In Zambia the school year runs from January to . . .
. . . December. However, for the pupils who sat for their Certificate of Junior Secondary Exams in the previous November, otherwise known as the Grade 9 exams, the new school year starts in February. It is the results of these exams that decide if a child will go onto Senior Secondary Education but the successful pupils have little choice about which school they will attend. Regardless of a family’s location or financial circumstances the better schools will cherry-pick the higher scoring pupils. If a pupil’s family cannot afford the fees and other expenses he or she can apply to the local secondary school but, with just two serving around twenty five feeder schools, places are limited.

Often the local secondary school is too far from a pupil’s village for them to be able to walk to cycle to daily and this means that they must go to a boarding school or give up any ideas of an education.

Secondary Education is not free and school fees, travel costs, uniform and stationery are usually beyond the means of most families in an area where subsistence farming is the norm. Many children are orphans and live with their extended family and it is a sad fact that they're often last in the queue when it comes to school fees. For all these children sponsorship is their only chance of getting an education and during the first two months of the year we see large queues of kids at the office door . . . and every child will be desperate for help.

At Project Luangwa we run a one to one sponsorship scheme – a sponsor can choose the child they wish to sponsor on our website sponsorship page. Throughout the year the sponsor will receive school reports and letters from the child and we welcome their letters in return if sponsors wish to write back. We send everything via email and your address remains private.

So far this year we have sponsors for around 100 kids but there are still a few left who need help and you can see them on our ‘Meet the kids who need help’ page. There is more information on the scheme here and a downloadable handbook about being a sponsor here.
What to get more involved?
As Project Luangwa grows so does the work and this year we have decided to try and recruit a bit of help. Our needs are varied, as are our projects and some things need more experience than others.

We are in need of a Project Manager to help with infrastructure at the schools and with four possible building sites all in different locations someone who can drive would be an advantage.

The library at Mfuwe Day Secondary School is complete bar from the shelving and in a couple of weeks we will need someone to help the school librarian catalogue all the books kindly donated by I know it is short notice but we were unsure of the completion date having had a few delays. Is there a librarian out there twiddling their thumbs and wondering what to do with themselves?

Throughout the year Project Luangwa’s new Reading Scheme needs volunteers to go into the schools with books from our Amazon Wish List. The idea is that you take a set of books and a book bag containing all the props needed to tell the story such as glove puppets, plastic fruit or whatever is featured in the story. By telling and retelling the story in different ways and getting the kids involved with acting it out, drawing pictures and even reading if they are able we hope to improve their reading skills and English. Aside from the Reading Scheme we need qualified teachers to help with teaching through Happy Readers books and TEFL teachers for older kids and adults.

Volunteers need to be self-funded and if you are interested please send an email to

44,000 . . .
. . . is the estimated number of books needed to fill the half a kilometre of bookshelves currently being made for the new library we have built at Mfuwe Day Secondary School. We have already had some great donations and our thanks to the Richardsons and Jill Stewart in Canada, Agincourt and Elmtree Schools in the UK, David Scott and Isaac Kapambwe of the NPAC and all the kind donors who have brought books out in their suitcases or sent them through Pilot Post.

If you would like to bring any up to date reference books or suitable novels in that spare corner of your travel bag we’d love to take them off your hands when you get here. If you can fill a bag then we can arrange for them to be brought to Mfuwe from Lusaka airport free of charge. If you live in the UK and can collect a good number of books we can arrange free shipping to Mfuwe. Email for more details. Thank you everyone.
Mr Mwanza tells me that when Christopher, his son, was two years old his leg “went black and they cut it off at the hospital”. Christopher is now 14 years old and in grade 5 at Yosefe Basic School. He’s been using crutches – now too small – to make his way from his village to school and back but it’s a long way and Christopher finds it difficult.

To make his life a bit easier we have given Christopher a wheelchair for travelling to and from school. He’ll still use his crutches to get around at school and at home but we’ll get him some that are a better fit. If you’re coming here from the UK and would like to act as the courier for them please get in touch.

2012 was a great year . . . .
. . . and we hope that 2013 will be even better. The support we have received has been overwhelming and I would like each and every one of you to know that your funds and hard work are very much appreciated by us, the Mfuwe community and in particular, the kids here in South Luangwa.

We couldn't do it with you so - thank you everyone and here's to 2013.

Visit our website for more info To donate simply click here.

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Project Luangwa is proudly supported by:
Robin Pope Safaris, Flatdogs Camp, Shenton Safaris, Kafunta Safaris, Croc valley

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