Welcome The Past The Present The Future Contact
CHIBWE BASIC SCHOOL The Present
Dixon and Kotutu 2014
2014 act on the present
So we went back. After more than 30 years, Line and I decided to go back to see our dear old school, Chibwe. Now Chibwe Basic School, because it has expanded with grades 8 and 9.

Line is holding the photo on the same spot she played with her friends as a young girl.

I sit at one of the same desks, with my old friends, at the same spot I was in grade 5.

It was a touching experience. Again Line and I saw it from two different perspectives.

Line was sad not to meet any of the girls from back then. Many have passed away, and many have moved away. Coming back as an adult, she now started the process of reflecting. As a young girl in grade 1 to 3 she did not reflect much, she was just a happy Zambian girl, doing whatever her friends where doing.

Growing up in Denmark, she could just try to imagine the Zambian system. Not surprisingly Line has traveled a lot during her education, and she has seen a lot of systems. She is the definition of “open minded”. Now for the first time she saw “the Zambian system” through the eyes of the adult. And it is tough to suddenly realizing the profound lack of resources, then and now.

I have another perspective. I was merely hoping to confirm that it had not all been a dream. That the school was real, the friends where real and that the humble feeling of belonging was real. And it still is!

However, it was disappointing to see that time has essentially been standing still for 32 years. There was no obvious development. I heard that it was now illegal to physically punish pupils, which I personally think is great, but unfortunately that leaves a difference for the children at their homes, because it is not illegal for parents to punish at home, as it has been in Denmark for years. The result can be a strong bias in the sense of respect for the teachers among the pupils.

The current headmaster Mr. Sinadambwe had told me in letters that the school still did not have electricity, in spite of main cables going right next to the school. So I decided to bring a symbol of better education in the form of solar lights. Friends and family in Denmark had helped to pay for more that 200 S2 lights form SolarAid.org and it was a privilege to hand them over in the hope that many pupils will benefit from the possibility of studying after dark at home.

We will never forget the way we where welcomed back. We are deeply grateful to have had this chance to confirm our relationship with the kind people of this beautiful place on earth.

On this photo you see:
The late Dixon Sikabota (our Zambian brother who passed away only 3 months after this visit)
Jesper Berggreen
Justin Chilala (PTA chairman)
Monty Hanseluka (Jespers classmate)
Febby Mwaanga (Deputy head)
Born Hanseluka (Lines classmate)
Danster Sinadambwe (Headmaster)



Photos by
Jesper Berggreen
Line Berggreen

Update: in 2016 the Maanda foundation has started renovating the school! www.maanda.nl




lifelike.dk - Jesper Berggreen