Tongabezi Trust Programme
The Tongabezi Trust School was set up by Vanessa Parker, who was previously teaching as a volunteer in Livingstone. Vanessa is the wife of Ben, who established Tongabezi in 1990 together with the late William Ruck-Keene.
The school opened on 1 May 1996 and due to its huge success it has been growing ever since. Vanessa donates her time to the school on a purely voluntary basis. The school provides education to the Tongabezi staff children, as well as children from the local community, in an area where educational funding and materials are scarce.
Tujatane has grown from a pre-school class of 15 children, to a primary school with over 220 students. The school has charity status in the UK and is completely funded on donations. Apart from the first classroom, which Tongabezi built, the development of the school has been made possible through the generous sponsorship of donors all over the world. These donations range from individual child sponsorship, teacher sponsorship, help with our food programme, medical programme to building projects. The school currently has seven classrooms, an office, a library, a kitchen, an amphitheater, a storeroom, a computer room with several donated laptops, a fantastic music room with guitars and keyboards as well as local instruments such as the marimba and our brand new science laboratory.
We now have 8 teachers (including our head teacher), part-time French and music teachers and several assistants (non qualified) to provide support in every grade. Their dedication and enthusiasm have resulted in fun and lively classrooms full of interest and activity.
We have computers donated from several schools in the UK; a TV/Video and a library of used books from the UK and Australia. The school has an amphitheater for assemblies and performances, as well as changing rooms, a music room (full of instruments, both African and Western) and a newly restored playground.
The children are enjoying the chance to learn to work on computers and also to watch on video things that are outside of their experience.
While the cultures of different countries vary in myriad ways, they also contain many shared values. Among these is the universal understanding that education is a core component of healthy development. Tujatane is providing an education to 116 children whose ages range from two to fifteen years. All students come from low income families.
The children of Tujatane typically live with their families in mud huts. They have no running water and limited access to electricity. The huts are comprised of one or two rooms which are used as bedrooms for parents and children and a living room for all. The kitchen is an outside charcoal burner. The shower is a grass wall to which the family brings a bucket for washing themselves.
Through education, Tujatane becomes the starting point for change. The children and their parents understand that education will bring opportunity. You can help to make that opportunity happen.
By sponsoring a child at Tujatane, you bring assurance of education to her and her family.
Sponsorship brings many rewards. You will have the wonderful pleasure of getting to know your child through email or traditional correspondence, which we encourage. You’ll be able to follow your child’s progress through the school through updates each term. And you will know that you have provided the cornerstone for the improvement of living conditions for the people of Tongabezi.
Tujatane currently feeds all of its 220 + students and teaching staff a full lunch every day.
Students also receive porridge at break times, as it’s rare that the children will have breakfast at home.
The menu is basic, but nutritionally balanced with eggs on the menu three days a week and beans on the other days.
The World Food Programme has been supporting us in providing ‘HEPS’ (High Energy Protein Supplement).
The cost of the Food Programme is around U$10 or £6 a month per child and is fund raised for separately to the Sponsorship Programme. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Tongabezi Lodge is a romantic hideaway on the banks of the Zambezi River just upstream of Victoria Falls. Our friendly team welcomes guests to a selection of houses and cottages, each beautifully styled with furniture and embellishments from all over Africa. Guests can dine beside the river or on their private terrace. Privately owned and run, Tongabezi combines an exclusive ambience with the legendary warmth and hospitality of the people of Zambia. To find out more click here