A short video about The Livingstone Initiative's Chama Project... we are helping to build the first secondary school for vulnerable girls and orphans in a remote district of north-eastern Zambia, where currently there is a prevalence of early pregnancies and child marriage.
As you may have seen from the above video, the girls in this area have been facing a future with little or no access to education beyond primary school.There continues to be a prevalence of early pregnancies and the traditional practice of
The area is so remote that most NGOs have found it very difficult to deliver help to the people.
The Livingstone Initiative has stepped in to help and has so far raised over GBP 142,000 from the UK. The school has been given almost 750 hectares of land. The first building – a girls’ hostel – is completed and an ablution block with running water and sewarage almost finished. A borehole has been drilled and water storage tanks erected. Boreholes are the main source of water in the area and this first borehole replaced the only well, which was very small, very deep and very muddy.
We have had amazing support both from within Zambia and from the UK.
In 2011, the then Headmistress of St Mary's School, Calne, in the UK said to us: "We don't just want to fundraise, we want to bring a group of senior girls out to Zambia to help to build the school" Wow!. They did just that. They gave up their autumn half-term in 2013, and came out to Chama and worked hard - very, very hard in the October heat. By the time they left, they had completed the first building and almost completed an ablution block as well as experiencing a completely different culture and way of life. They had entertained the villagers with their attempts at cultural dancing the Zambian way and introduced the locals to "pop" dancing. They laughed and played football with the children and came home with wonderful stories about their amazing experience in Africa and a wealth of memories – memories which will last a lifetime.
In 2013, The Bishop of Edinburgh, The Rt Rev Dr John Armes, wrote to us to say they would like to include The Anglican Children's Programme in their 2013 Lent Appeal and they raised a huge amount of funding which went direct to the school project up in Chama. For those of you who don't know, the Episcopal Cathedral in Edinburgh is also called St Mary's and with two such major contributors to the Project bearing the same name, the Bishop of Eastern Zambia decided that the new school in Chama must also be called St Mary's – St Mary's Anglican Secondary School for Girls Chama.
This year, in 2019, we welcomed a small group of volunteers from The Grassmarket Community Project furniture division, who came out to help in September of that year. They spent three weeks helping the community to raise the roof on the large girls' hostel and add the finishing touches, making door and wiindow frames.
We are looking for donations, offers of expertise, sponsorship, and partnerships to help build this school and open it. The new school will ultimately provide a safe environment and education for 1000-1500 vulnerable girls and orphans, but there is much still to do.
The school is now almost ready to open to the first intake of 100-200 girls in Grade 8 in January 2024. The school will then be completed in yearly stages. We therefore need your help to:
The Zambian Government is helping, too...
Children are Zambia’s future and, by building this first secondary school for girls, these children will go on to have a real choice in life, which in turn will bring benefits to generations to come.
Your support would be much valued in helping to bring about this change for the better in this far-flung community. We would be happy to hear from you if you would like to discuss any aspect of the school in more detail, and if you would like to contribute.
Please help us to make this school possible.
This first block of 4 classrooms, 4 teachers' studies and 2 administrative offices is now very close to being completed. This is drone footage was taken in late 2021 just after the roof was raised. All the windows, doors, glass panes, grill bars, hard-wearing flooring, plastering and rendering has been done. We are just waiting until the end of the rains in April to finish the painting. Then it can be inspected and passed by the authorities. It will open to local girls initially and then once the main dormitory is constructed it will open to girls from further afield.
We are having great support from the UK.
When I met with the Headmistress of St Mary's Calne back in 2011 to see if they might fundraise for the school in Chama, the Headmistress sat me down in her study and said "We don't just want to fundraise, we want to bring a group of girls out to Zambia to help build the school". This they did in 2013.
The Grassmarket Community Project involvement came about when three huge enthusiasts met in Edinburgh in July 2018 – Father Katete, Director of the Anglican Children's Programme, Rev Richard Frazer, Minister of Greyfriars Kirk and Tommy Steele, who heads up the Grassmarket Furniture social enterprise division of the Grassmarket Community Project.
The Diocese, during their 2013 Lent Appeal raised a magnificent sum, which went direct to the school project in Chama. Their support has been hugely appreciated.
A group of 14 St Mary's Calne Girls and 2 teachers came out to Zambia to start construction work on the school in 2013.
A group of volunteers are coming out to Chama in September 2019 to help erect the roof and put the finishing touches on the large dormitory.