Bl. Michael Magone School is a school that was established in order to help and give hope to the less privileged children in society. These children range from the age of at least 4 years up to about 22 years or so, they all have several things in common like background, standard of living and communities where they come from. Most of them, if not all of them come from not so well to do well families with a lot of problems to take care of, but when they come to this school ( Michael Magone Distance Adoption school) at Don Bosco Youth Centre they have less to worry about because it is like a second home to them were they receive all the love and care that they need that is lacking at home. Currently Director of programmes in the Project is Fr.Leszek Aksamit-sdb.
Situated in what would be referred to as one of the low class areas of mining town of Chingola the Copperbelt of Zambia is Kapisha Compound, where most of the children at this school come from. The families that are found in this compound don’t do well in terms of the standard of living, the houses that they live in are made out of mad with no proper ventilation, and they don’t have running water from the taps hence just draws water from near by wells which is not even clean, they have no role models to look up to for a clear future. The only one good thing that you find in this compound is a government school called Luano Basic School though it doesn’t cater for high school grades. Even though they’ve been privileged with a good school, most of the families can’t afford to take their children there because of the low standard of living and the fact that they don’t even have decent jobs, they mostly survive on one meal a day. All these problems may never seem to be ending for these people but at least for the children of this community, they have somewhere to look to with hope and that is Bl. Michael Magone Distance Adoption School.
When they come to this school they are treated with love and care as most of them never get to experience such when at home. They normally come on Saturdays at 08:00hrs, at 08:30hrs they have their morning assembly before going to their respective classes at 09:00hrs. They learn for two hours after which they go outside to the playground and engage themselves in all sorts of activities like playing football, netball etc. the most preferred game is football especially by the boys. These activities go on till 12:30hrs when they need to go for lunch which is provided for them at school before going to their respective homes. The program goes on like this every Saturday and the attendance for each child is taken note of, they take breaks of one month after every three months and each time they are closing they have a camp, this is where we know those who were coming regularly and performed well in their end of term examinations are awarded with something to help them keep up with the good work, these camps are actually a very good thing for both the children and the volunteers in that the children are given topics to discuss in groups that concern their lives and how they would solve certain problems that come their way, there are also competitions that are held for the children like dance, art etc and they also carry out acrobatics. The volunteers get a chance to know these children even more i.e. their abilities and inabilities. The most wonderful thing about these children coming to this school is that most of them start looking to the future with hope as they are put on the long distance adoption list so that all their school needs are taken care of by people who decide to adopt them. Indeed these children always seem happy when they come at this school and at times hate it that they have to go back home but there’s nothing much they can do about it and always look forward to the camps where they get to spend much time at Don Bosco youth centre. The camps are usually two days long.
Well, all these activities that go on in this school obviously need to be supervised by some people and this is where the teachers of this school come in. The kind of teachers that are found at this school are not professionals but volunteers who, out of the love that they have for these children sacrifice their own time just to come and take care of them every Saturday, (the volunteers are mostly oratorians and students at Don Bosco Technical College doing various courses like ICDL, electrical, auto mechanics, metal fabrication, agriculture, carpentry etc), part of these volunteers work in the kitchen to do the cooking for the children, above all there’s the administrator Br. Joseph Nyondo who ensures that there’s a smooth flow of things around the school, and to ensure cooperation and good planning for the teachers meet on a weekly basis with the administrator and discuss the way forward for the school. The teachers (volunteers) not only teach or help these children academically but also try to help them grow into responsible adults in that each time they come on Saturday they need to clean up the classrooms after their classes and always have to wash the dishes that they use during lunch before they can think of going home.