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Globally leading mining firm highlights vital role access to good education plays

Pupils inspect their new school desks at Ntambu Day Secondary School donated by FQM’s Trident Foundation

KALUMBILA, ZAMBIA – A donation of desks to a local school could well have a profound effect on the education and wellbeing of Zambian youth. As part of its on-going work across Zambia to help create inspiring learning environments, the company – through its Trident Foundation – recently donated school desks worth K60,000 to Ntambu Day Secondary School in Mwinilunga District, North-Western Province. In donating the desks, First Quantum Minerals subsidiary Kalumbila Minerals Limited underscored the profound impact the quality of school facilities has on attendance and completion of academic cycles, as well as teacher motivation and student performance. Ntambu Day Secondary School head teacher Winford Mbanvu said the generous school desk donation would help the school deliver the quality that the pupils need and deserve – and that it is difficult to do so without adequate facilities and resources.

“The children will be seated comfortably, meaning more of their attention can be focused on the lessons, so the desks will help improve their performance. Last year, enrolment had dropped to about 270, but early this year rose to 400. With that rapid intake, we had 120 pupils who were learning in a room with no furniture this donation shows the company is a committed partner in terms of helping to develop the education sector here in Kalumbila,” said Mr Mbanvu.
FQM’s Trident Foundation community relations coordinator Alex Mapapayi, said: “Education is the best sustainable development you can give to people. We believe that providing a good learning environment – coupled with appropriate facilities and hard work on their part – will help students achieve excellent academic results.”

Part of the provision of that “good learning environment”, according to Mapapayi, is access to inclusive and fair quality education and the promotion of life-long learning opportunities for all. These twin goals underpin the company’s extensive education programmes, which also include support for early childhood education (ECED), the Solwezi Trades Training programmes, and numerous other school projects.

School desks at Ntambu Day Secondary School donated by FQM’s Trident Foundation.

The community relations coordinator highlighted the important developmental role that Trident Foundation plays in carrying out its livelihoods programmes, including education, health support, agriculture training, local business development and wildlife conservation.
The overall objective of the Trident Foundation’s education development programmes is to improve the quality of education and literacy levels in the schools and communities that surround Kalumbila mine.

Mr Mapapayi cautioned pupils on the dangers of engaging in harmful vices: “It is disheartening when we hear of young pupils with great potential side-tracked by early pregnancies and marriages; as a mining company with a long term outlook, we see this as a blow to the future employment pool as it takes away from the skilled and expert local talent base we are striving so hard to achieve.” Chief Ntambu, through his representative, thanked the mining firm for its developmental projects in his Chiefdom, which he noted are helping to improve the social and economic wellbeing of his subjects.

“We would like to thank Kalumbila Trident Foundation for coming to our aid by donating the desks. This will help our children in the classrooms. This is not the first time the Foundation has assisted this community. It has also helped in the preservation of wildlife through the village scouts and in conservation farming, among others. By spreading its assistance to the high school, I and the community of Ntambu are very happy, and appreciate the Foundation’s services,” said Chief Ntambu. To date, the mining firm’s Kansanshi and Trident foundations have spent more than US$43 million on social investment in areas surrounding its operations.

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