Teachers at The Esther School work in partnerships, often with Zambians and North Americans together. They combine solid cultural understanding, educational training and practices, and diverse work experiences. Through this, confidence is built, and the love of learning grows. Students at The Esther School learn a curriculum that is a blend of North American and Zambian subject matter. Although English is the national language in Zambia, most families in the village speak tribal languages at home. At The Esther School, English is taught beginning in Preschool.
The Esther School classrooms reach far beyond their walls. The campus is centered around learning, which extends into multiple staff roles in administration, operations, construction, finance, and agriculture. In addition, discipleship is a priority with all students and staff in the classrooms as well as through grade-level worship, school-wide chapels, community events, and small group Bible studies.
“The Esther School cares for the whole student. While we teach students academic lessons in the classroom, we are also nurturing their faith as we also teach them about God. We want them to know they are loved and important. We involve students' parents at regular PTA meetings and individual conferences to help connect their growth at school to their life at home, and we help meet their needs physically by ensuring they receive healthy meals and good hygiene”. (From Clare Syaluno – Deputy Head Teacher).
The 25-acre campus of The Esther School is the hub of community activity. Its ten school buildings are filled with academic spaces for learning and gathering, surrounded by one-third of the campus which is used for agricultural fields, poultry barns, and cooking oil production. A portion of the remaining space houses guests, teachers, the leadership staff and their families, and at the center of it all, the Worship Center, which sits atop the highest point on campus and is a beacon of hope to the community.
Teachers at The Esther School are a committed group of individuals from all over Zambia and North America who have come together with the purpose of helping students reach their full learning potential, all while also helping them to understand who they are as a child of God. Some live with their families in the village, others live on our campus in community with one another, all of them live their lives engaging with students in and out of the classroom and modeling what it means to be a follower of Christ in all areas of life.
The students at The Esther School come from families in the surrounding community. Most are under resourced, many are orphaned or living in blended families, and all are in need of the opportunity to receive an education and hope for their future. They are resilient and strong, dedicated to their learning, most walking miles each day to and from school. Their consistent attendance is evidence of their desire to become educated and have an active role in impacting their future. They work hard, play hard, and are learning to serve one another with humility as demonstrated by Christ himself, all while having a strong commitment to succeeding in all they do.
Through investment in the community directly through education, employment, nutrition, and discipleship, The Esther School is addressing several facets of community transformation. In addition, there are also large-scale sustainable operations on the campus.
Agriculture: Through use of a portion of the 25-acre campus, as well as the additional farm, The Esther School is able to produce rotating crops that are sold to local community markets. In addition, an on-campus garden supplies the school kitchen.
Poultry: The Esther School has two poultry barns on campus with a current total of over 8,700 egg laying hens, used both for the school kitchen to feed staff and students, as well as sold in large scale to surrounding communities in order to supply shop owners with a consistent means of providing eggs for their local communities.
Sunflower/Cooking Oil: In order to address the significant need for cooking oil in the local community, The Esther School partners with local families to train them how to properly grow, maintain, and harvest sunflower. At harvest, the sunflower seeds are sold to The Esther School where they are processed, purified, and packaged. The cooking oil is then sold into local communities as well as at the school's shop in the city of Lusaka. This program not only meets a local demand for cooking oil, but also provides employment opportunities for many in the community and has the potential to generate a consistent and considerable income for the school.