INTO Giving: My trip to Zambia

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Hannah Mold (far right) and Nicola Burness-Smith (far left) with the staff of The Chawama Centre for Education and Empowerment

Ever wanted to know more about our INTO Giving charity and the great projects it’s involved in?

Here, INTO Giving Advocate, Hannah Mold, shares the diary of her four-day trip to Lusaka, Zambia to visit a new school that the charity helped to build. She flew there with INTO Giving’s Director, Nicola Burness-Smith…

Day One
Today Nicola and I landed in Lusaka, Zambia after the ten-hour journey from Brighton. The first thing I noticed was the heat – it’s much warmer here than the UK! After resting we went to the school, which is known as the Chawama Centre for Education and Empowerment. It’s in the Chawama Compound (a shanty town just outside of Lusaka).

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Children outside the CCEE school

There we were greeted by Rev. Alfred Nyirenda and Alfred Sakala who work for    I-CCO (the charity that INTO Giving partnered with to build the school), and Ida Phiri, the school manager. As it was the afternoon the children had already gone home but we met the teachers and staff. They’re all really enthusiastic about the school and helping the children.

The school has only been open a few weeks and the classrooms still look very new. They’re filled with new desks built by the building skills trainees, and the children and teachers have covered the walls in posters.

We also saw the games and books that INTO staff in Brighton had donated to the school, as resources (particularly for fun learning) are very limited.

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Grade 3 teacher Ruth helping the class with their English

Day Two
Today, I took a local bus to Chawama with Alfred from I-CCO. The bus station was mayhem – I don’t know how Alfred knew which one to take. Thankfully, we managed to squeeze into the right one. The two children sitting in front of me didn’t stop staring as I was the only foreign person on the bus!

At the school, the children were very excited to meet us and all rushed to come and say “Hello, how are you?” The older children couldn’t wait to show off their reading skills and took turns reading from their favourite storybook. The younger children were much shyer, although they still loved to pose for the camera.

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Alfred with books and games donated by INTO staff

After their break, it was time for class. I joined a grade 3 English class and a grade 5 Science and Maths class. Some of the children were so involved in their work that they barely noticed me taking photos!

It was very nice to see them using the books that INTO Giving had bought for the school. At midday, it was home time so the children left to play with other children, do their homework (hopefully!) and have lunch.


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Hannah and Nicola with Kangwe and his carer

Day Three
In Zambia, HIV/AIDS is a very big issue, and I-CCO helps to look after children in Chawama who have lost one or both parents to the disease. Today we visited some of these children and their caregivers.

They’ve been able to attend school because they’re sponsored by people through I-CCO. This sponsorship pays school fees, uniform fees, basic food provisions and vital healthcare.

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Nicola and Alfred with Emilie and her Aunt

Kangwe lives with a caregiver and four other children in a one room house. He attends the CCEE school and his sponsorship has paid for his HIV treatment, so he’s doing well.

Emilie lives with her Aunt in a two room house. She wants to train to be a nurse and attends extra lessons on Saturday to make sure she passes her school exams.

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Nicola and Annie

Annie lives with her grandmother and 6 other children in one room. These cousins, like many children, don’t go to school. Not being able to read or write English will make it very hard for them to find jobs in the future. Annie loves going to school and wants to study nursing when she finishes.

Day Four
I met two people with very inspiring stories today – Patricia and Mubanga. They were both orphan students who were part of the I-CCO programme and have since completed school. Mubanga is now studying Marketing at college and is looking forward to the future, and Patricia continues to work for I-CCO in a PR role and supporting the orphans. So it’s great to know that I-CCO is providing real hope and opportunities for children in Lusaka.

Watch Mubanga’s video

Then we said goodbye to the children and staff in Chawama. Hopefully by the next visit, more children will be attending the CCEE school and the children we’ve met will be on their way to great things.

Before heading home, Nicola and I visited Lake Kariba and the Kariba Dam on the Zimbabwe border. Zambia is a luscious, green country and I hope to go back one day!

Inspired by some of these stories? Just £20 per month pays for the education, healthcare, uniform and basic nutrition for an orphan. For more information on sponsoring an orphan, please email Nicola Burness-Smith at

About the Chawama Centre for Education and Empowerment (CCEE)
The Chawama Centre for Education and Empowerment (CCEE) school is run by In-Community Care for Orphans (I-CCO), a Zambian charity which helps to educate and care for orphaned and vulnerable children in Lusaka. INTO Giving has raised over £65,000 towards the building of the school, providing building skills training and school resources.

About INTO Giving
INTO Giving is a registered charity that helps provide or improve education for young people living in difficult or impoverished areas of the world.  It aims to help provide young people with sustainable routes to better lives by improving their access to education. Its projects include working with I-CCO to build the above-mentioned school for orphaned children in Zambia; helping to increase the quality of primary education in Gambia; and providing funds to rebuild a primary school in China that was destroyed by the earthquake of 2008.

Find out how to get involved with INTO Giving.

Like the INTO Giving Facebook page.

Interested in getting involved in INTO Giving fundraising activities in your study centre? Speak to your Marketing Coordinator for more info.



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