Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

Pelham Examiner

After connection made through tennis, Pringle-McCormicks bring books, other assistance to Zambian village

The Pringle-McCormick family met Teza Simunyola when he was coaching tennis players in Pelham. Simunyola’s dream was to visit the village his father is from in Chipalo, Zambia.

The Pringle-McCormicks learned that village children have to walk six miles to get to the nearest school, meaning many kids do not attend at all. A large number of girls drop out at 12 to 14 when they get married.

Simunyola started to raise money for schools in Zambia. He wanted to create a better life for the people in the village, so he went to Africa and started building a new school. He also sought to collect books for the school’s library. The Pringle-McCormick family spread the word in Pelham about his mission, collected twelve boxes of books from Pelham residents and traveled to Africa this summer to deliver them.

“The goal for us is to connect them with more resources,” said Kate Pringle.

Despite all of the village’s struggles, the people of Chipalo remained positive and welcomed the Pringle-McCormicks with singing and dancing.

The family met with people in the village and key leaders. The school administrator talked about how the students’ need better maternity care and healthcare. The Pringle-McCormicks discussed with teachers the importance of girls’ education.

The village is working on building a health clinic to provide services to its people; the nearest hospital is 12 miles away and most people have to walk to it.

Fresh, clean water is another priority for the people of Chipalo. Residents used to get water from a pond infested with bacteria. Recently, a well was installed that has become a huge asset to the community. The village is very dependent on rain but the amount of rainfall has been less predictable due to climate change.

The Pelham family was able to visit the school that Simunyola helped establish. They saw the library, which was filled with the books they had delivered from Pelham. Since it was summertime, the school was not in session, so the Pringle-McCormicks helped out with the summer camp. In Chipalo, tennis is used as an incentive for the kids to stay in school. The kids are only allowed to play if they attend classes.

“They split the camp up into four groups, and all the little kids were playing different sports,” said Lindsay McCormick. “It was nice because we did that to keep them involved.”

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About the Contributor
Charlotte Cohn, Assistant Managing Editor
My name is Charlotte Cohn, and I am a tenth-grader at Pelham Memorial High School. I love writing, listening to music, and dancing. I have been writing for the Pelham Examiner since 2019.

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  • V

    Vincent TichyAug 31, 2023 at 11:48 am

    The one thing that seems to be lacking in Pelham is that most, if not all, communication is informal and limited. If the need for books was publicized publicly – perhaps via the “Pelham Post,” this publication, or the town / village e-mail system – I might have heard of it and donated some books. Other residents have mentioned similar concerns to me about other “communications – or lack thereof” in casual conversations. (As an aside, the town publication – recently delivered with the “Pelham Post” included – for the first time in many years (or ever) the free exercise and yoga classes for seniors in Pelham.)

  • T

    Teza SimunyolaAug 31, 2023 at 10:02 am

    AvivyoKwene-which means “that’s the way it’s supposed to be”.