Meet the team
Joanne is a British educational consultant (practising under her maiden name Joanne Thirlaway). Her background includes working as a college lecturer, Principal Examiner, Principal Moderator, and External Verifier for a number of awarding organisations. She has a experience of working with a wide range of employers, project management, business development and partnerships, qualification development, quality assurance, accreditation, training recognitions, training and development and assessment.
In early 2016 Joanne volunteered for a month in Zambia, teaching at a nutrition centre and a homework club. While there she organised the construction of a temporary classroom where none existed and now looks forward with Zambezi Sunrise Trust to building further, permanent school facilities as well as empowering women. Joanne has now visited the Livingstone area six times, where she gives school management and teacher support, helps set up the women’s empowerment groups, progresses other Zambezi Sunrise Trust projects, and, when time permits, teaches.
Robert is our fourth trustee, having been appointed in early 2018. He is a partner in Richardson and Smith, Chartered Surveyors, Estate Agents, Auctioneers and Valuers in North Yorkshire. He describes himself as a ‘compassionate people person’ which is what led to his commitment to Zambezi Sunrise Trust. Pictured studying the architect’s plans for new buildings at Linda Community School, he looks forward to spreading and developing the message about Zambezi Sunrise.
Johns background involves working as a trial lawyer in England. After over twenty years addressing juries, John found himself in a crowded hut in Zambia with a very different challenge as a volunteer teacher facing a classroom of primary school children. After a month, he left determined to improve conditions there and in the surrounding area.
As a trustee, John now devotes his time to supporting the Zambezi Sunrise Trust. He has visited Livingstone seven times, furthering Zambezi Sunrise Trust projects. He has also been a volunteer teacher for a total of five months in the Livingstone area.
Rabeccah is a director of Dream Livingstone, our partner NGO in Zambia. She is an ACCA qualified accountant with a Master’s Degree in Business Administration. Her background includes working for the National Bank for 13 years where she worked in customer service.
Rabeccah retired early from the bank as she saw the need for helping vulnerable children with their education, both in her family and in the community. Coming from a broken home, Rabeccah saw those of her siblings who were brought up by her mother in a village stop school early and get married in their teens. This was because her mother could not afford school fees. Rabeccah was, in contrast, brought up by her father in a town and was able to receive an education.
Due to her background, Rabeccah developed a passion to help vulnerable children who were not receiving an education to get back to school. This led to the birth of a local enterprise, Dream Livingstone Zambia, which was founded by Rabeccah and her husband Kennedy. It is dedicated to helping address the need for children’s education in their community in Livingstone.
Nicola has over 26 years’ experience working for some of the most iconic organisations and brands in the North East of England. She has worked at a senior level for the last 18 years, working side-by-side with some of the region’s foremost business leaders and influencers.
As Chief Executive Officer for the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, she was instrumental in developing and implementing a commercial and financial strategy to take the social enterprise from a funded model to one with a sustainable and prosperous future.
Nicola recently received her Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) at the renowned Durham Business School via their award-winning online programme. She is currently the Managing Director for Redu Group a founder led, scaling digital marketing agency in the North East. Her career has given her a thorough knowledge and understanding of strategy, with the ability to implement positive change and ensure organisational stability, growth and innovation.
Nicola has been an active fundraiser for many charities over the years raising thousands of pounds from off road biking, fell walking through the night, Christmas wreath making, doing the Great North Run and as well as using her own 50th birthday party as a fundraiser.
Nicola is a founding trustee of the Zambezi Sunrise Trust and is an active fundraiser on our behalf.
Jonathan Ashley-Norman Q.C.
Jonathan Ashley – Norman Q.C., who lives in London, has extensive experience of practising in the English courts in a wide variety of types of case. He was instrumental in securing the funding of one of our classrooms at Livingstone Community School by the 2019 Commonwealth Law Conference. Jonathan travelled to Zambia and, as well as supporting the charity and the school, was able to spend some time with our Linda Sunrise Homework Club and Tiyese Craft Initiative projects. As our fifth trustee, he looks forward to supporting all of our projects in the future.
Partners and Supporters
Dream Livingstone Zambia
Dream Livingstone Zambia is a registered non-governmental, non-profit making and non-denominational
International Volunteer HQ (‘IVHQ’) is the world’s leading volunteer travel company, placing thousands of volunteers in over thirty countries every year. Their responsible, ethically based ethos led two of our trustees to volunteer through them as teachers in Zambia in early 2016. Their experiences there led directly to the foundation of The Zambezi Sunrise Trust. IVHQ place volunteers in Zambia through our partner Dream Livingstone. Many have given practical support to Zambezi Sunrise projects during their time there, including regular attendance at the Linda Sunrise Homework Club. As visitors to our ‘News’ section and Facebook page will know, past and present IVHQ volunteers have been able to use Zambezi Sunrise to continue supporting the community they volunteered in. Zambezi Sunrise is proud of its IVHQ heritage and delighted to have its support.
Sonskyn is a Belgian organisation that has provided a variety of support to Nekacheya School in Livingstone, including the provision of uniforms and desks, through their annual visits. We have greatly enjoyed cooperating with them to maximise our joint impact in the areas of book, computer and sports provision. Sonskyn have also joined with us in supporting Linda Community School by making a contribution towards the construction of the ablution block there. We very much look forward to cooperating with them in the future.
Durham School, situated in the north east of England, has been educating children since at least 1414. It provides both boys and girls with a diverse education from primary age through to 18 as either day pupils or, from 11, boarders. Durham School supports Zambezi Sunrise through the donation of uniforms and books, as well as fundraising. The pupils’ charity committee has chosen us as one of the charities that they will support. We are grateful to the school – and confident that their founders over six hundred years ago would approve of their supporting education in a land that to them was completely unknown.
In 2018 their preparatory department, Bow, Durham School, also joined our supporters. Their joint fundraising will now be focussed on ‘adopting’ one of the new classrooms that we are building at Linda Community School.
Wealth of Advice
Based in Durham, Wealth of Advice provides independent financial advice to clients across the North East of England and further afield. They have helped Zambezi Sunrise Trust with financial support and we are delighted to have them as supporters!
We have teamed up with MAD (Make A Difference) to build more classrooms. They specialise in organising group trips for companies, colleges and schools to build school facilities, and to date have built 128 classrooms in seven countries. Volunteers fundraise to buy the cost of materials and then travel to build the classroom(s) under local supervision. They have now launched a Zambia programme and, with Zambezi Sunrise Trust, are offering groups the opportunity to build classrooms at Linda Community School. Their website includes a video of our building project there and images of the community from which the children come.
Okodwela (‘Happy’ in Nyanja) is an American non profit organisation that is focussed on helping the community of Linda compound and those adjacent to it, most notably with a house building programme. We look forward to working together to support Linda Community School (where they have built a house for a caretaker) and its children.
Dr Thomlinson Church of England Middle School
Dr Thomlinson’s, situated in Rothbury, Northumberland, began their relationship with us by having a sponsored walk in their surrounding hills to raise money to help our work at Linda Community School. The two schools have since enjoyed a letter exchange and we look forward to enhancing their link in the future.
Lonely Tower Film and Media
Lonely Tower specialises in documentary and commercial film making with over 25 years experience working in the broadcast media sector. Lonely Tower have supported Zambezi Sunrise by donating their time and expertise to making the videos that you see on this site. We are very grateful to them for all that they have done.
Shotley Bridge Primary School
Shotley Bridge Primary School is located in County Durham, England in the United Kingdom. Zambezi Sunrise was able to facilitate a ‘twinning’ arrangement between it and Nekacheya School in Livingstone, Zambia. They have exchanged letters and artwork, and Shotley Bridge have fundraised which has made a huge difference to the book provision at Nekacheya. We very much look forward to continuing to assist with the links between the two schools.
Brigitte Kitchens is based in Yorkshire, England. They
are a company that specialise in superior quality German made kitchens for trade and domestic customers.
Brigitte Kitchens has kindly supported Zambezi Sunrise
by setting up a regular monthly donation. We are very grateful to them.
Free Haven Community Initiative
Free Haven Community Initiative is a not for profit organisation with elements in Zambia and the United States of America. They support schools and children in the Livingstone area. Having been involved in school construction, they happen to have a machine for making cement blocks. Zambezi Sunrise sometimes orders the blocks for our construction programme from them, paying the normal rate that we would pay in any event to a commercial supplier. Any profit that Free Haven Community Initiative makes is thereafter put into their projects supporting education. In this way we have ensured that donations spent on blocks in fact support good causes twice!
Cramlington Village Primary School
Cramlington Village Primary School is situated in Northumberland, England. Zambezi Sunrise is delighted to have assisted them in setting up a ‘twinning’ in 2018 with Linda Community School in Livingstone. The children at the twin schools have exchanged letters and artwork, as well as enjoying a videolink to exchange messages and questions. Cramlington have ‘adopted’ one of the new classrooms we will be building in Linda and both their pupils and staff have fundraised towards it. We very much look forward to seeing the development of links between the schools.
True Thabo is an American-based non-profit organisation that is devoted to fighting the Global Water Crisis. It was founded by two college students, Jaclyn and Marissa. True Thabo sells reusable, trendy water bottles to help provide various partner schools in Zambia with clean drinking water through the provision of water purification units. Partner schools are also provided with an educational unit that explains the importance of drinking water through math, science, reading and writing. True Thabo and Zambezi Sunrise have cooperated to provide a water purifier to
Hesleden Primary School
Hesleden Primary School, in County Durham, began their involvement with us with a donation of books which subsequently formed the core of the new library we established at Linda Community School in Zambia. They have followed that up with further donations of books and a significant amount of uniform, together with fundraising. They now also enjoy a regular letter exchange with their new Zambian friends.