COVID-19 pandemic

Our response

“Courage and collaboration are the Build It values coming to the fore…

Now more than ever, we remain committed to building brighter futures in Zambia.”

Andrew Jowett OBE
Chief Executive

2 February 2022:

Like so many countries around the world, Zambia has felt the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19.

Daily new infections reached a peak at the start of January 2022. Thankfully these have decreased steadily since. Although this fourth wave has seen the highest level of infections so far during the pandemic, the number of deaths remains far lower than during the country’s third wave in summer 2021.

A number of measures and restrictions remain in place across the country, including mandatory mask wearing in public places and social distancing.

Our activities

We continue to take a cautious approach to dealing with COVID-19, following a range of well-established COVID-19 safety protocols.

We are delighted to start our 2022 training programme at the Centre for Excellence, with our first group of Brick and Blocklaying trainees beginning this week.

Construction work on the student toilet block continues at the Centre, and on the new maternity and infant health unit at Libuyu Health Clinic in Livingstone. The main structure is up and work is well underway on the plumbing and electrics.

We continue raising funds for our next community build project at Zambezi Sawmills Community School. Depending on the COVID-19 situation, we hope to resume our community training on this project, recruiting 23 young people from the local community to give them new skills to find work.

Thank you for your continued support


Andrew Jowett


Latest news and developments around the COVID-19 pandemic:

Please see our News page for general updates

The COVID-19 pandemic is very much still with us. We confirm our organisational priorities to:

1. Keep our staff and trainees as safe as possible

2. Ensure Build It emerges from the pandemic in sound financial health, and with all key operation capabilities intact

3. Contribute to the wider effort in Zambia to combat COVID-19

Safe Hands steaming ahead

29 November 2021. Thanks to your generous support more schools in Zambia are benefiting from new hand wash facilities. Twelve hand wash stations have been built so far, as part of the second phase of our Safe Hands initiative in the fight against COVID-19. Twenty stations will be built in ten schools in the Lusaka […]

Safe Hands Phase Two

1 September 2021. Your incredible support to our Safe Hands programme means a further ten schools in Zambia will benefit from new hand wash stations. 40 hand wash stations were built by our team of our young construction graduates through the first phase of Safe Hands. The new facilities were installed across 26 schools, and […]

Back to class

31 August 2021. We are delighted to start welcoming our plastering trainees back to the Centre for Excellence. The 23 trainees were only two weeks into their course when the Centre had to close on 21 June due to the third wave of COVID-19 across Zambia. The number of COVID-19 cases peaked at the end […]

World Youth Skills Day 2021

15 July 2021. This year’s World Youth Skills Day on 15 July marks the resilience and creativity of young people throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently celebrated the graduation ceremonies of our 2020 trainees. These trainees saw their classrooms closed due to lockdown, adapting to new and unfamiliar distance learning programmes. They incurred delays to their […]

Support to learn at home

13 July 2021. A third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic across Zambia saw the Government impose a number of measures. This included closing schools and education institutions. As a result, training at our Centre for Excellence was suspended on 21 June. Only two weeks into their training, our 23 Plastering trainees had to be sent […]

Forty hand wash stations completed!

14 May 2021. As a result of your amazing response to our Safe Hands appeal, we have reached our target of building 40 hand wash stations in schools in Zambia. These are helping to protect over 27,000 children across 26 schools from the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. The majority of the hand […]

Dispelling the myths – Safe Hands workshops

4 May 2021. Ensuring schools have accurate information on COVID-19 is essential to help keep children, teachers and communities safe. As the pandemic has spread, so too has misleading information around COVID-19. False claims continue to circulate resulting in many people struggling to know who or what to believe. We wanted to ensure that schools […]

35 hand wash stations now completed!

17 March 2021. Your incredible support to our Safe Hands initiative, means our graduate team has now built 35 hand wash stations in schools in Zambia. And there are more on the way! Hand washing saves lives. Regular hand washing is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick and prevent the […]

Further schools benefiting from your support

28 February 2021. Your generous support to our Safe Hands appeal means we have been distributing more essential supplies to schools in Zambia. In February, a further eight schools benefited from face masks, soap, hand sanitizers, granular chlorine and no-contact digital thermometers to help stop the spread of Covid-19. At Bissell Community School, 453 face […]

Helping schools to reopen safely

22 January 2021. The reopening of schools across Zambia after the Christmas holiday has been delayed by two weeks until 1 February. This is due to the rapid increase in cases of COVID-19. The Zambian Government says that this two-week period aims to allow schools to put in place measures to help protect learners and […]

Graduation celebrations

15 January 2021. Due to the pandemic we have been unable to hold our usual graduation ceremonies, but we managed to finish 2020 with some mini celebrations. It was an opportunity celebrate the hard work and achievements of our trainees, plus a chance to catch-up and see how they’ve been doing during this difficult year. […]

Challenge completed!

18 December 2020. Thank you to everyone who took part in our recent Star Jump challenge raising £850 for our Safe Hands appeal. Set by our Young Professionals Board (YPB), the challenge ran on social media throughout November. Beth Vuckovic is a member of the Board and explained what they hoped to achieve: ‘The Coronavirus […]

Double the numbers at Naluyanda

1 December 2020. Work continues through our Safe Hands programme on the construction of permanent hand wash stations in local schools. These new facilities enable more children to wash their hands at the same time. This will help the school to manage and integrate hand washing more frequently into their daily timetable. At Naluyanda Community […]

Hustle and bustle at the Centre for Excellence

6 November 2020. After seeing the Centre for Excellence close for four months earlier in the year due to the pandemic, it is fantastic to see so much activity and energy on site. Four groups of trainees are currently with us at the Centre. The trainees attached to the new Build It office continue to […]

Ten hand wash stations nearing completion

4 November 2020. Construction of hand wash stations at Bissell and Naluyanda Community Schools are nearing completion thanks to your support. This will take the total to ten new wash stations so far. Through our Safe Hands appeal, we are building permanent, hand wash stations at 18 schools with space for 18 children to wash […]

Star jump challenge!

29 October 2020. Our Young Professionals Board is throwing down the gauntlet in November encouraging people to take up their fundraising challenge: The challenge: 500 star jumps in 5 days How to take part: Donate £5 to Build It and post a photo of yourself having completed the challenge on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter – tag Build It and tag five […]

Hand washing stations completed at Moomba Schools

2 October 2020. As well as supporting schools we have worked with in the past, our Safe Hands Appeal is an opportunity to expand support to other schools in the local area. Situated just over 4km from our Centre for Excellence, Moomba Primary and Moomba Boarding Secondary Schools are large, Government run schools with a […]

New hand washing stations for the children at Kamaila

25 September 2020. Schools are reopening in Zambia and thanks to your support, children can safely return to their classrooms. Through our Safe Hands appeal, the first group hand washing stations have been built at Kamaila Primary and Secondary schools. The stations allow 18 children to wash their hands with clean water all at the […]

Safe Hands workshop for local schools

17 September 2020. We recently arranged a one-day workshop for teachers and school administrators on preventing the spread of COVID19. Held at Shifwankula Primary School, 24 representatives attended the session from across the 11 schools who recently received supplies as part of our Safe Hands appeal. Facilitated by Mrs Winfridah W Mulenga (Senior Health Promotions […]

Children at Machaya teach us how to stay safe

3 September 2020. Our Community Development Team has been busy continuing the distribution of vital supplies to local schools in the Chibombo and Chilanga districts as part of our Safe Hands Appeal. The team visited Munkolo Primary School, as well as re-visiting schools that we have recently worked with including Machaya Community School, Kamaila Primary […]

New skills, new facilities

27 August 2020. Six Build It graduates are receiving additional training as part of our Safe Hands programme to build group hand washing stations in local schools. It means new skills to help them find work; it means new facilities to improve the health of children in their communities. The six graduates will be divided […]

Supplies to schools

21 August 2020. As well as building permanent hand washing stations for local schools, your generous support to our Safe Hands appeal means we can also provide some more immediate help to schools. Our team has been busy delivering supplies to Shifwankula Primary and Secondary Schools, Moomba Primary and Secondary Schools and Muwanjuni Primary School. […]

Safe hands at Shifwankula Secondary School

5 August 2020. Many schools in Zambia do not have enough or adequate hand washing facilities, vital in the battle against COVID-19. Schools like Shifwankula Secondary School. Situated 10km from our Centre for Excellence, this large Government run school has 1,424 pupils from grades 8 – 12. Its Primary School has 3,556 pupils registered. We […]

Training resumes at the Centre for Excellence

5 August 2020. Following a successful inspection by the Zambia National Public Health Institute, we are delighted to announce that training at our Centre for Excellence has restarted. “After nearly four months away, it’s great to welcome our trainees back to the centre,” said Sughra Hussain, Build It Country Director. “Safety is paramount, and we […]

COVID-19: Zambia update

3 August 2020. Africa currently accounts for only a small proportion of total global cases of COVID-19 in terms of overall numbers, but there is growing concern that infection rates are accelerating in many countries across the continent. Zambia confirmed its first two cases of COVID-19 on 18 March 2020. Although Zambia did not go […]

Building our distance learning programme

29 July 2020. With generous support from Irish Aid, our distance learning programme has been helping our trainees keep up with their studies at home. Feedback and participation has been very encouraging, with trainees happy to be able to continue their training. Video lessons continue to be produced by our Training Team and loaded onto […]

A cautious reopening of schools, colleges and universities

23 June 2020. Our young trainees are making good progress with their distance learning programme. Each week new lessons and tasks are uploaded onto the tablets by our Training Team, as well as information on COVID-19 to help keep trainees, their families and their communities safe. Training onsite at our Centre for Excellence currently remains […]

Clean hands are safe hands

18 June 2020. Washing your hands regularly with soap and water has been a key health message in the battle against COVID19. But lack of adequate and appropriate facilities means that for many people in Zambia, this just isn’t possible. We have been looking at how we can adapt our work to play our part […]

Lights, camera, action… on our distance learning programme

28 May 2020. With training at our Centre for Excellence still on hold due to the pandemic, we want to keep our trainees motivated and their new skills fresh in their minds. Our Training Team have been working on our distance learning pilot which will go live next week. It was felt that a series […]

COVID-19: Zambia update

19 May 2020. On 8 May President Edgar Lungu announced that cinemas, restaurants and gyms in Zambia can reopen, and that hotel and lodges can also consider getting back to normal operations. The President said that bars and taverns will remain closed, and that strict health guidelines should continue to the observed. Schools and education […]

Update from our Chief Executive Andrew Jowett

30 April 2020. I hope this message finds you and your family well during these challenging times. In the short video below, I explain how we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and taking action to ensure that Build It comes through this crisis fit to continue our vital work.   As of today, the […]

Safety on site

29 April 2020. Schools, cinemas, bars, gyms and many shops in Zambia are closed, with restaurants only providing take-away services. The authorities have asked people to avoid non-essential travel. However Zambia is not in lock-down and businesses continue to operate. Construction work continues on our two current sites. Finishing touches are being put on the […]

New opportunities through distance learning

29 April 2020. Our training at the Centre for Excellence was put on hold from Friday 20 March 2020, in line with the temporary closure of all Zambian schools and learning institutions. Three groups of trainees had started their training with us at the centre. Many of our young trainees have already face significant challenges […]

Move to short-time working from May 2020

23 April 2020. We are taking a range of decisions to ensure that Build It emerges from this global crisis in a sound state and able to resume our full programme of work. The Senior Management Team and the Board have updated the Business Continuity Plan with a number of key actions, including reducing costs. […]

Zambia and COVID-19

16 April 2020. With a fragile and very limited healthcare system, there is serious concern that COVID-19 could have a catastrophic impact on lives in Zambia. With COVID-19 particularly impacting on the elderly, Zambia’s young population may reduce fatalities, but factors like malnutrition and weakened immune systems due to high prevalence of HIV could make […]

Training paused at the Centre for Excellence

15 April 2020. Training at our Centre for Excellence in Lusaka was put on hold from Friday 20 March 2020, in line with the Government directive for educational institutions. We are keeping in contact with the 60 trainees learning through the centre and look forward to welcoming them back as soon as possible. It means […]


Together we are #BuildingBrighterFutures in Zambia