Anglo American today launched a collaborative partnership with the global humanitarian organisation, World Vision, to help improve access to education for 160 high school-aged girls in the Lyovu rural district in Zambia’s North-Western Province, located near an area where Anglo American is conducting mineral exploration activities.
“Supporting access to excellent education and training to the children in our host communities is an essential gateway to tertiary education and will ultimately help increase the employability of young people – and the opportunities available to them – throughout their lives. Partnering with World Vision enables us to contribute to the futures of 160 girls who will have access to high-quality boarding facilities as part of their education experience,” said Adriana Blesa, Anglo American’s Discovery Manager for Zambia.
Funded by Anglo American, this project aims to upgrade boarding facilities at the state-owned Lyovu Secondary School in order to increase access to quality secondary education for vulnerable girls. This support aligns with the Zambian government’s efforts to promote access to quality education for girls, particularly in the Zambezi district, which has 82 primary schools compared with 14 secondary schools, making it difficult for most learners to transition to senior education.
Education is an integral component of Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan, which sets out a holistic range of ambitious goals that are shaping how our stakeholders experience our business. These include how we can best support Thriving Communities through better health, education, and employment outcomes for communities around where we operate. The project is also expected to increase access to secondary education through improved dormitory space and sanitation and hygiene facilities at Lyovu Secondary School while reducing the long-distance girls often have to travel to and from school.
The Ministry of Education in Zambia has made considerable gains in providing access to primary education; however, existing secondary school facilities have limited capacity to absorb learners from primary schools. As a result, there is a pressing need for improved or additional facilities.
“With almost 200 girls in the district dropping out of school in the past year due to teenage pregnancy, child marriage, cultural practices, long distance, and poverty, this project will contribute towards World Vision Zambia’s efforts to tackle the problem of child marriages in Zambia through the Strong Girls Strong Zambia project running from 2022 to 2025,” said John Hasse, Chief Executive Officer, and National Director at World Vision.
Forming part of its global greenfield discovery projects, Anglo American is conducting exploration activity in Zambia to identify potential opportunities in copper and cobalt. The company recently entered a joint venture agreement with Arc Minerals plc. Once the conditions of that transaction are satisfied, Anglo American will have the right to retain up to a 70% shareholding in the Joint Venture company holding a number of licences to explore Zambia’s North-Western province for copper and cobalt.
“From mineral discovery activity right through to marketing our future-enabling products to customers, Anglo American is committed to creating enduring value for society. Despite being in the early stages of exploration in Zambia, we believe in delivering a positive impact without delay. This is the right thing for local people, regardless of the outcome of our preliminary exploration on future mining activities,” concluded Adriana Blesa.
About Anglo American’s global education programme:
- We believe that education is essential to address the triple scourge of poverty, inequality, and unemployment because it increases students’ abilities to access economic and employment opportunities while preparing them with the skills for the future. Our ultimate target is for schools in host communities to perform within the top 20% of state schools nationally by 2030, consistent with the ambition of the Sustainable Mining Plan.
- Our education programmes focus primarily on eight countries: South Africa, Zimbabwe, Brazil, Chile, Peru, the UK, Australia, and Canada. We are also exploring programmes for Botswana and Namibia as part of De Beers’ Building Forever goals. The largest portfolios are in South Africa and South America, where we support more than 600 schools.
- The size of each programme depends on the specific needs and educational gaps in a host community. The programmes focus on education in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines and broader components such as infrastructure, early childhood development support, educator development, leadership support, government capacity building, parental engagement, sports wellness, and career guidance.
- Anglo American is also working in partnership with World Vision on the #STEP (Sustainable Transformations in Education Performance) Programme in Zimbabwe. The programme aims to enhance learning opportunities and improve the quality of education for 14,683 marginalised students in 21 schools located in the Shurugwi area of Zimbabwe’s Midlands Province.
The full details of Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan can be found here.