The Chama Project

How you can help...

The school will be completed in yearly stages.
We therefore need your help to:

Drill and line more boreholes

Construct further classrooms, more dormitories and ablution blocks and a kitchen

Install solar lighting

Undertake a hydrology report on the agricultural land and then plan how best to use the land for grazing, growing and harvesting produce and planting trees.

Build a science laboratory

Obtain equipment, such as library books, pencils, blackboards, desks, chairs, etc.

Develop and improve agriculture in order to give girls life skills for the future. The sale of produce grown on the land owned by the school will help sustain the school.

Improve healthcare for the school and the community.

Please help us by making a donation.

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. All donors will be kept up-to-date on progress throughout via annual e-newsletters.

Please contact  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.for further information. 
Please help us to make this school possible.


The first classroom block

This first block of 4 classrooms, 4 teachers' studies and 2 administrative offices is now 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 when 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.

The Story so far...

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 which averages 44 degrees C during the day. 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. 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 directly 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.

The Zambian Government is helping, too.

It has built the first tarred road into the district, which gives access to the villages for the first time during the rains and has dramatically improved supply logistics.

It has opened a general hospital in Chama boma (the district HQ) and opened a small clinic staffed by nurses in Tembwe. There are plans to enlarge the clinic to a small medical centre in Tembwe.

The Ministry of Education has agreed to supply teaching staff, provide staff housing and pay staff wages.

1st Classroom Block completed...

This first block of 4 classrooms, 4 teacher's studies and 2 administrative offices is now completed and awaiting inspection by the Ministry of Education. We are hoping this will happen as soon as the rains have finished and the roads in the district reopen.

The local community commitment and investment in this school ensures long-term sustainability for the school.

Add to this the Zambian government will be providing all the teachers, paying their salaries and paying for their accommodation once the school opens.

Local Chief has donated 750 hectares of agricultural land...

The local Chief has donated 750 hectares of land to the school which will become a substantial community asset and help with practical education on managing agriculture for the girls.

Food grown, cattle grazed and trees planted on this land will enable the staff and pupils to have a well-balanced diet. It will give pupils the opportunity to learn how best to grow and harvest food and any surplus can be sold locally. All of this will help sustain the school long-term.

Hydrology survey planned...

We are commissioning a hydrology expert to undertake a study on where underground aquafers and rivers are located.

This will enable our agricultural consultant to identify the best sites for more boreholes, a dam, irrigation, where to plant trees, graze animals, sow crops and create a kitchen garden for the school.

St Mary's Calne Girls roll up their sleeves...

In 2014 a group of 14 pupils from St Mary's School Calne girls came out to make a start on construction. These girls gave up their half-term holiday in the UK to come out to Zambia and work in 45º October heat– not only did they work hard and achieve a lot, but they returned home with the benefit of having learned a huge amount about a very different culture and way of live to their own back in the UK.

The Diocese of Edinburgh donates...

A second contribution in 2014 came from the Diocese of Edinburgh, which raised £10,000 through their Bishop's 2013 Lent Appeal. This paid for a borehole to supply fresh water for the very first time to Tembwe and replaced the small, deep and very muddy well, which had been the only source of water in the district and for the new school. Remaining funding went towards a building equipment and materials, ensuring a strong start to the construction phase I.

Inspiring all-night sleepout in the rain to raise funds...

The Grassmarket Community Project volunteers and friends, led by Tommy Steel held a sleepout outside their community centre in the heart of Edinburgh's Old Town to raise funds for their trip to Chama. It was a cold, wet winter's night following the Scotland vs Wales Rugby International. They raised a lot of money, with one young man donating a massive £7,500.


Fundraiser Sponsors