q Mukwashi Trust School – High-quality pre-school, primary & secondary education
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Catalysts for change

Supporting expert teachers + improving facilities + providing free places

Welcome to Mukwashi 

Mukwashi is a ‘low-resource school’ in Zambia, one of the world’s poorest nations. Like most land-locked countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia struggles with drought, inflation, corruption and a collapsing economy: over 60% of its 20 million people live in acute poverty.

Our  school is in Chilanga district, west of the capital Lusaka. We serve 550 learners, aged 3 – 20 yrs, from a farming community which lives in challenging circumstances. 

Mukwashi-map-global
Mukwashi Trust School

“At Mukwashi, I see a blossoming of talent, and a desire to excel and make a difference which gives back to the community. I see perseverance and a joy for life which makes obstacles turn into opportunities for developing problem-solvers. Where others see despair, the Mukwashi staff see resilience and training for strength.”

DR ELISSAVET PONTIKAKIS, HS MATHS TEACHER, AIS VIENNA

Our mission

Our mission is to work with flair, dedication and expertise, and to provide the most disadvantaged children in our community with a future shaped by high-quality education. We aim to equip them to become ‘catalysts for change’ in their own rural community. 

We are also seeking to become a ‘beacon of excellence‘ in sub-Saharan Africa, and to show other rural ‘low-resource schools’, serving similar disadvantaged communities, with similar limited resources, how much they can achieve.

Going forward, with your help, we aim to build friendships with similar schools in remote parts of Zambia and neighbouring Malawi & Zimbabwe to provide them with training, encouragement and support.

‘Mukwashi’ isn’t a place; it’s a local word for ‘family’.  Our school is called ‘mukwashi’ because everyone involved — staff, learners, parents, carers, local sponsors, company members and international supporters — are united in one family enterprise: educating the next generation.

Our governance

The school is run by Mukwashi Trust School Ltd — a non-profit making company which is limited by guarantee and registered in Zambia (120190009921).

The company’s fifteen members provide the school’s governance, direction and strategy. They are:

In Zambia:  Ellen Aaku,  Magrietha Botha, Belly Dubeka,  Vivienne Hampela,  Leslie Jeffery, Joy Lewanika,  Maybin Musonda &  Margeret Shamufundo.    In Canada:   Aquil-li Ruiz Comellas,    Laura Manni &  Paul Nonni.    In the UK:  Fiona Jelley,  Timothy Pain,  Iram Siraj  &  Steven Wilber.

Each year, the members elect a small team of unpaid directors to provide the school’s managers with  support and scrutiny. The 2024 directors are Magrietha Botha, Vivienne Hampala, Leslie Jeffery,  Joy Lewanika & Maybin Musonda in Zambia;   Laura Manni in Canada;  and Fiona Jelley, Timothy Pain & Steven Wilber in the UK.  

    Meet our staff…

    Ms Sakuwaha is the Head Teacher and Mr Shamufundo  the Deputy Head. They lead and manage the school, and are supported by twenty one full-time staff, one part-time staff and several  volunteers.

    Academically, the school is advised by one of the company members, Prof Iram Siraj OBE, Senior Research Fellow at Jesus College and Professor of Child Development & Education at Oxford University.

    … and some of our teachers

    My name is Fredrick Kunda…

    Jolly

    My parents were uneducated, peasant farmers in the north of Zambia, but they made sure I attended school and worked hard.

    I obtained a scholarship for vulnerable students to study Maths at Rockview University at diploma level. This covered my fees but I had nothing for anything else. When my father became seriously ill, I worked to support my mother instead of attending classes. I had some hard years, but managed to pass my exams.

    I started teaching in 2019, and then studied part-time for a degree in Physics & Maths – which I gained in 2021 with a distinction.

    Last year, Mukwashi selected me to teach Integrated Science to all secondary grades, and I already feel at home here. I produced good results where I worked before and hope to do even better at Mukwashi.

    Hi, I’m Kelina Chibinga,

    I’ve worked at Mukwashi as a primary school teacher for over ten years, so I’ve seen a lot of changes and growth in this time! 

    After teaching Reception for more than six years, I’m now the class teacher for Grade 4 in the mornings and Grade 2 in the afternoons. Between the two classes, I teach 90 children every day: it’s a big responsibility.

    I love teaching, and am striving to become an outstanding, successful woman who makes a difference in today’s society.  I’m determined but calm, and believe in working hard for whatever you believe.

    I’ve a keen interest in farming, reading, sharing God’s word and spending time with my loved ones.  I live with two nieces on a nearby farm, in one of four small houses the school rents.  


    I’m Miniva Nshingwa

    Jolly

    I was born in Lusaka, and my father was the head teacher of a primary school not far from Mukwashi. 

    I attended his primary school, but  completed my secondary education in Lusaka. I was always going to follow in his footsteps, and trained as a primary teacher at Lukanda College.

    After working for a few years at a local school, I dared to apply for a position at Mukwashi – and was amazed to be selected. Mukwashi has already played a large role in my life, grooming me into a much better person and teacher. It’s a rare privilege to be able to work with such a wonderful and talented team.

    Last year, I was promoted to Primary Co-ordinator: this means I’m now responsible for all the Early Years and Primary staff. My father gives me lots of advice!

    I’m married to an accountant and we live halfway between the school and Lusaka. We’re expecting our first child later this year  – so life is very exciting.

    My name is Lameck Mvula.

    Although I was born in Lusaka town,  I grew up  in the Eastern province – in Chama district, close to Malawi. 

    As a child, I was always interested in plants and animals, so, after school, I returned to Lusaka to train in agriculture education at NRDC – Zambia’s top agricultural college – and then studied animal science at Palabana university.

    I joined Mukwashi in September 2022 to teach Agricultural Science and develop the school’s livestock, fruit orchards and experimental ‘Ag Lab’ project.

    As an agriculture teacher, it’s good to be able to get our learners out of the classroom for some of every day and provide them with real ‘hands-on’ knowledge and skills – it makes such a big difference.

    I’m married with three young children, and we live in one of the four small houses on the site which the school owns. 

    Abednigo’s story

    I’m Abednigo.  I’m ten years old and I’m in Teacher Miniva’s class – Grade One.

    I’ve never known my dad. He was a fisherman who died during a fishing trip when I was a baby. My mum looks after me: she works as a field labourer, but only during the farming seasons.

    I couldn’t start school for several years because we didn’t have any money. But one day someone told mum about Mukwashi’s bursary fund – and she walked straight here and applied.

    I had to wait a bit until there was a space, but now I am learning a lot.  Teacher Miniva says I’m going to be good at Maths and English.

    At home, it’s my job to water the garden, but I prefer playing with friends. I want to be a mechanic when I finish school as I think I’ll make lots of money from all the cars on the Mumbwa Road.”