Tujatane 2014!
February 2015

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We hope this annual update finds you well and rested after a busy festive season with loved ones. You may be wondering where the termly newsletters have gone in 2014? Has nothing been happening you may wonder? Well, this is certainly not the case! 2014 was a very busy year full of activity, growth and development, so much so that the termly Newsletters failed to make it to the top of the ‘To do’ list! Our sincere apologies for this. We hope you enjoy catching up with our news. Due to the size restriction on the regular newsletter template, we have summarised each section here, with a full version with more images available to view and download if you click here

National Exam results just in!
In October and November both the Grade 7 (end of Primary – aged 13/14) and Grade 9 (end of lower secondary – aged 15/16) classes sat for their National Exams. Our Grade 7 results came out in early December and we are pleased to see that 100% of the pupils received a Grade 7 certificate!

For our first ever Grade 9 class at Tujatane, this was an exciting opportunity for us to see how the children could perform in their National Exams at the higher level. We are delighted to report that 19 out of our 21 pupils passed their National Exam and will receive a full Grade 9 certificate! This is considerably better than we have seen in previous years when the children have been at other secondary schools and was one of the main reasons for our expansion into lower secondary in the last 2 years. Overall, the children achieved above and beyond our expectations and we are very proud that almost all of them have been accepted to high-level Secondary and High Schools in Zambia.

We are still looking for funds to cover all of these children at their new schools. If anyone might be interested in supporting one of these children and would like further details, please email Vanessa at vanessa@tongabezi.com

The Tujatane Team
In January 2014 we welcomed six new staff members to Tujatane! Obby, our computer teacher, Namukolo our grade 2 teacher, CK, Waku and Norah who are all grade 8 and 9 subject teachers and Bydon, our new maintenance man. It has been wonderful welcoming them to the School and watching them each add something special to the Team. We also had our first ever grade 9 class in 2014, which was exciting as this brings Tujatane to what we call here in Zambia, full basic school.

We now have grades 1 through to 9 and this means that after school at Tujatane, the pupils now only have 3 more years of High School to complete their education and this means pupils can stay with us up to the age of 16. This of course brings with it a whole new set of challenges! Behavior management, increased demands on school facilities and teachers to name just a few. However, we feel that the benefits of this expansion are worth it! We are so lucky and deeply grateful to everyone who has given and continues to give the support we need.

We also said goodbye to one member of staff in 2014, Mrs. Catherine Young (middle right). Kate had been with us for two years and during this time she set up our Math’s and Science lab, stores and management for all the development in this area. Kate fully trained and handed over to our teaching staff in 2014, giving us the tools we need to continue to make the experience of math’s and science FUN and accessible for all!

This year in February we were very privileged and excited to receive a visit from one of our UK trustees, Julie Fewtrell (bottom right). Julie joined the board of trustees in 2010 after first visiting Zambia in 2005. Julie visited Tujatane whist staying at Tongabezi Lodge and became a sponsor. We were so pleased to have Julie join our board. She is patient, kind and most importantly very experienced in working with charities, especially in management!

We were very lucky to have Ann Smailes with us for 2 months in May and June. Ann is an experienced teacher and teacher trainer from South Africa and volunteered her time with us focusing on helping develop our library further as well as offering many creative and fun workshops for staff, pupils and local parents. Beadwork, card making and crafts were extremely popular! Ann also shared her passion for books and reading by working with groups of children in a special reading club and created lots of activity and competitions in the library. Thank you so Ann and we hope to see you again!
We also welcomed two vibrant volunteers from the US, Kate and Livvy. Livvy, worked hand in hand with the Grade 3 class and left a ‘bamboo bee’ legacy behind! The pupils and teachers enjoyed her company so much and enjoyed teaching her some traditional Zambian dances in return. Livvy was a very good storyteller and the children enjoyed telling her their stories as well. Livvy will always be remembered by the dance she performed as a farewell gift, wrapped in traditional chitenge material during her last assembly! Her grade 3 companions were very proud! Thank you for bringing such joy and fun to our school Livvy.

Kate joined our grade 2 class and brought a lot of fun and laughter to lessons. Kate works as a teacher in New York and is a very creative and dynamic lady. We greatly appreciated her input and reflections as a special needs teacher as this is an area that we hope to learn more about in Zambia and at Tujatane in the near future. To hear more from Kate please download the full length version of this Newsletter.

Last but not least we welcomed Katie to the team. Katie joined our Grade 4 class and also spent many hours helping our librarians sort, organize and enter new books into our digital library database.

We really appreciate all the effort and time that all our volunteers gave us this year and we shall remember your visits with a big smile!

Sports, Chess, Performing Arts and Clubs
Children’s participation in sports, music, art and other creative non-academic activities is crucial to their overall health and development. For many of our pupils, especially those who can struggle with class work, we have seen a lot of positive changes both in overall class performance and in personal growth. These activities also help build self-esteem and can reduce anxiety in children who are experiencing stress. All of our staff are involved with a co curricular activity or club at the school and here is some of their news from the year.

This year the performers and their teachers continued to wow the school with all their amazing performances in dance, poetry and drama. Our coordinators, Sydney and Grace, were joined in 2014 by one of our new teachers, Waku. As Sydney has moved into his new role as school as Head, Waku has now joined Grace permanently as coordinator for performing arts for this year.

The performing arts department together with our music teacher Mike and the school band and choir, put on an amazing fundraising performance at the school amphitheater in September and raised over $1,000 for the performing arts department! For photos, video and more click the link below!


The children did really well training hard and taking part in Interschool Competitions in football, netball and chess. The competitions are long and exhausting, with over 20 schools represented at a time! But the staff and children are so determined in their efforts and we consistently have our pupils selected for the regional teams.
The Girls Club, run by teachers Susan and Mable, continue to meet regularly with girls from the older classes, to discuss and take part in activities that help the children to understand their rights, their choices and how they can shape their futures.

Assistant teachers Mary, Jacqueline, Tinah and Janet have been working throughout the year with groups of children in the art and card making clubs. The children love the afternoons where they can participate in drawing, cutting and gluing! Their cards are left as welcome gifts in the rooms at Tongabezi and the children write messages to invite guests to come and visit them while they are here!

Staff Training
Iness Chulu, our Pre School and Reception Teacher, travelled to Cape Town earlier in the year to continue her professional development as one of Tujatane’s most experienced early years teachers. For the full report and photos from Iness please see the full version of thsi newsletter.

Another of our UK Charity Trustees, Ron, and his wife Shirley, came to visit us this year. Ron and Shirley have been involved with the school since almost the very beginning. Since then, Ron and his wife Shirley have helped us with numerous projects such as collecting and donating books, helping organize UK teaching exchanges and coming out to Zambia to help facilitate staff training and development. This year Ron and Shirley returned to Tujatane, specifically to help our growing computer department and new teacher Obby as we consolidate our recent growth in this area.

As part of the staff’s professional development, many of the teachers and assistants are currently studying to upgrade their qualifications. Teachers Richard, Sophie and Rollela are all studying hard in the school holidays to upgrade their teaching diplomas to degrees and teaching assistants Hendricks, Laila and Dorothy, who have previously completed Grade 12, are working towards teaching qualifications.

None of these opportunities would be possible without special sponsorship. Our deepest thanks to those of you who are giving so generously in this area.

Building and Maintenance
In recent years Tujatane has seen a lot of physical growth and 2014 was no exception. As the school has grown in size and new classes and buildings have been built, the need for a full time maintenance person has become a priority. So 2014 welcomed a new member of staff, Bydon, our maintenance man, who has been a fantastic addition to the team.

Our largest building project this year as been the construction of two new classrooms and an adjoining office. One classroom is for the Grade 1 class and the second classroom we have built is our new art room and sewing room. All the children and their teachers will be able to book the art room regularly for lessons in art or any other times where they would like to take part in creative activities. It will also double up as a sewing workshop for older children that wish to learn practical sewing and tailoring skills and for local adults in the community.

Early this year we upgraded our playground with a wonderful new jungle gym and a re vamp of the existing equipment.

In 2014 we also expanded our canteen and kitchen facilities. We now have a separate staff eating area, larger preparation and cooking area and more space for the children to sit and eat under shelter.

We have also just completed building a Head Teacher’s office, which now provides the Head and the Deputy separate offices.

In December 2013 we had a large tree fall in a storm over the school amphitheater! Unfortunately the tree pulled down with it the metal structure frame and shade cloth and had to be dismantled fully. However, at our 18th Birthday celebration in August in London, we managed to raise the funds necessary to re build the structure, stronger and even more beautiful than before! Thank you to all of you that attended our Party. It was wonderful to see so many of you there!

Community & Health
In November we were very lucky to welcome a travelling optician called Finn to the school. Finn is from Denmark and has visited different parts of Africa on a number of occasions, testing eyes and handing out reading glasses and advice to those in need. On this trip Finn spent two days at Tujatane testing all our pupils, staff and community. One day further up river at a local Lodge, another day in Simonga Village and then his last day in the local General Hospital in Livingstone. Finn tested over 900 people in 5 days and gave out over 600 pairs of glasses! Hopefully Finn will be returning later this year to continue to reach more people in need in more communities.

This year Tujatane has helped support one of our dynamic young assistant teachers, Hendricks, with his ‘Adult Education Programme’. Hendricks started the programme in 2013 to help local adults in the village attend evening classes, in the hope of completing their primary education. Hendricks requested permission from the school management to use of one of our classrooms in the evenings, for the adult class to meet in. We were so happy to help and to see such an incredible initiative coming from an incredibly caring member of our team.

Sponsorship Update
As always, sponsorship of the children at Tujatane remains our lifeline to funding. For those of you already so generously sponsoring a child through their education, or donating to any of the fundraising areas at the school, thank you so much for your continued support and kindness.

We welcomed many new sponsors to the school in 2014 and continue to look for more so that we can hopefully find sponsors for all of the children at the school. If you think you may be able to help us in this search, we would be most grateful and please don’t hesitate to contact us. We have 25 new little ones in Pre School who we are looking for new sponsors for. Here is lovely Zelipa!

We have been blessed by so many generous donations. If anyone would like to receive details of our proposed projects needing funding in 2015, large and small, please contact us.

For those of you in the UK we are now registered with Give As You Live, which allows you to shop online, and donate to the school at the same time at no extra cost! To learn more and sign up please click this link

Thank you so much for making our journey possible and wishing you all a happy and healthy 2015!

For GBP Donations

Please email emma@tujatane.com or download our UK donations form

UK Charity Status - "The Charitable Trust for The Tongabezi Trust School"
Registration number 1096710
Email. jessopprice@hotmail.co.uk

USA Donors can claim their tax deductions by donating through CAF America. Click Here

Newsletters will be put on our school website under updates and details on making a donation are also on www.tongabezitrustschool.com

Comments/feedback welcomed

The Tongabezi Trust School
PO Box 60113, Livingstone, Zambia
email: vanessa@tongabezi.com

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