Hands Over Zambia
An Entrepreneurial Arts Class and Market
Pictured: Masauso Phiri, Lisely Kalonga, Ami Desai, Undani Kanyanza, Kawchela Nzali, Abraham Chocho
It starts with a dream and a plan…
What is Hands Over Zambia?
Hands Over Zambia provides skills-based training to Mfuwe Secondary School teachers who will use the information to develop a new, self-sustaining, student-run Entrepreneurial Arts Class and Market. Market proceeds will help expand the school’s lunch meal program that feeds 700 students every day (over 126,000 meals annually).
Hands Over Zambia started providing business and art design skills training to Mfuwe teachers in May, 2016. The training curriculum emphasized business plan development, identifying and creating profitable art products, and marketing techniques geared towards school tourist groups.
Trainings are conducted by an educational business advisor and an art design consultant, both of whom are familiar with and knowledgeable about the local Zambian region and culture.
After training, the teachers will translate the information to 130 students in a school-based apprenticeship program that provides adolescents with entrepreneurial leadership and skills. The key outcome will be the development of an ongoing Entrepreneurial Arts Class and Market featuring handmade artwork with locally-sourced (90%) product materials.
Students contribute to the Market by conceptualizing and implementing the business plan, executing various marketing efforts, participating in community outreach and partnership development tasks, and creating artwork.
In Mfuwe, many students walk miles to school each day, often on an empty stomach and unable to concentrate with lunch being the only regular meal they may receive. When the Bushcamp Company launched the school lunch program in 2014, student attendance in the afternoon sessions increased by a dramatic 40%. This program is currently sponsored by the Mfuwe Lodge and is the only Secondary School feeding program in Zambia.
The Entrepreneurial Arts Class and Market provides an effective, sustainable, and replicable business model for other secondary schools.
Hands over Zambia directly provides educational opportunities to 136 teachers and students through skills training and a school-based apprenticeship program. Entrepreneurial education provides both economic and social prospects to combat systemic poverty; it will boost self-esteem, increase innovative thinking, and improve academic performance by providing experiential education opportunities. The skills that staff and students acquire in this program can be used for years and generations.
In addition, this is the beginning of a sustainable tourism program, incorporating small business training, economic development through the sales of local crafts and appreciation for the local wildlife that propel tourists to visit the valley.
Tourist groups regularly visit Mfuwe School. Zambian travelers take an interest in purchasing locally-made, eco-friendly art. Students will capitalize on this interest by creating products meeting these demands.
Initially, the business advisor and art consultant will select Market items to ensure: 1) a reasonable variable cost ratio and 2) that crafts appeal to consumers. Revenue will first cover the costs of production; remaining proceeds will supplement the lunch program.
Long term, we will market the entrepreneurial program to other Zambian schools and bazaars and explore shipment to fair-trade U.S.-based stores such as Ten Thousand Villages.
Entrepreneurship is rooted in innovative thinking and design. Teaching students to think and be entrepreneurial through the development of this market will provide students’ employment preference post-graduation.
These innovative products will drive their marketplace and solve the hunger challenge these students face daily.