Helping Education Take Root

About Zambia and Serenje

Zambia

Zambian flagIf you are traveling in South Central Africa and find yourself in a landlocked country (roughly the size of Texas) and sharing a border with eight other countries, then you have arrived in the Republic of Zambia. Formerly known as Northern Rhodesia, Zambia became independent from Britain on October 24, 1964. Lusaka, the capital city, serves as the country's most significant trade hub and is home to approximately 1.4 million people. The country is best known for the majestic Victoria Falls on the mighty Zambezi River, its untouched game parks, productive copper mines, the prominent exploits of David Livingstone, and most of all, its warm and friendly people.

Victoria Falls
Victoria Falls    (courtesy of William Sutton and AllPosters.com)

Zambia is located about 15 degrees south of the equator in central Africa. The climate is considered subtropical with a distinct dry and a wet season which is affected by varying elevation. To the north, the tropical forests of the Congo and Tanzania transition to savannah/desert to the south in Botswana and Zimbabwe. Zambia is one of the most urbanized countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 35% of the population currently lives in the urban centers. English is the official language, however the people of Zambia speak 9 tribal languages composed of 72 dialects. Similarly Zambia has nine provinces divided into seventy three districts, including Serenje District.

 

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Serenje

Market in Serenje
Market in Serenje

Located in the center of the country, approximately 250 miles north of the capital city (Lusaka), Serenje is one of six districts located in the mostly forested, rolling hills of Central Province. The local language is iciLaLa (e-chi-la-la), a dialect of the greater Bemba tribe to which they belong. The town of Serenje, and district Capital, is located just off the Great North Road, has a Tanzania Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) station and a small landing strip. Aside from the district government offices, there are five schools, a post office, prison, bus station, open market, two fueling stations, a local U.S. Peace Corps outpost, several guest houses, various restaurants and miscellaneous shops. Some attractions in the district include: Kasanka National Park (www.kasanka.com), the David Livingstone Monument, and Mulembo Falls.

At the heart of the district is the Malcolm Moffat College of Education. This two-year college, prepares young Zambians for teaching careers throughout the country. Teaching, along with working for the local government, is one of the few employment opportunities in Serenje. As a result, people in Serenje District rely heavily on subsistence level farming to survive. Local crops include: maize, sweet potato, beans, soy bean, garden vegetables, cassava and millet. Maize and cassava are used to make the Zambian food staple ubwali or nshima.

Map of Zambia
Map of Zambia
Statistics
The literacy rate in Zambia is only 80.6%. Read more statistics on Zambia and Serenje.

Where is Zambia?
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