100% OF YOUR DONATIONS WILL GO TO SUPPORTING CHILDREN IN AFRICA
(Unlike many other charities the trust has no employees or other expenses – the operating costs are entirely covered by the trustees).
Zambia is a stable, democratic and peaceful Commonwealth country in southern Africa that since independence in 1964 has managed to avoid the chaos and violence that has afflicted many of its neighbours. It is, however, extremely poor (approximately two thirds of the population live below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day) and has had to build up its education system from a very low base. At independence 50 years ago less than 0.5% of the population received a primary education and less than 100 people had a university degree. Great progress has been made since then but there is a chronic shortage of money for investment in education. There has been huge disruption to families and the education system because of AIDS – there are many orphans (some estimates say as many as 20% of children). In theory government education is free but the cost of uniforms and writing materials means that attendance is beyond the means of many and, in some areas, most. Only one in four Zambians completes a secondary education (and the figure is below that for girls). Community and private schools fill the gap, providing an education for those that otherwise could not afford it or a better chance for those who otherwise would be in a government school where class sizes are frequently 60 or more. Many are entirely dependant on donor support. Others use the fees they can raise for some children to cover the costs of those who otherwise could not attend.
The Zambezi Sunrise Trust was born out of the experience of two of the trustees who worked as volunteer teachers in southern Zambia in early 2016. After the establishment of the charity, they have returned in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2022 and 2023. Two of the other trustees have also visited our projects in Zambia. Zambezi Sunrise Trust is dedicated to the advancement of education and the relief of poverty, sickness
and distress in Zambia.
The trust is dedicated to providing ongoing support to our projects through the provision of buildings, books, student needs, teaching materials, uniforms, sports and musical equipment, hygiene products
and nutritional support. Our primary focus is on children but our support extends to women’s groups so that they are better able to support themselves and their children. We are delighted to have had support from over twenty countries, including from schools, and to have facilitated school twinnings between Zambian schools and schools in the United Kingdom.
Our current projects include the following. Please see our ‘Projects’ page for more details about each of them.
1. Linda Community School. This is a school in a disadvantaged area for children who are all chosen by the community, having been assessed as extremely vulnerable. Many are orphans. If this school did not exist many of the children would not attend school at all. Originally housed in an overcrowded and dilapidated old community
centre, it is entirely dependant on donor support. The Zambezi Sunrise Trust commenced constructing new purpose built facilities for the school. Having completed the seven classrooms needed for a primary school, with the agreement of the Zambian government the school is being expanded to a secondary school. Having 470 children when Zambezi Sunrise Trust began its support, it now has 720 and continues to grow. Two ablution (toilet) blocks have been constructed with toilets for boys, girls and staff, and a shower for older girls. Twelve classrooms have been built – one for each year group in the Zambian school syste. A library room and two offices have been built. We have also constructed a kitchen shelter so that cooking can take place in all weathers, as well as supported the drilling of a bore hole. A water tower with 5,000 litre water tank has been built. We have jointly provided a water purifier unit with True Thabo for the new site. Every child has been provided with a desk, and text book provision is much better than that in other local schools (with children receiving books in each subject). Each classroom is equipped with a whiteboard.
We are delighted to have facilitated regular links between the school and five schools in the United Kingdom, two of whom have ‘adopted’ two of the new classrooms: such links benefit the children in each country, with letter exchanges and video links taking place. Large scale uniform donations have been made by schools in the U.K., and a book donation from one provided the foundation of the school library.
Our expansion of the school through all the secondary grades continues, with the Zambian government now committing ten secondary school teachers to the school.
2. Nekacheya Primary School. 300 strong, thanks to Zambezi Sunrise the school found itself as the only one in the region where each child had their own textbooks in each subject. We have also provided computers, whiteboards, reading books, instruments for a school band and sports team uniforms. Infrastructure support has included a water tank and ensuring that an ablution block for boys and girls was completed on the school’s new site. A ‘twinning’ link with a school in the United Kingdom has been established which benefits the pupils in both schools, with regular letter exchanges and video links.
3. Homework Club. Located in Linda compound, originally in the yard of a teacher’s home, it benefitted from two learning structures built by Zambezi Sunrise, with teaching facilities for local children in the evenings – some of whom do not otherwise attend school. We were also able to help with fencing, a storage structure and construction of toilets for boys and girls. Supported by dozens of IVHQ and other volunteers over the years, in 2023 Homework Club was able to move location to Linda Community School and make use of classrooms there.
4. Linda Sunrise Pre-school. This small pre-school was supported with teaching and cleaning materials between 2017 and 2023, helping children in Linda compound.
5. Tiyese (“Let’s Try”) Craft Initiative. This women’s empowerment group, which we helped establish, meets regularly in Linda compound. Their skills have developed dramatically, and through sharing their experiences they have been earning money for their families through the creation of craft items (bags, clothes, quilts, rugs etc), as well as curtains for the schools we support. They have now been officially registered and have a joint bank account – the first to which the ladies have had access. Their skills were recognised during the Covid pandemic when they were commissioned to make face masks for the Ministry of Health, WWF and others. You can now find their products in gift shops at the Victoria Falls and the Livingstone Museum!
6. Kupagwa Ni Lilato (‘Made With Love’) Craft Group. Another women’s empowerment group which we supported, they met in the Highlands area of Livingstone. Some great skills were developed before relocation and other personal factors led to the end of the group.
7. Zambezi Empowerment Initiative. We were instrumental in helping establish this craft group, formed by ladies living near the very rural Njoko Mission near the banks of the Zambezi in Barotseland/Western Province.
8. Njokomalomo Basic School. Situated near the Zambezi in rural Barotseland/Western Province, the school struggles with a shortage of funding and learning materials. As well as making a grant to assist the school, we have paid the subscription fees to facilitate a much needed allocation of books from Book Aid International in distant Lusaka (something we have also done for Linda Community School and Nekacheya).
9. Mpekala Women’s Programme. This programme provides support to women’s groups in isolated rural villages. Zambezi Sunrise has provided practical support through the provision of hand powered sewing machines and examples of craft products made by supporters in the UK.
10. Dream Elementary School. In 2022 we stepped in to help this school in the Highlands area of Livingstone. By ensuring that a part built classroom block was completed we were able to ensure that the school’s plans for expansion were able to continue.
11. Simoonga Combined Secondary School. Zambezi Sunrise has teamed up with our friends at True Thabo, an American non profit organisation, to provide a water purification system for this rural school outside Livingstone.