SOLWEZI SCHOOLCHILDREN IN EXERCISE BOOK BONANZA
SOLWEZI, ZAMBIA – Almost a quarter of a million exercise books were handed over to schools in Solwezi District this week as part of First Quantum Minerals’ support for the government’s free education policy.
The company donated 225,000 exercise books worth K386,385 to 35 schools in host communities around its Kansanshi Mine.
The books will be allocated to at least 32,000 pupils from grades 3 to grade 7, with each child expected to receive six exercise books.
FQM’s efforts to improve education standards and advance literacy levels are framed by a broader vision of how corporate support can have the most impact.
Speaking after receiving the books on behalf of the district, Solwezi District Commissioner Tiki Mulofwa said the key to enhancing the country’s development trajectory was the creation of opportunities for all people to acquire quality education, and that is attuned to the development aspirations of the country.
“Besides the free education policy, Government also plans to create Government-stakeholders’ direct platforms in the education sector to promote cultural collaborative policy, development and implementation, pursuant with our national development aspiration,” he said.
Kansanshi Mining Plc has once again demonstrated this philosophy of collaboration with the Government in education delivery. I’m reliably informed that since 2013, the company has provided 75,500 textbooks, about the same number of other types of books, and has retrained more than 500 teachers, among other forms of support,” he said.
Under its School Improvement Programme, FQM is also supporting a Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme, under which teachers are provided with training on modern teaching methods, including action plans for implementation.
“Kansanshi has however gone one step further this year. For the first time, the company is assisting us with education resources that directly reduce parents’ burden in the education of their children. And that is very true,” said Mr Mulofwa.
Kansanshi Mining Corporate Affairs Manager Kyansenga Chitoshi said this was the first time the mine had assisted with exercise books having previously assisted schools within the district with infrastructure, equipment, textbooks, sports equipment and desks.
“Education is particularly important to FQM because education equals the growth and development of the people. And we know that our success and growth have been anchored on bold, driven, educated people. So it makes sense for us to invest a great deal in education, because we believe that this is investing in the future generation of leaders, not just of FQM but of the country,” she said.
Every year since 2013, Kansanshi Mine has acquired and donated a consignment of books to the government as part of the mining firm’s education development programme. So far, FQM has handed donated over 150,000 books – most of them textbooks – to the district.
The company also awarded scholarships to about 400 children in 2021, before the introduction of free education. The donation of exercise books now means that, rather than giving direct assistance to just 400 children, the mine is assisting the parents of more than 32,000 children, who will receive the books.
The company has spent over US$100 million on its sustainability and community development programmes, aligning its programmes to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
SDG 4 aims to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all and encompasses FQM’s extensive education programmes at both mines in North-Western Province, including the Kansanshi Quality Education Improvement Programme (KanEQuIP), support for Early Childhood Education, Solwezi Trades Training programmes and numerous school projects.
About First Quantum Minerals Ltd
First Quantum Minerals Ltd is a global metals and mining company producing mainly copper, gold and zinc. The company’s assets are in Zambia, Spain, Mauritania, Australia, Finland, Turkey, Panama, Argentina and Peru.
In 2021, First Quantum globally produced 816,435 tonnes of copper, 312,492 ounces of gold and 16,818 tonnes of nickel.
In Zambia it operates the Kansanshi mine and smelter in Solwezi and the Sentinel mine in Kalumbila.
The company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange.