confirmed as yet.

I have attached the project mission statement for you all to take a look at.
Erinn and Guy were back in Mfuwe again in August of this year to meet with the headmaster as well as local and provisional education oficials - they have done much hard work and we hope that the project will be successful in the near future but as yet it is still in process of being set up.

If anyone having read the mission statemement feels that they can help in any way within this project or can contribute in any way or has any ideas thoughts at all they would be greatly appreciated.
Erinns e-mail address is also attached at the bottom of the mission statement

You can view some photos of Chuitika at

regards to all

ScaleAfrica is a non-profit dedicated to the improvement of rural schools in the developing countries through the use of sustainable building techniques and active community participation. In partnership with the Luangwa River Lodge, our primary goal is to begin re-building Chuitika Basic School, where the heavy rains and winds have destroyed the only four-room classroom block for the over 1000 students. Despite the limited resources, the students are enthusiastic learners, and the teachers and headmaster, Mr. I.M. Lungu, are incredibly dedicated to providing the best education possible for the largest student body in the district.

The needs of the school are pressing. There are few books, desks or educational materials. The state of the Teacher's housing is dire, barely providing protection from the elements. With too few houses to accommodate the teachers, many live in the villages and walk long distances to the school. There is no running water or electricity. Students and their families are asked to pay for school uniforms, lesson books, and supplies.

Our Goals:

Construct a new 1 x 4 new classroom block that will provide much needed educational and community space
Construct a new Life Skills Workshop where students will learn valuable trades
Construct new Teacher's housing
Provide Student Sponsorship
Provide desks, chalkboards, and educational materials
Incorporate effective solutions for clean drinking water, sanitation, ventilation and power
Improve building standards and educate the community on building techniques to create long-lasting and sustainable structures

How you can help:

These projects are entirely funded through private donations. We hope to reach our fundraising goal by April 2007 in order to begin construction when the heavy rains have stopped. To help us achieve this goal, donations can be made in the following ways:

Donate by cash, check or fund transfer directly to Luangwa River Lodge - Chuitika Basic School Appeal
Donate by check or transfer to Email Erinn McGurn at [email protected] for more info

You may also support the school by bringing supplies with you on your visit to the lodge. Items needed by the school:

Early childhood reading books
Educational puzzles
Posters and Maps
Crayons, pens, pencils, etc.
Solar calculators
Deflated footballs

All donations will be directly administrated through Without your generous efforts, none of this work would be possible. Thank for your support of Chuitika Basic School and it's students and teachers.

Safman is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 05:23 AM
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Hi Sean-
Thanks to you (and Steelie Jim) for the post. ScaleAfrica can currently be contacted at [email protected].
Please feel free to contact us for more info on Chiutika School.
Best wishes, Erinn
scaleafrica is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 05:52 AM
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thanks Sean for the info. Looks like a very worthwhile and much needed cause. Hi to all!
matnikstym is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 06:37 AM
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Great list for Lunangwa Schools project or for anyone visiting schools on their trip. Thank you.
atravelynn is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 01:47 PM
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Hi Sean,
I couldn't open your slideshow - Did anyone else get in?
I'll be contacting Erinn to see if my services are needed. This looks like a real worthwile project.
cybor is offline  
Dec 7th, 2006, 05:00 PM
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Hi Sherry,

I couldn't get into Sean's slide show either, but I--finally--have gotten to organizing pictures from our visit to Luangwa River Lodge and thought I'd start by providing the link to the pix that we took at Chuitaka Basic School.

It was an experience we will never forget, among many unforgettable experiences in Africa.

The children are wonderful, as is the staff, and they do so much with so little.


steeliejim is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 01:21 AM
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Hi All

Jim - many thanks - seems that you can take the boy out of the bush but cant take the bush out of the boy - i am technologically inept and cant seem to get the link to work - can anyone assist - actually Jims pictures show what needs to be seen so it is not so important now but I would like to master the art of posting links if possible


PS web site for is not yet running - there is just a front page at
Safman is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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Great and very poignant pictures, Jim - thank you. Loved seeing those sweet faces. Looks like they need a bit of help though and seem to have a willingness to learn.

No expert here. Try to send your kodak page to yourself by email. Once done, send that(kodak) address to others - if they can't open they can copy and paste address into their browser. It's kind of a strange process.
Perhaps the techno. freaks here can explain better.
cybor is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 06:12 AM
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Great shots of the school. These schools do so much with so little!!

Portable photo printer is a great idea!!
GreenDrake is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 07:34 AM
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I haven't used the kodak site, but I see many here have. Maybe they can help. When I click on your link it just takes me into the general Kodak site rather than into your specific site.

I decided on the Picasa approach. Not sure it's any better than Kodak's, but perhaps the approach is the same as for Kodak.

For posting, I put selected pictures on into "webalbum," then just "copy" that specific webalbum web address and "paste" it here.

Cybor's idea about sending the address to yourself is a good one as it at least allows you to see whether you've set the link up correctly.
steeliejim is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 07:49 AM
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As for the portable printer: I'll go into it in more detail when I get back to my trip report ("life" just seems to be getting in the way), but we got the idea last year when we were in India last year and using digital P&S's for the first time.

We were so taken with the reaction of people (of all ages) whose pictures we had taken when they saw their images, perhaps for the first time ever, on the camera's screen. We were determined to give something more permanent back to them, for the joy they gave us in that momentary connection.

Our quest for the "best" portable printer setup was not trivial. But it is now as indispensible in our future travels for the mutual joy it provides as the rest of my camera gear.

steeliejim is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 10:08 AM
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What is the brand/model of that portable printer?
ShayTay is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 12:03 PM
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Okay, I'll get a jump on specifics.

It's a Canon Selphy 600. I chose it for the following reasons:

Compact and light: Epson makes a portable, and it isn't all that big, but it feels like a brick. I also didn't like the inkjet cartridges with attendant nozzle clog issues.

Kodak's printers are small and light, but inexplicably, they don't (or didn't)make a battery powered model.

In looking at the reviews of HP models that might have been suitable, I did not like the printing method which apparently produces a picture with an initially sticky surface (like the old Polaroids).

Canon's Selphy's use a self-contained cartridge that you replace when when empty, and the print comes out dry after making 4 passes to lay on the different colors and a protective film. We handed out over 100 card-sized pictures (small pix to conserve power and use less ink), although next time I would also take along a limited amount of 4x6 paper and matching cartridges to hand out on a selective basis).

Canon apparently has discontinued the Selphy 600 model. It has 710 and 810 models, I believe, which have more bells and whistles such as dedicated LCD's which allow you to view the picture. The one on my camera worked just fine. But, I believe you have to buy the battery separately, and it is expensive. The cheaper model (510) does not have the battery option. Note: all this info is based on my research last June, so there might be more options now.

I cannot adequately describe how good it made us feel to give something back to these wonderful people who gave us such joy.

steeliejim is offline  
Dec 8th, 2006, 01:25 PM
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I really like that idea.
bat is offline  
Dec 13th, 2006, 09:09 AM
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Hi Jim-

I just looked at your pics from the school, really wonderful. As you know, we're working on building our website and I would love to use a couple of them for the site, with your permission, of course.
Let me know what you think. Thanks again for helping to spread the word on Chiutika.

Best wishes, Erinn (and Guy)
scaleafrica is offline  
Dec 15th, 2006, 07:23 AM
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Hi Erin and Guy,

You absolutely are welcome to use any of our pictures as you see fit. We would be honored. I have others as well. Let me know about the best way to get them to you.

The tour of the school was such a treat, but sobering as well. They're doing so much with so little. And thank you for taking on such a daunting job.

Jim and Ruth

steeliejim is offline  
Jan 2nd, 2007, 11:13 AM
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Hi Jim-

Is it possible to email me at [email protected] and we can figure out which pics to send for the site? Thanks very much,

scaleafrica is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 02:17 AM
Original Poster
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Posts: 11
Hi All

i just wanted to pick up this thread again in order to advise all that the ScaleAfrica website is now up and running and the project is oficially opened - Erinn and Guy are coming to LRL in August and will continue with the initial stages of the project before handing over to a local foreman with project management experience and of course with assistance from LRL.

Please see for further information

Warm regards and wishes to all
Sean (Luangwa River Lodge)
Safman is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 08:25 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 4
Thanks for letting everyone know we have the website up and running. There are photos and info about the school, as well as a helpful list of items one could bring on safari to benefit any local school. We also would like to thank Sean, Maryann, Barry and Tara at the Luangwa River Lodge for partnering with us on this project and providing essential support.
Best wishes, Erinn and Guy
scaleafrica is offline  

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