(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 until the age of 11 (after that fees are charged) 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 and returned for the first quarter of 2017. It 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 support from over a dozen countries, including from schools, and to have facilitated a school twinning between a Zambian school and a school 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 470 children who are all chosen by the community, having been assessed as extremely vulnerable. Many are orphans. If this school did not exist the children would not attend school at all. Housed in an overcrowded and dilapidated old community centre, it is entirely dependant on donor support. The Zambezi Sunrise Trust has commenced constructing new purpose built classrooms for the school.

2. Linda Sunrise Homework Club. Also located in Linda, we have provided a shelter and teaching facilities for local children in the evenings – some of whom do not otherwise attend school.

3. Linda Sunrise Adult Literacy Club. This provides literacy classes for ladies on two afternoons a week.

3. Nekacheya Primary School. 300 strong, thanks to Zambezi Sunrise the school now has the only local classes where each child has their own textbooks. We have also provided computers, whiteboards, reading books, instruments for a school band and sports team strips.

4. Tiyesa (“Let’s Try”) Craft Group. This women’s empowerment group meets on three afternoons a week at the Linda Sunrise facility, sharing their experiences and earning money for their families through the creation of craft items (bags, clothes, quilts, rugs etc).

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Linda Sunrise pre-school. We are delighted to announce that the first eight children began classes on 8th May 2017, the first anniversary of the Zambezi Sunrise Trust. The pre school is held in the morning and uses the same structure that Tiyesa, adult literacy classes and Homework Club utilise later in the day.