How it began
Back in 2007 my family business in North London wanted our company to be about more than making money – we wanted to make a difference. We didn’t just want to line shareholders’ pockets, we wanted to live ‘beyond ourselves’. Through friendship connections we found ourselves in Ndola, Zambia, being introduced to Pastors who had set up community schools on their church land, with a heart to offer an education to the orphans and most vulnerable in their community, who otherwise would not be in school. We loved their heart and their passion, and offered to partner with them to see their dream become reality.
Since 2008, we have been partnering with community schools in Zambia to bring quality education and nutrition to some of the most vulnerable children in those communities.
We have supported the teaching and senior staff of our partner community schools, by offering training and professional development with the aim that they will be able to offer a high standard of education and enable these children to reach their potential and ultimately to break the cycle of poverty. We have also provided financial assistance for teachers’ salaries, school feeding programmes and high school bursaries.
How we’ve grown
Over the years the professional support we offered to our partner schools has widened to include additional community schools and, in 2018, we started conducting training with government schools and those in the private sector, specifically Jolly Phonics literacy training.
This has developed to us having completed a Jolly Phonics Teachers’ Guide that has adapted the British Jolly Phonics guide to a Zambian context. We are in the process of having it ratified by the Zambian Ministry of Education Curriculum Development Centre. We are talking together with the Ministry of Education about taking this guide into teacher training colleges to ensure teachers are learning how to effectively teach children how to read and write.
With our work growing we realised the need for greater support here in the UK. We made the decision to merge our charity with Restore Community to become a part of a greater whole. The move provided us with greater governance and resource as well positioning us better for future growth.
Where we are now
After over a decade of partnering with Community Schools in Zambia, we find ourselves with not only a wealth of (at times hard-earned) experience but with connections to those in positions of influence in education. We are aware of God’s favour throughout the years and that the opportunities we now have are not by our own merit alone.
It’s been quite the journey, and the adventure continues. From our small beginnings of simply wanting to use our money and skills to contribute to something beyond ourselves to being a part of impacting a nation’s literacy.
It is our genuine honour (and surprise!) to be a part of something as special as this.