Skip to main content

Catalysts for change

Supporting expert teachers + improving facilities + providing free places

Welcome to Mukwashi

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

Our  school is in Chilanga district, west of the capital Lusaka. We serve 530 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 our learners 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 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 sixteen members provide the school’s governance, direction and strategy. They are:

In Zambia:  Ellen Aaku,  Magrietha Botha, Belly Dubeka,  Vivienne Hampela,  Lesley Jeffery, Joy Lewanika,  Maybin Musonda,   Margeret Shamufundo  &  Amusaa Zaza.    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 & Amusaa Zaza 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 Crispin Shamufundo…

    Jolly

    I joined the staff in January 2020 to teach Maths & RE to Grades 8-12. I’ve since also become the deputy head.

    It’s at Mukwashi that I became a full ‘baked’ teacher! By this, I mean the school has been like a  training college for me, with so many opportunities to learn new teaching strategies and management skills.

    My first training was at Paglory University, in Zambia’s central province, and I graduated in 2016 with a secondary school teaching degree.

    I live in a small house on the school site which I share with my younger brother. We get on well and are good friends. When I’m not teaching or doing admin, we read, watch films and go jogging.

    Mukwashi has become my home, and it’s an honour to be part of this beautiful family.

    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 Mutinta Mwanamwambwa,

    Jolly

    I joined Mukwashi in January 2021 to teach the two ‘Catch-Up’ classes, but am now part of the Senior Management Team with responsibility for Guidance & Counselling across the whole school. 

    My team helps learners who start schooling late ’catch up’ in literacy & numeracy, and it also helps those who need stretching academically.  Plus, I also teach English to Upper Secondary grades.

    My diploma in Library Information Science means I’m the school librarian.  We have big hopes of building a community library sometime in the next few years, so I work on those plans whenever I can.

    When I’m not at school, I’m usually preparing lessons for next day; but I take breaks at weekends to read, cook, watch movies and play board games. 

    One day, I’d like to open a school for children with special needs — and give them the chance to reach their maximum potential. 

    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.”