The containers were used to build ten modern classrooms, one science laboratory and an assembly hall. Safmarine also funded the conversion of the containers, which was done by skilled Zambian artisans.
Chairperson of the Amano board of trustees Philip Grove reports that construction of the Amano container school first began in 2003 and was completed in 2007. Grove says, “Safmarine has invested in the lives of the many children who will pass through Amano in the years ahead.”
The school currently has 78 students in Grades 1 to 12 and aims to have 350 learners upon completion of its facilities.
Safmarine Africa region execu-tive Alan Jones says, “Seafreight containers play an important role in the growing trade between Zambia and the rest of the world, and it is appropriate that shipping containers no longer required at sea are able to add value to the Zambian community by providing its children with safe, secure premises in which to further their education.” The conversion of seafreight containers no longer required at sea into permanent, land-based infrastructure is considered an important part of Safmarine’s activities, says Jones. “As global trade grows, so too does the world’s container fleet, which makes it important to find permanent, innovative and sustainable uses for retired shipping containers.” Jones adds that an estimated 90% of the world’s goods are currently transported in seafreight containers.
Amano is situated in Chingola, a mining town in the heart of Zambia’s Copperbelt and home to a commu- nity of about 2,5-million people and the world’s largest openpit copper mine. The school, which provides an education for mainly Aids orphans, children of Zambian Christian workers, missionaries’ children and other Zambian children, has plans to extend its activities beyond childhood education.
Philip Grove says the school is hoping, as part of its future community outreach programme, to provide job opportunities for unemployed people from the local community. “Future plans include building a medical health centre with the emphasis on the care and support of Aids sufferers, a Christian conference centre and youth camp facilities.”
Safmarine officially handed over the classroom, constructed from two 12-m shipping containers, to the Lehlohonolo Public Primary School in September.
The container conversion was completed, using local labour, by Wynberg-based Exclusive Engi-neering.
Speaking at the opening, Saf-marine South Africa’s brand and marketing manager, Russell Gillespie, said, “The reuse of seafreight containers as permanent, land-based infrastructure is an important part of Safmarine’s contribution to the community. As global trade grows, so too does the world’s global container fleet. Market demand for second-hand containers is high and Safmarine donates many of these containers to provide much-needed, secure infrastructure for educational projects in communities in South Africa and elsewhere in the world.”