Children  Zambia Project #12574

Lifeline out of poverty for Children in Zambia

by Peer Education Programme Against AIDS (PEPAIDS)
The Loxford Building with temporary windows
The Loxford Building with temporary windows

Back in 2010 PEPAIDS started the Schools of Good Hope Project, aiming to improve the quality of education available to some of Zambia's poorest schoolchildren. We teamed up with schools from the UK to fundraise and improve the teaching resources available at these poorest of poor Zambian Community Schools.

One of our longest running partnerships is between Kafwefwe Community School in Zambia and Loxford School of Science and Technology in Essex, UK. For the last few years, pupils at Loxford have been working hard to raise money to help build a new classroom block for Kafwefwe, so that the school can accommodate more children and they can have lessons, whatever the weather!

Over the summer, some of our UK volunteers visited Kafwefwe Community School to see how things are coming along. They found that although the "Loxford Building" now has a roof and temporary windows, there is still more to be done to make the classroom as useful as it can be. At the moment, the inside of the classroom is bare brick. As one of the teachers explained, the walls need to be plastered and painted so that they can stick educational things like posters to them to help children learn. In Zambia they call these speaking walls, which we think sounds pretty good thing for a wall to be! So it turns out, the donation Loxford made earlier in the year, which has enabled these developments to get underway, is going to achieve something far more exciting than making the walls look nice! We can't wait to see the results!

Slowly, slowly, things are taking shape and we are so grateful to Loxford School of Science and technology for all their hard work and to all of you who have supported the project along the way to make this progress possible! Thank You!

Painted walls mean speaking walls!
Painted walls mean speaking walls!
Spot our posties! Left to right Ben, Becci & Rosy
Spot our posties! Left to right Ben, Becci & Rosy

Hands up if you can remember writing lines at primary school. Not the kind of lines that were dished out because you’d been naughty, but the kind with the with a dotted line in between them, so you could make your letters the right height!

That dotted line was a goal- something to aim for, to equip you for future life. Our Schools of Good Hope Project has given the most disadvantaged of poor children, in Zambia, something much more exciting than a dotted line to aim for with their handwriting!

Cecilia’s Good Hope School (CGHS) in Monze has been partnered with Suckley Primary School in Worcestershire, UK, since our project began in 2010. Thanks to a steady stream of UK volunteers going to Zambia, and acting as our personal postmen and women, this academic year we have been able to sort the logistics for the pupils at both schools to write to each other.

This April, PEPAIDS' volunteers, Rosy Jones, Becci Ward and Ben Knox, took letters from Suckley pupils, replying to letters that Cecilia’s pupils had written to them in December. Head Teacher of CGHS, Cecilia Lungo, said:

Our pupils were very grateful and excited when they received the letters from their friends. Their writing skills get to improve as they communicate about their hobbies and their best subjects. One could visibly see that they evidently cherish the link between the two schools.

In Zambia, these poorest of children are at the bottom of the social hierarchy. They are not considered important. Outside of school their words are hardly listened to. How amazing then, that because of our Schools of Good Hope Project, their words are cherished by people in another country! They get to write to something that will impact somebody else. They get to write something where the feedback is more than just a grade at the bottom of the page. The pieces of paper transported by our volunteers are more than just letters- they are affirmation to children in Zambia that they are interesting and important individuals. Now that’s what we call schools of good hope! Thank you so much for your support!


I'm important!
Happy that our words matter!
Happy that our words matter!
So excited, we
So excited, we're blurred!

In Zambia, life is hard and, at the moment, it's getting harder. Already high poverty levels are being compounded by yet another year of drought. River levels are so low that the power stations cannot generate enough electricity to keep the country going. Across Zambia people are experiencing 8-15 hours of power cuts every day. Without power, computers don't work and phones can't be charged, putting Zambia even further behind in the fast-paced world that we live in. Without rain, crops don't grow. Failed crops means expensive food and no income for producers. For the poorest communities, who would normally grow their own food, the future looks bleak. Zambia is experiencing assault on every level and morale is low.

Amidst all of this hardship, our Schools of Good Hope Project is thrusting little rays of light into the darkness. This December children at Cecilia's Good Hope School each received a letter, written to them personally, from children at their partner school, Suckley, in Worcestershire, UK. Earlier in the year, the children at Suckley School had put on a fantastic production of the Lion King and they donated some of the proceeds to Cecilia's Good Hope School to help them build additional toilets to supplement the current two that serve 138 pupils and teachers.

A letter and a donation is a small gesture, but the impact is big! The impact of this small gesture is that children and teachers at Cecilia's Good Hope School know that someone knows about them. More importantly, they know that someone cares. Beyond the comfort of the increased number of toilets for their comfort breaks, is the comfort of having hope amidst despair. The smiles on the children's faces communicate the tidings of great joy that these letters at Christmas brought!

Headteacher, Cecilia Lungo, said: "These letters came at such a great time to give us a boost! The pupils are excited to write back to the children at Suckley and it is a great way to finish our school term!"

Happy New Year! If you've supported our Schools of Good Hope Project in any way, you've helped make a lot of children smile- Thank you!

Little letters make big smiles!
Little letters make big smiles!
Good reading!
Good reading!
Writing back!
Writing back!
Before: Mr Habulembe
Before: Mr Habulembe's family lived in just 1 room

At PEPAIDS we are concerned about empowering the poorest of the poor for the long term. We know that a short project here and there won’t make the lasting difference that our communities, in Zambia, need to be able to overcome poverty and cope with the effects of HIV.

That’s why we’re still working with the same community schools that we’ve been with since 2010 when our Schools of Good Hope Project started. Our aim is to improve the quality of the education available to some of Zambia’s poorest school children.

We believe that the single most valuable resource a school can have is its teachers! Earlier in the year we told you about two teachers at Matimbia Community School, Mr Habulembe and Mr Chilala. Both were living in corners of the school building that weren’t ever meant to be houses, unless you were a pile of desks, that is!

Mr Habulembe and his whole family were living in the Headteacher’s office and Mr Chilala was living in a storeroom. The desks that were in the storeroom were being stored up a tree!

In Zambia, community schools are expected to provide accommodation in order for the Government to send them a trained teacher. The Head Teacher was very concerned that if she couldn’t provide adequate housing for the teachers, she would loose them. That’s where our schools of Good Hope Project comes in. Since 2010, Matimbia Community School has been partnered with Davyhulme Primary School in Greater Manchester, UK. The pupils at Davyhulme have been fundraising for their fellow pupils in Zambia, and they have managed to raise enough money to complete one whole house for a teacher!

PEPAIDS Founder and CEO, Helen Allen, went to see the new house and talk to its new occupants about the difference that it had made to them. Helen met Mrs Habulembe and the four children living with them aged 1, 8, 9 and 11, just two weeks after they moved in.

Mrs Habulembe said:

"The house is big and the children have their own rooms, so the family has more privacy now. Mr Habulembe can rest well and is refreshed when he goes to teach so his lessons are better".

It is easy to see the difference you have helped make. Best of all, the pupils at Matimbia will continue to get lessons provided by a trained teacher, which gives them hope for the future that they will be able to get a job when they're older and won’t have to stay poor! Thank you for your amazing support!

After: the whole family have a whole house!
After: the whole family have a whole house!
Helen and the Head officially open the new house!
Helen and the Head officially open the new house!
Mr Habulembe
Mr Habulembe's family
Mrs Habulembe talks about the difference it
Mrs Habulembe talks about the difference it's made
The Loxford building sporting its new roof!
The Loxford building sporting its new roof!

In 2010 PEPAIDS launched the Schools of Good Hope Project. Our aim is to enable some of Zambia’s poorest school children to access a better quality of education and give them a chance to break out of the poverty cycle.

Earlier this year, we told you about Loxford School of Science and Technology, who have partnered with Kafwefwe Community School in Southern Zambia. At Christmas, they were busy fundraising to put a roof on a classroom block at Kafwefwe. The roof is now on and will protect the children (and the brickwork!) from the elements. But Loxford’s help means more than just bricks and mortar to Kafwefwe. It is part of a their plan to improve the quality of education available to their children, long term.

In order for a trained teacher, that will be paid by the government, to be sent to a community school in Zambia, the community must provide a proper classroom for the teacher to teach in and a house for that teacher to live in. This is a tall order for a community that can barely afford to eat, and who don’t have houses to live in themselves. Thanks to Loxford’s fundraising, Kafwefwe Community School is now one step closer to getting a new, trained government teacher.

PEPAIDS founder and CEO, Helen Allen, went to see it and met the Parent Teacher Association from the Kafwefwe Community. She found that they had been spurred on by Loxford and had already challenged the surrounding villages to start making bricks and collecting the raw materials needed to build a teacher’s house. The PTA said:

We want to show that we can do something ourselves and are not totally dependent on outsiders

“I never thought the school would reach this level as I remember how the school was made of mud and grass


Thank you for your continued support- together we are helping Kafwefwe’s plans take shape!

Kafwefwe pupils outside their new classroom block
Kafwefwe pupils outside their new classroom block
Kafwefwe PTA tell us their plans!
Kafwefwe PTA tell us their plans!

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Organization Information

Peer Education Programme Against AIDS (PEPAIDS)

Location: Sale, Cheshire - United Kingdom
Website: http:/​/​
Helen Allen
Project Leader:
Helen Allen
Manchester, Greater Manchester United Kingdom

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