Doing something for our fellow man and preferably for children. This has always been a dream of mine, Wilma, owner of the foundation. We have a thriving business and through a partial takeover of our company I could realize this dream. Of course I could also give the money that we annually make available for projects to other foundations. But what is more beautiful to be at the cradle of something special myself….
In 2016, the year Liberi Foundation was established and received the ANBI status.
First, of course, a good board. Then a good vision and plan.
Our board was quickly found. And everyone shared the same passion.
We felt that we could learn a lot from other foundations in particular. Therefore, we first chose five projects aimed at education at other foundations in order to understand and learn more about what is involved in setting up a good project in a third world country.
We helped to build a school in Cambodia, in Kenya we paid the scholarships of 50 girls from the slums of Kibera, and in the same country we supported a drinking water supply for an elementary school in Vintengeni in the province of Kilifi. We contributed to a star school program in Ethiopia through Edukans. In Cameroon we helped build an elementary school and financed the school bus, and in Uganda we supported the school books program. All special projects from which we learned a lot. As a board we were at the opening of the school in Cambodia and I also visited the projects in Kenya.
In 2017, we had a great opportunity. Through our own network of our company, we ended up in Zambia. In July, we visited Siavonga province as a board. In the village of Kamimbi we observed for ourselves that the need there was and is high. Kamimbi is a poor village in the countryside. Many children cannot go to school because the classes are overcrowded. Help was and is needed!
Through our network we were able to get results. In the first year we established an entity in Zambia. With a good board, bank account and everything that comes with it. Now we could make our own first steps….
Over a period of 4 years in Zambia, we experienced an incredible transformation; from providing basic aid to setting up an elementary school, and renovating and adding on to a government school. The intention was to only build a school and use our own funds, from the owner of the foundation, to do so. But a need arose to give even more depth to this good feeling.
We see that there is so much still to do for the community in Kamimbi. We try to use our collective qualities to set up small-scale projects in the fields of education and health care. So that these capacities also serve the people who are in a less fortunate environment. As a foundation we want to mean more. Because we have a good and reliable network in Zambia. Therefore we decided to also raise funds.
In 2022, the last school block was built of the Liberi School. The school currently teaches 266 children, starting with baby class. Each year 38 new children join the school. The school is owned by the foundation. The choice to keep this school private and not give it to the government has everything to do with quality. The quality of education is much better. The children get the attention they deserve. The school is equipped with all the materials a school needs to provide a good education. The teachers are well trained, and receive extra training or are allowed to take training during the vacations that contributes to the school and its environment. There is daily breakfast and lunch. Outside the normal lessons there is attention to sports and games, life lessons. The school is equipped with a playground, soccer field and a large vegetable garden.
And there are more future plans. Actually, the Liberi school is the green heart of this area. From here, a lot is done for the community. As someone from the community says, “Liberi has not only changed our environment but also our way of thinking!
In 2020 the construction and renovation of the Siamatika school started, this school is located in the same area 8km away from the Liberi school. Besides a building with two additional classrooms, all classrooms and offices were renovated. New toilet blocks have been installed. The school is equipped with electricity, and there is water for the children. This project has been realized through contributions from several donors, and one-third was financed by Wilde Ganzen. We are proud of the change the school has received. Also the change regarding the involvement in the community is very noticeable. Almost all parents now send their children to school and 700 children attend this school. With the construction of more classrooms there will be even more higher grades at the school.
The following year we continued with this project. With the help of Wilde Ganzen we were able to build a pre-school. The school also has a nice playground. All classes have school furniture and also school books. The school is fenced so that animals cannot enter the premises and the school remains neat and clean.
As a token of involvement, the community itself has built two teacher’s houses. But the community is also involved (in both projects, by the way), by keeping the area clean, building shaded areas, planting grass, etc.
The community involvement has increased more and more with the arrival of the Liberi foundation. Both of these changes are greatly improving the quality of education in this community. But not only the community, also the local government is helping, for example, to ensure that the Siamatika school also gets more teachers at their disposal. From now on Siamatika school can call itself the best school of Siavonga.
That is fantastic!
For the first few years, we have been mainly concerned with education, but indirectly we have already had a lot of contact with the doctor’s post in Kamimbi. For several years we have been providing them with more medicines and other attributes needed to provide better care.
The doctor’s post is in a bad state. As a foundation we think that this has to change now. We hope to make a start with this in 2022.
If a project were only about building classrooms or a clinic it would not be entirely successful, because it is much more than just the building. The building project not only provides a school or clinic that changes the future of a community, it is also a means to interact with the community. That is just as much the purpose of a project, because through that interaction all kinds of other effects arise. The community discovers what it can do itself about their circumstances, develops new skills and gains new perspective. Participants discover their talents, make different choices for the future and become more socially active. As mentioned above, the Liberi School does more than just teach. But we want to expand even more in the future. Think of scholarships for children or setting up a class for children with disabilities, teaching about family planning or other topics. The most important thing is to do everything in cooperation with the community.
It’s also about building lasting relationships.
Working with communities and families, local governments and schools, to make sure they understand the importance of education for their children, for example, and how they can play a role in enabling students to reach their full potential.